How To Remove Crayon Stains


All kids hit that phase that turns them into little Picasso; their tiny hands get busy with watercolors and crayons.  As a parent, you're going to have to brace yourself to go through this creative roller coaster with the kids; but that first crayon family portrait makes all the smudges worth it. Crayon stains are pretty standard, so don't freak out. Whether it's a bit of crayon staining on your toddler's clothing or a melted after-wash mess, you can always clean it out. Besides, having children channel their energy to constructive outlets is healthy, and we're here for it, even if it means someone has to do the dirty work- it's a small price to pay.


What are Crayon Components?

How To Remove Crayon Stains


Understanding what crayons are made from is the first step to navigating the stain removal process. These colorful little monsters are a mixture of paraffin wax and color pigments; the latter explains the different shades of crayons. The pigmented wax is what's poured into crayon molds and packed for sale. A regular wash cannot clean out the pasty nature of the resin. One, therefore, has to dissolve the stains to loosen up the crayon particles; turpentine and mineral spirits are a good start.


What you'll need to get started

How To Remove Crayon Stains


How you clean out crayon stains varies depending on the nature of the stain; is it dry, melted, or fresh? We've listed the basic supplies you'll need at hand to get started on removing that crayon stain.
  • A pair of gloves

  • Bowl or bucket

  • Ice cubes

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Credit card or dull knife

  • Hot water 

  • Plastic bag

  • Manufactured stain removers


Tackling Melted and Dried Crayon Stains on Your Clothes

We've all had moments we didn't notice we had a stain on our clothes until it was out of the dryer, don't worry, it happens to the best of us. Half of the time, crayons melt into clothes after a spin in the dryer or hot outdoor temperatures that cause the crayon smudge to break down into a slimy mess. However, don't fret; you can clean the stain out with a couple of household supplies and five easy steps.
Begin by chilling the stain with an ice pack- attempting to clean up a semi-solid crayon stain will only blot the color into the clothes. When the wax hardens, gently scrape off the crayon with your fingernail or a credit card. Proceed to apply a thin layer of dish washing soap to the front and back of the stain and let them sit for 30 minutes. In a clean bucket, mix a dollop of liquid dish soap and three cups of water and toss in your garments for about an hour before machine washing with regular detergent on a heavy soil setting.
You can use some bleach before rinsing and maybe hold off on the dryer. Using a dryer will set the stain in the garment, making it hard rid of it. Consider line-drying your clothes instead; this way, you can always repeat the process if you notice a dry, stubborn stain.


Cleaning Out Fresh Crayon Stains from Fabrics

Washing out crayon stains before they set is always the way to go. Start by scraping excess crayon particles off the fabric with a blunt knife; you'd want to do this with a light hand, so you don't push the stain deeper into the cloth. Next, apply a thick paste of baking soda or an abrasive stain remover with a pair of gloves on and the aid of a soft brush (an old toothbrush would do too). Let the stain soak up for a few minutes or refer to the manufacturer's instructions for accuracy and then rub the fabric together like you would when hand washing. Rinse off the product with warm water, and voila!


Bottom Line

Crayon stains can be challenging; however, they are not at all impossible to maneuver. With a bit of research and persistence, you can work any crayon mess out of your garment fabric. However, it is best to read through your care label instructions because what worked on that cotton t-shirt may not work on your suede jacket.
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