Colouring Crazy: How to Clean Crayon Stains | Maid4Condos

Colouring Crazy: How to Clean Crayon Stains

Colouring Crazy: How to Clean Crayon Stains
March 16, 2020

Kids love colouring, and so should parents. It’s one of the best ways to keep kids occupied and, more importantly, off their computers and handheld devices. Crayons are excellent choices to keep your kids reasonably clean when compared to other artsy past times like painting or crafts with sticky glues.

Of course, crayons do come with their own challenges — mainly if your children decide to get creative with walls and other surfaces — and that waxy, deep-set colour can cause a lot of damage.

Here we teach you how to manage your little Banksy’s misplaced murals with our professional tips on how to clean crayon stains.

 How to Clean Crayon Stains

Why are crayon stains so stubborn?

Most crayons are made of coloured paraffin wax. Colour pigments are then added to the melted wax and left to set. The wax is difficult to clean because it contains the pigments within its sticky material, which in turn seals the stain when applied to other surfaces and fabrics.

The only way to loosen and remove the pigment is to loosen the wax to release it, or completely scrape away the wax and colour from the surface.


Honestly, it’s pretty hard for kids to stain their clothing when they’re colouring with crayons. However, the common crayon related disasters are either washing a piece of clothing with a crayon in the pocket or picking up a pile of clothes without realizing you have a rogue crayon in there.

It then gets run through the washer and dryer cycle, leaving a terrible mess in its wake. Due to the sticky nature of the crayons, they form a seal on fabrics, which can seem impossible to remove. However, with these steps, you can get a win over the crayons!

First is prevention. You can simply avoid the situation altogether by carefully checking pockets and shaking out clothes before placing them in the washer.

If you didn’t manage to find the crayon, you will have to do your best to remove as much of the waxy substance as possible by scraping it off. A metal spoon or dull knife will do the least amount of damage to most fabrics.

Next, use liquid dish soap instead of laundry detergent or stain remover, and gently rub it into the stain. Set it in very hot water for at least a few minutes and then rinse it out. If it is a fabric that shouldn’t be placed in hot water, try only to soak the spot with the stain, as the heat is needed to help melt and loosen the remaining crayon. This should remove the stain.

You can then toss it in the laundry on the heavy stain setting and the warmest water possible according to the clothing’s laundering instructions. Check that the stain is removed before tossing it in the dryer — if it’s a dryer friendly piece of clothing — or else you will seal the stain in. If the stain is not removed, repeat the steps.

Upholstery and Linens

Fast-moving hands can send crayon lines off the page and onto your unsuspecting upholstered surfaces or table linens in the blink of an eye. Your first defence is a good offence: tell your kids to colour on a table without an expensive tablecloth, preferably with a layer of paper for protection. This will help to avoid stains on your furniture and linens.

If it does happen, you can follow the same steps above for linens. However, if you try scraping the crayon from furniture, you risk spreading the crayon over a larger surface. For furnishings, diluted detergent or dish soap works like magic.

Use about a quarter teaspoon of the liquid detergent diluted in the detergent cap with about half a cup of water. Use a white dish rag to scrub at the stain, and it should come right out. Then use a clean, damp dishcloth to remove the detergent, or it will leave a residue that could discolour the fabric.

Depending on the fabric, the stain might remain. If this is the case, you might have to call in a professional upholstery cleaning service.

Carpet and Area Rugs

Heat is a must when it comes to getting crayons out of carpets and rugs. You can scrape away any crayon residue, but this will be difficult, depending on the density of the carpet. The denser the fibres, the easier it will be to apply pressure to scrape off the wax.

You can then cover the stained area with a white paper towel or clean dish rag and apply heat with a blow dryer. In theory, the wax should melt and be absorbed by the towel. In some cases, the pigment will remain in the rug fibres.

If this happens, you can use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to bleach out the colour; however, this can also damage the existing colours of the carpet. You can test the solution in a less conspicuous spot before trying to remove the stain.

Dab the hydrogen peroxide on the stain with a white cloth or even a cotton swab, then let it sit for about a minute. Rinse it out with a wet cloth and then dab it dry with a clean white towel. If there is no colour change, it’s okay to use and you can follow the same steps on the stain.

Finished Wood

Whether it’s your wood floors, panelling, artwork, or furniture, crayon accidents on your wood surfaces aren’t the end of the world. However, they will take some elbow grease to remove. Use warm water and liquid dish soap with a clean sponge and rub the stain in a circular motion until it is removed.

If this doesn’t work, a toothbrush or non-abrasive cleaning brush might help. If you still don’t get results, you can use toothpaste or very mildly abrasive cleaner, which should do the trick. Rinse away cleaning residue with warm water and make sure the surface is then completely dry. Clean the stain as soon as you see it, as if left too long, the crayon will collect other dirt and residue that will make it harder to remove.

To learn more about how to clean crayon stains, call Maid4Condos at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

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