If you have kids, getting crayon on your clothing might be a given! If you have dealt with this problem before, you will know that crayon stains can be difficult to remove. So, how can you get crayon out of clothes? It is possible to remove crayon from fabric using only common household products. In this article, we will be discussing a few of these useful techniques, and hopefully, you will never have to worry about stained clothes again.
Table of Contents
- 1 Key Takeaways for Removing Crayon from Fabric
- 2 Why Do Crayons Stain Clothing?
- 3 How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes
- 3.1 How to Get Melted Crayon Out of Clothes
- 3.2 How to Remove Crayon from Fabric With Dishwashing Liquid
- 3.3 How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Baking Soda and Hot Water
- 3.4 How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Stain Remover
- 3.5 How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With WD-40
- 3.6 How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Vinegar
- 3.7 Other Methods of Removing Crayon from Clothes
- 3.8 How to Remove Crayon from Leather
- 4 Additional Tips for Helping Remove Crayon from Fabric
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Key Takeaways for Removing Crayon from Fabric
Before we begin, if you are in a hurry and need some ideas fast, here are a few key takeaways. First, always check your clothes before placing them in the washer and dryer. To sum up how to get crayon out of clothes, below are a few key takeaways.
- Always try to remove as much of the crayon before placing the garment in the wash. You can use a dull knife or even an unused credit card.
- The most effective natural products for removing crayon stains include baking soda and vinegar.
- WD-40, a lubricant can also help remove crayon stains. Always test the fabric first and check the labels.
- Use the best commercial stain removers to help with removing crayon from fabric.
- If the crayon has melted, freeze the area, and then scrape off the excess crayon wax. You can then use paper towels and an iron to remove residue, followed by further stain removal methods.
- Dried crayons can be scraped off, then apply some dish soap and wash, using a hot setting for the washer. You can also try the iron and paper towels before applying the dish soap.
Why Do Crayons Stain Clothing?
Understanding why crayons stain can only help in removing the stain effectively. Crayons are mainly made from waxes and color pigments. When a wax crayon comes into contact with fabric, it can leave an oil-based stain. Sometimes, if you try to remove pieces of the crayon stuck on the fabric, it can worsen the stain and make it larger.
However, a bad stain is only left if the crayon has melted onto the fabric.
This can only happen if the crayon is somehow overlooked and then placed in the dryer after it has been washed. Not only will the clothing be stained, but the dryer will also have crayon streaks and marks you will need to clean. For most clothing items you can clean yourself, however, those with “dry clean only” labels should be taken in for dry cleaning services to handle. So, always check the labels before you try anything yourself. Even if the fabric is okay to work with and you have chosen your removal method, we recommend that you test a small and inconspicuous area before trying to remove the crayon from the fabric.
How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes
There are quite a few techniques that can help you remove crayon stains from fabric. Some of them you can do before washing, while others are best done after washing. If the crayon has melted into the fabric, you need to follow a few more steps.
Let us begin with how to get melted crayon out of clothes.
How to Get Melted Crayon Out of Clothes
We are going to begin with the most challenging problem, where the crayon has melted and stained the fabric. This is what happens if the crayon is accidentally left in pockets and lands up in the dryer. You can get the stain out; however, it is a bit more difficult. Follow the actions below to help get rid of the melted crayon.
Hardening and Removing Excess Wax
First, you need to ice the wax. To do this, you can take a plastic bag filled with ice and place it over the stain. Wait for the wax to harden, which can take about 30 minutes. Now you can scrape as much of the excess solid wax off as you can, using a dull knife, or you could try using a credit card or something similar.
Do this carefully, as you do not want to push the crayon further into the fabric or damage the fabric by applying too much pressure.
Other Pre-Treatment Methods
If the ice method does not work, there are some other treatment ideas you can try. You can first try using dish soap, which you apply to the stain. Work the soap in with your finger or you can use a toothbrush. Allow this to sit for a few minutes and then run the piece of clothing under some warm water to remove the soap. You can also try using oil, WD40, or even mayonnaise as a pre-treatment.
Soaking and Washing the Fabric
Once the pre-treatment is done, you can then soak the fabric in some warm water that contains an oxygen-based bleach. Always follow the label instructions when using commercial products. Soak the fabric for about 30 minutes. You can then simply place it into the washer, add detergent, and place it through a hot wash cycle. You can also apply a stain remover before washing. The fabric or garment can then be hung up to dry.
If you want to put the garment in the dryer, make sure all the crayon has been removed. You might need to repeat the treatment, depending on how bad the stain is.
How to Remove Crayon from the Dryer
The dryer drum can also land with a few crayon marks as well. The dryer drum can be cleaned by first wiping it out with some paper towels. You can then take a Magic Eraser to wipe down the drum further. Finally, add a few clean rags to the dryer and run it through a cycle to remove any remaining marks. Also, check the washer for any crayon marks before using it again.
Besides using the Magic Eraser, you can simply turn on the dryer to its hottest setting and leave it for about 30 minutes. The heat will melt any crayon. Next, take a clean rag or you can use some dryer sheets to wipe down the inside of the drum. You can dampen the cloth with some vinegar as well before wiping out the dryer. You can test to see if all the crayon has been removed, by placing an old white wet towel in the dryer. Turn the dryer on high, and if the towel comes out clean, all the crayon has been removed.
