How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes

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Categories Doing Laundry
Did somebody draw outside the lines? 

Crayon on your clothes? If someone has colored outside the lines, we’re here to teach you how to get crayon out of clothes. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, make sure you don’t toss the clothes into the wash as a first resort. Crayons are made with wax, so these garments need to be treated before going into the washing machine.

That being said, we’ll help you remove melted and dried crayon, crayon stains. We’ll also provide specific guidance for removing it from certain types of material.

How to Get Crayon Stains Out of Clothes

Baking soda can remove crayon stains from your clothes. Remove as much crayon as possible with the back of a knife. Then wash the garment as normal with a regular detergent and one cup of baking soda. Use warm water, as per the care label instructions.


What Are Crayons Made From?

The main ingredients of crayons are paraffin wax and color pigment (1). The wax is melted and mixed with the color pigments to produce a huge variety of shades. The wax is poured into molding machines where it cools into a crayon shape.

What Will Dissolve Crayon?

To remove wax, one option is to completely dissolve it, making it easy to remove. Turpentine, mineral spirits such as paint thinner, naphtha, and WD-40 can all dissolve wax.

How to Get Melted Crayon Out of Clothes

If you’ve got melted crayon on your clothes, whether that’s from a warm day or a spin in the dryer, we can help.

  • Freeze: Put the garment in the freezer for an hour to harden the wax.
  • Scrape: Use the back of a knife to scrape off as much of the hardened wax as possible.
  • Iron: Put a bit of paper towel onto the affected area of the garment. Check the care label on your garment and set your iron to the appropriate temperature. Press the iron firmly onto the paper for a few seconds. The crayon should transfer from the clothes to the paper.
  • Repeat: Repeat as necessary, ensuring you don’t iron the crayon stains onto a clean part of the garment.
  • Stain removal: Now that most of the wax is gone, it’s time to tackle the stains. Apply a stain remover to the wax, using a soft brush to lift up any crayon residue.
  • Soak: Soak the garment in warm water for an hour. Mix occasionally to ensure the affected areas are covered with water.
  • Wash: If the stains are gone, or nearly gone, you can wash the clothes according to the care label. If it allows for hot water, use that as it can loosen and remove leftover wax. When in doubt, just use warm water.
  • Dry: If the stains are fully gone, you may dry as normal with heat. If they’re not, repeat the steps above.

Beware

Check the ingredients of the crayons and the stain remover you use. If there are any flammable ingredients, don’t put the clothes in the dryer.

How to Get Dried Crayon Wax Out of Clothes

If the crayon has dried and gone hard, it’s actually easier to work with. If it’s somewhere between hard and soft, start by sticking the garment in the freezer for an hour to harden the wax completely.

  • Scrape: Use the back of a knife to scrape off as much of the wax as possible.
  • Iron: Put a bit of paper towel onto the affected area of the garment. Check the care label on your garment and set your iron to the appropriate temperature. Press the iron firmly onto the paper for a few seconds, and the crayon should transfer from the clothes to the paper.
  • Dish soap: Work a little bit of liquid dish soap into the stain. Let it stand for a few minutes, then rub a little bit of warm water over it to remove the stain.
  • Set the machine: Put the garment in the machine and set it to a heavy soil setting using warm water, as per the care label instructions.
  • Add detergent: We recommend adding OxiClean to the cycle instead of your regular detergent. This will help to remove tough stains as well as preserving the color of the garment.
  • Air dry: Air dry the garment to ensure the stains are 100 percent gone as heat can set them.

How to Get Crayon Stains Out of Clothes

When it comes to removing the crayon stains that are often left behind, there are a few options! We’ll share our top favorites.

Stain Remover

A good stain remover can definitely work well to remove crayon stains. Rub the stain remover onto the garment, spreading it evenly over the stain. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on how long to leave the stain remover on the clothes. Then rinse it off with warm water, and wash as normal.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is abrasive, so it removes crayon stains by physically breaking up the rest of the wax and pigment. Put the garment into the machine with regular detergent and one cup of baking soda. Run a normal cycle.

Hot Water

We don’t usually recommend hot water for removing stains, as heat can set stains permanently. However, it’s a different ball game with crayons. Hot water can completely remove leftover bits of crayon.

Simply wash the garments as normal with the hottest water possible, as per the care label instructions. Hot water can be used in combination with any of our other tips.

WD-40

For stubborn stains, try WD-40. Place towels underneath the clothes to protect your surface. Spray the back of the stain with WD-40. Flip the garment round and spray the other side. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Warning

Wear rubber gloves when working with WD-40 incase it irritates your skin. Also, check in an inconspicuous area of the garment to ensure the WD-40 doesn’t cause any damage.

How Does WD-40 Get Crayon Out of Clothes?

WD-40 is a solvent, so it dissolves crayon stains and loosens oil molecules. This makes the stains easier to wash out.

How to Get Crayon Out of the Dryer?

Crayon attacked the inside of your dryer? No problem!

  • Turn on the dryer: Turn the dryer to the hottest setting for 30 minutes. This will melt the crayon.
  • Scrub: Using a dryer sheet, scrub the crayon stains off the inside of the dryer. You can do this on every aspect of the dryer, including the lint tray. If you don’t have dryer sheets, dampen a white cloth with distilled white vinegar and scrub.
  • Wash: Pop an old wet white towel into the dryer and turn it on high heat. If the towel comes out clean, all the crayon is removed. If not, repeat this process.

How to Get Crayon Off Leather

Removing stains from leather can be pretty stressful. If your kid has drawn all over your leather couch or shoes, fear not.

  • Scrape: Use a dull knife or your fingernail to scrape off excess crayon wax.
  • Make a paste: Mix together a small bit of Fuller’s Earth Clay and water to make a paste. This is an oil-absorbing clay, so it will help remove the wax. Make sure the paste is thick as too much liquid can damage the leather.
  • Apply paste: Apply the paste to the stain and let it dry completely.
  • Brush: Using a toothbrush, gently scrape off the paste. Repeat if necessary.
  • Condition: Apply leather conditioner to the area to bring back moisture.

Caution

Don’t apply water to leather as it can damage the material.

Does Goo Gone Remove Crayon?

Goo Gone works for removing crayon marks and stains. However, never use Goo Gone on leather, silk, suede, rubber, unfinished wood, unsealed stone, unpainted walls or faux stainless steel.

How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Baking Soda

Simply add one cup of baking soda to your normal washing cycle, with your normal detergent. This should make the crayon stains disappear! For more details, check our method above.


Draw Your Own Conclusion

When it comes to removing crayon from clothes, there are a few options for you to choose from. This includes baking soda, WD-40, hot water, and general stain remover. Of course, if the crayon is hardened or melted, you’ll have to follow our other advice.

At the end of the day, no matter how the crayon has affected your clothing, our tips can help to fix the situation.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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