Kids will be kids, and that means there’s always a chance of getting crayon marks on their clothes. Crayon stains are notorious for being tough to remove, but fear not! With the right techniques, you can easily tackle this colorful challenge. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through effective methods using both household remedies and commercial products.
Crayon Stains 101
If you have kids or work with little ones, you’re probably familiar with the frustration of dealing with crayon stains. Whether you accidentally left crayons in your pocket during laundry or your little Picasso created a masterpiece on their clothes, here are some tried-and-true ways to remove crayon stains from clothes.
I’m here to share tips to save your clothing (or your kids’ clothes) from similar mishaps!
Why Crayons Stain
Crayons leave oil-based stains on clothing, and while they usually don’t cause major stains, melted crayons can be a different story. Common mishaps occur when crayons are forgotten in pockets, leading to colorful surprises in the washing machine.
Opening the dryer to find a melted crayon mess inside is a scenario we all want to avoid. To prevent this, never toss crayon-stained clothes in the dryer before addressing the stain, as melted crayons can create a new set of problems.
Before Dealing with Crayon-Stained Clothing
Begin by identifying the material you’re working with. If the clothing has a ‘dry clean only’ label, consider taking it to a professional cleaner.
However, if you’re confident in your stain-removing skills, there are various methods to try. Regardless of your chosen approach, always perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area.
First Things First: Ice the Stain
- Ice the Stain: If dealing with melted crayon, start by icing it. Place a baggie filled with ice on the stain. Once the crayon stain has hardened, proceed to step 2.
- Scrape the Wax Off: Gently scrape off the crayon using a dull knife or the edge of a credit card. Once you’ve removed the excess crayon, gather your cleaning supplies.
If That Didn’t Work…
If the excess wax couldn’t be removed with ice, try one of the two pretreatment methods:
Dish Soap Method
- Apply liquid dish soap to the affected area.
- Rub the soap in using your fingers or a clean toothbrush.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse the garment under warm water.
- Add detergent and wash on a heavy soil setting.
- Hang your items to dry and repeat if necessary. Do not use the dryer until the stain is completely removed.
- Place paper towel or cardboard under the stained area to protect the rest of the clothing.
- Use WD-40, butter, cooking oil, or mayo as a pretreatment.
- Spray or dab the substance on the stain using a clean white cloth to avoid color transfer.
- Leave the oil to soak for 15 minutes to lift the stain.
- Apply liquid dishwashing detergent, work it into the stain, and let it sit for another 15 minutes.
- Check if the stain has lifted before tossing your clothes in the wash. Avoid the dryer until the stain is completely gone.
Other Methods/Tips to Try for Removing Crayon Stains
When tossing your stained clothes into the washing machine, opt for the heavy soil setting and use the hottest water available.
For added precaution, air dry the clothing in case there are any residual stains you might have missed.
Vinegar is a versatile cleaning product, and it’s handy for crayon stain removal. Here’s how to use it:
- Boil a pot of water large enough for your clothes.
- Soak the stained clothing in the hot water for 15 minutes to ensure the hottest water possible, helping lift the crayon from the fabric.
- After soaking, transfer the clothes to the washing machine with 1/2 cup of vinegar and a few tablespoons of dish soap (use sparingly to avoid excessive suds).
- Add your regular laundry detergent and let the clothes soak in the vinegar and soap for another 15 minutes.
- Run the washer and hope for the best! Depending on the severity of the crayon stains, you may need to do two washing cycles.
Baking Soda Method
For those looking to use common household items, baking soda is worth a try. When rewashing the clothes, use hot water, your regular detergent, and add a cup of baking soda.
If your damaged clothing is white and stain remover/dish soap didn’t work, consider using bleach.
Rewash the fabric with either chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach, but be sure to check that your clothes can handle bleach before proceeding.