How to Remove Crayon from Fabric With Dishwashing Liquid
The process is similar to the above, as you will first gently scrape off any crayon. Next, take some dishwashing liquid and smear a little onto the stain. Take a toothbrush and rub the dishwashing liquid in, without using any water. Allow this to stand for a few minutes and then take the garment and rub the area under some warm running water.
Once all the dish soap has been removed, you can then place the garment in the washer.
Add stain-fighting detergent and wash the item in a hot wash or as directed on the garment label. Preferably, hang the garment up to dry in the sun, as placing it in the dryer might cause more stains from the crayon you might have missed. The treatment might have to be repeated until the stain has been completely removed.
How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Baking Soda and Hot Water
Another method is to use a simple ingredient you already have and some hot water. Baking soda is a versatile baking ingredient that also has a few other uses. When using any method, it is best to start with removing any excess crayon.
If you are wondering how to get crayon out of clothes with baking soda, you can either use a bowl with hot water or place it in the washer and use a hot water setting.
To this, you can add normal laundry detergent for the washer or hand washing. To the wash, you can then add one cup of baking soda, which will act as an abrasive. If you are handwashing, remember to wear gloves to protect your hands. Gently scrub the fabric or garment, rinse thoroughly, and hang it up to dry.
Into the washing machine, you can also add oxygen-based bleach, if the fabric allows for this, to help in washing out the stain. Once the rinse and spin cycle is done, you can then air-dry the fabric. Check if there is still a stain and repeat the treatment if necessary.
How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Stain Remover
To help remove any excess crayon, there is another method you can try. This can be done before the garment has been washed. Make sure to shake any loose crayon bits off and scrape off what you can with a dull knife. Place the fabric face down onto some paper towels and then place more on top. Heat an iron to warm, not hot, and carefully iron over the paper towel and garment underneath.
You can change the paper towels until you can see that there is no more stain transferring over onto the paper towel.
Applying the Stain Remover
You can use any stain remover, some come in a stick form, while others can be sprayed or are in a gel form. A liquid stain-removing spray seems to get into the fabric a lot easier. Before applying the stain remover, make sure that it will not harm the fabric, and always follow the label instructions for use. Once applied, you can leave it to stand for a few minutes, again, refer to the product instructions for recommended times.
The fabric item can be washed, using a normal detergent or something that is for targeted stain removal, if suitable for the fabric.
Once done, hang the item up to air-dry. If any stains remain, you might have to repeat the treatment or try using another technique. If the fabric item is white and the stain remover does not work, you could try using bleach. You can rewash the fabric and add some normal bleach or rather oxygen-based bleach.
Just make sure that the bleach can be used on the fabric, otherwise, you might end up with more than just the crayon stain as the problem. You can also consider powdered bleach, which you can make into a paste that can be spread over the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, wipe clean then wash.
How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With WD-40
Wd-40 contains mineral oil and is a solvent that can help to loosen waxy residue from fabrics. However, if the fabric is polyester or nylon, it can also cause oil stains. So, if you do follow this technique, make sure the fabric you are working with is a natural fiber. The product also does not smell very nice, so the garment will need to be washed to remove the smell.
First test the WD-40 out on a piece of fabric to see that it will not cause any damage, and wear gloves when working. Other solvents that could also work include mineral spirits and turpentine.
Applying the WD-40
Take the garment and place some cardboard or a few paper towels underneath the stain. If you do use paper towels, make sure that they are the white ones, as any color pattern paper towel can also cause a stain. Spray the stained area with the WD-40. Turn the garment around and follow the same process on the other side of the fabric. Leave this to soak for about 15 minutes, which helps the product to lift the stain.
Washing the Garment
Next, you can apply a little dishwashing liquid and rub it in using your finger or a toothbrush. Leave this for another few minutes and then place it into the wash. Once the item has been washed, make sure to check that the stain has been removed before placing it in the dryer.
How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes With Vinegar
Like baking soda, vinegar also has many uses around the home and one of them is as a stain remover. Fill a large pot with water and wait for it to boil. Place the stained garment into the boiling water for about 15 minutes. The hot water should help get rid of the crayon wax from the fabric. Turn off the stove and let it soak for a few minutes. Take the garment and place it in the washer with half a cup of vinegar and a small amount of dish soap. Lastly, add your normal laundry detergent.
Let this soak for a few minutes and then run the washer. Again, it is best to air-dry once you are done with the washing.
Other Methods of Removing Crayon from Clothes
If you are more adventurous and would not mind trying a few other less-tested methods, then consider some of the following ideas. The ingredients are items mostly found around the house, so it should not cost you a lot to try them out.
Toothpaste seems to be one of those versatile products that is not only for keeping your teeth clean. It can also be used to remove stains, mostly by removing crayon marks on walls. The toothpaste also needs to be the non-gel type to be effective. However, you can also try applying the toothpaste to a fabric stain. Scrub gently, leave for a few minutes, and wipe away the toothpaste. Finally, rinse with warm water and wash as usual.
