Whether you live in a household where crayons are ubiquitous or you’re fond of adult coloring books, it’s no secret that those little sticks of color can wreak havoc on your wardrobe. Made from a combination of paraffin wax and color pigment, crayons can be melted for a number of popular DIY applications. But when it comes to clothing, these coloring tools can, unfortunately, stain fabrics. While getting crayon out of clothes may seem daunting, that new mark on your favorite pair of jeans is (thankfully) easy to fix.
To restore your clothing, read on for a few essential tips on how to remove crayon marks.
As with many cleaning projects, it helps to act quickly. Once you notice the crayon mark, it’s a good idea to thoroughly check to see if anything else is damaged. One of the most common ways for crayons to stain clothing is in the wash, so you may find yourself faced with a batch of color-afflicted clothes. If this is the case, you can also use a magic eraser to remove crayon stains within the washing machine itself, guarding future loads of laundry against similar damage.
Clean the Fabric
Removing crayon from fabric requires a bit more than your typical laundering materials. In addition to a normal amount of laundry detergent, add five tablespoons of dish soap and a half cup of white vinegar to the load. Allow your clothing to soak in the washing machine for about 15 minutes before starting the wash cycle.
Since crayons are largely comprised of wax, heating the fabric is important. According to Crayola, crayons melt at a temperature of about 104°F. The hot water in a washing machine is typically around 130°F, which is hot enough to soften and melt the crayon. However, the cleaning process can be made even more effective by adding a pot of boiling water as the machine begins to fill with water.
For Serious Stains
If the above steps don’t succeed in getting crayon out of your clothes, there’s another method you can try. Lie the garment out on a paper towel, then spray the crayon stain with WD-40 and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. Flip the garment over, then repeat spraying and soaking the stain from the opposite side. After the solvent has broken down the crayon (you should see the stain begin to transfer to the paper towel), finish by laundering the garment as usual.
For Delicate Items
Knowing how to get crayon out of clothes can work wonders for restoring a number of your favorite items, but others may have to be outsourced to a professional cleaner. These include items that are “dry-clean only”, can’t be laundered in hot water, especially delicate, or highly textured. When in doubt, always check the care label.
Up next, see how to get mud out of clothing in six steps.