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Dirty Hanky

The dressed puppet


This illustration vividly shows how Jesus makes us clean inside when we ask Him to forgive and cleanse away our sins.

Materials You Need:

Two wide-mouth canning jars (wide enough to fit your hand inside).
Starch solution - boil half a teaspoon of corn starch in 250 millilitres of water and cool.
Tincture of Iodine (in a dropper bottle available from a chemist).
Domestic liquid Bleach.
A pair of rubber gloves to handle the hanky and the bleach.
A desertspoon.
A face drawn onto a piece of thin cardboard.
A clean white cotton hanky.
A new unsharpened pencil.
Plastic cloth to protect the table.
Damp cloth to mop up spills.


  1. Prior to the presentation dip the handkerchief into the starch solution, air dry and then iron.
  2. Just before starting, fill both jars 1/2 full of warm water.
  3. Add 10 ml of the Starch solution to Bottle One.
  4. Add 100 ml of Bleach to Bottle Two.
  5. Attach the cardboard face to the top of the pencil with Prestik and attach the hanky as "clothes" just below the face with another blob of Prestik.
  6. During the story, add drops of Iodine onto the hanky several times to show the effect of sins (stains the starched cloth black).
  7. An attempt is made to wash the hanky in Bottle One.
  8. But this merely further dirties the hanky and stains the water.
  9. The rest of the story is told, and then the hanky is soaked in Bottle Two containing the Bleach (use rubber gloves), until all the staining disappears.
  10. The hanky is then displayed as "clean."
  11. The hanky can then be placed back in Bottle 1, where it will bleach out the colour of this water as well.


A story about a friend who thought his clothes were clean.  He finds out that they are black with sin and tries to wash them, but this only makes things worse.  He learns that only Jesus can forgive sins.  His clothes are made clean and white again when He asks Jesus to forgive and cleanse away his sins.


Romans 6:23.



There was a young boy named Hank, but he had never heard about Jesus (Show Hank puppet and his clean clothes).  When he started life, he had nice clean clothes as you can see.  Later he went to school where he soon made some bad friends and they started to teach him to do wrong things.   Sin is disobeying God and doing wrong things.  This bottle of brown liquid is like sin that can mess up our lives (Show the bottle of Iodine).

So when Hank began to swear, his nice clean clothes started to get all dirty (Stain the hanky with some drops of the Iodine).  He decided that being "cool" with his friends was fun.  Next day he was walking home with his friends past an apple orchard.  The apples looked delicious, and so Hank climbed over the fence and filled his pockets with big juicy apples.  He just made it back over the fence as a guard dog snapped at his heels!

Hank makes a Mess:

"Whew!" he shouted, "That was close!"  (Stain the hanky again with Iodine).  But now his clothes were stained even more with sins.  That night he came home very late.  "Where were you, Hank?" asked Mom.  "I had to stay behind at school to finish a project," he lied (Stain the hanky with some Iodine).

Next day Hank went off to school as usual.  But this time all the children laughed at him because his clothes were messed up all over with dirty sins.  Hank was so ashamed, but fortunately a kind girl spoke kindly to him and invited him to her Sunday School.  Hank went along and heard how Jesus had died to take away his sins.  "I need that!" shouted Hank.  All the children in the class laughed at him, but the Teacher just smiled at Hank.

Hank makes a Bigger Mess:

Later that day Hank felt he had to do something about the stains on his clothes.  He decided to wash his clothes because he felt bad inside from all the wrong things that he had done.  So he took off his clothes and washed them.  (Wash Hank's clothes in Bottle One with the starch solution).  This did not help at all, and now his clothes were really messed up!   (Squeeze out his clothes and put them on again).

He was so embarrassed and so for the rest of that week he avoided everybody at school.  On Friday, his new friend again invited him to Sunday School.  "Whatever happened to your clothes?" asked Teacher.  "I tried to wash them," he replied, "But, now they are even more messed up!"  His teacher then explained to Hank that Jesus had led a perfect life and had never sinned.  (Show Bottle Two with the bleach solution).   We can't do anything to please God because we cannot reach and keep to His standard.  She then read Romans 6:23 to him:

"The wages of sin is death, the gift of God is Eternal Life."

Jesus Makes Hank Clean:

She explained how Jesus died for our sins and how God had raised Him from the dead.  "You mean that I can be washed clean by Jesus?" asked Hank.   "Of course you can", replied his teacher.  So Hank asked Jesus to come into his life and then eagerly ripped off his clothes and washed them in Jesus.  (Wash Hank's clothes in Bottle Two using rubber gloves and a spoon, but be careful not to squeeze out all the bleach when you finish).

He was filled with joy when he saw how clean his clothes had become.  Hank told all his friends what he had done.  (Put his clothes back into Bottle One).  He was excited when later some of them also accepted Jesus as their Saviour.  (Squeeze out his clothes and put them on again).  That night Hank went home and told his parents what he had done.  As he lay down to sleep, he whispered a prayer "Thank You so much Jesus, for loving me and making me clean!"

Jesus Wants to Make Us Clean:

Jesus died for our sins on the cross.  All you have to do is ask Jesus to forgive all the sin and wrong things you have done.  Then ask Him to come into your life as your Saviour and Best Friend.  Jesus always hears our prayers when we really mean them.  You will then become one of God's children and He will give you eternal life in Heaven when you die.   The Apostle Paul assures us in Romans 10:9-10 that:

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved."

Perhaps there is someone here today who would like to accept Jesus as their Saviour.  If you do, Jesus will come into your life and make you clean inside.

God bless!

Copyright © Sharon Children's Ministries

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