Lemon and Cream of Tartar
Blend the same amount of cream of tartar and lemon juice and apply to the stain. Scrub gently using a toothbrush and then leave for about 10 minutes. Rinse and wash as usual. The cream of tartar acts like a mild acid, which is why you should test this method out first to see if the fabric is colorfast.
The smell can be a little strong, but after scrubbing and standing for a few minutes, the stain should begin to dissolve.
If you have some shaving cream on hand, try applying some to the crayon stain. Let the shaving cream sit for a few minutes, then blot it away. You can then rinse and place it in the washing as usual. Just remember, the stain should be gone before placing it in the washing machine.
How to Remove Crayon from Leather
You might have some leather pants, or this will work just as well on leather shoes or couches. The first step is to, again, scrape off any excess crayon. Next, you will need to get some Fuller’s earth clay. Mix a little water with the clay to make a paste, which can then be applied to the crayon stain. Make sure it is thick and not watery, as a liquid can damage the leather further. The clay will help to absorb the oil-based wax.
Take a toothbrush and gently remove the dry paste and then apply some leather conditioner.
Additional Tips for Helping Remove Crayon from Fabric
You might have to try the stain-removing methods a few times before you see results. However, what if the stain is still there after all you have done? Maybe you have tried all the techniques that help remove crayon from fabric. If it is one of the children’s pieces of clothing and the stain just does not want to come out, consider using it as “play clothes”. You can use this clothing item to protect other clean clothes in the future.
If you do not want to do this, and you want to keep the clothing item, consider bringing in professionals. Go to your nearest dry cleaner to see if they can remove the crayon stain. If the fabric is delicate, you might want to not try and remove the stain, but take it to the dry cleaners, who know how to deal with various fabrics. The stain-removal process can sometimes seem slow and arduous, but it can be done. Next, have a look at a few basic tips on how to remove a crayon stain from fabric.
- If you do use WD-40 or any other solvent, make sure to work carefully and not to get any of the product on the rest of the garment.
- Once you are done with using a stain remover, whether natural or commercial, always rinse and wash the item. Especially with products like WD-40 that smell.
- When working with detergents or stain removers, always wear gloves to protect your skin and nails.
- If you are rinsing an item by hand, the water should be hot, but not boiling.
- When soaking stained fabric, it is best to let it sit for at least an hour.
- Some dyed fabrics will bleed when you soak them, so make sure to soak them alone.
- One of the more popular commercial stain removers is Oxi-Clean.
- Be aware of the type of fabric, cotton and synthetic fabrics like polyester might react differently to the stain removing methods.
- Always clean your washer and dryer to make sure there are no marks or crayons that can stain the next wash.
When you need to remove stains from clothing, there are a few options available to you. These include natural choices, such as vinegar and baking soda, that you can try first. In many cases, a bit of hot water, dishwashing liquid, and some elbow grease can get the job done. There are always commercial stain removers that you can add to the process for those more challenging stains. We hope these stain-removing methods and tips can help you fix your problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Remove Crayon from Any Fabric?
You can most probably remove a crayon stain more easily from washable fabrics yourself. However, more delicate items might need a professional dry clean service.
Are Crayon Stains Permanent?
It might seem that the stain has set in, but you may just need to try different methods or use the same method a few times before the stain comes out.
Can Goo Gone Remove Crayon Stains?
Goo Gone can remove many stains like crayons, but you need to test out a hidden part of the fabric first to see if it is safe to use. You should not use the product on materials like silk, leather, and suede.
Can Alcohol Remove Crayon Stains?
You can try using some rubbing alcohol to remove the crayon stain. Spray or apply some rubbing alcohol to a piece of cotton. Dab the crayon stain, which should begin to lift off the fabric. Alcohol can be used on most fabrics, however, it may damage more delicate materials like silk or wool.
In 2005, Charlene completed her Wellness Diplomas in Therapeutic Aromatherapy and Reflexology from the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. She worked for a company offering corporate wellness programs for a couple of years, before opening up her own therapy practice. It was in 2015 that a friend, who was a digital marketer, asked her to join her company as a content creator, and this is where she found her excitement for writing.
Since joining the content writing world, she has gained a lot of experience over the years writing on a diverse selection of topics, from beauty, health, wellness, travel, and more. Due to various circumstances, she had to close her therapy practice and is now a full-time freelance writer. Being a creative person, she could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Art in Context team, where is was in her element, writing about a variety of art and craft topics. Contributing articles for over three years now, her knowledge in this area has grown, and she has gotten to explore her creativity and improve her research and writing skills.
Charlene Lewis has been working for artincontext.org since the relaunch in 2020. She is an experienced writer and mainly focuses on the topics of color theory, painting and drawing.
Cite this Article
Charlene, Lewis, “How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes – Here’s Your Quick Fix!.” Art in Context. September 22, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/how-to-get-crayon-out-of-clothes/
Lewis, C. (2023, 22 September). How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes – Here’s Your Quick Fix!. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/how-to-get-crayon-out-of-clothes/