How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes

Crayons often become set-in stains after a trip through the dryer, and one should know how to get crayon out of clothes using recommended removal techniques. This guarantees the least amount of damage to the fabric. There have been cases of non-recommended techniques, such as using turpentine, that cause lasting damage to the fabric.

Get Crayon Out of Clothes

The sooner you take stain removal steps to remove crayon stains, the easier the stains are to remove. The longer you wait, the more difficult the stain will be to remove. Washing and drying of crayons often results in stains set-in by the heat. While these stains are more problematic, they can be removed with a bit of patience. 

Removing Crayon Stains from Clothes with WD-40

WD-40 is an aerosol lubricant commonly found at hardware stores. Generally used for loosing rusted parts and lubrication, WD-40 contains solvents which are effective at removing many wax-based substances, including crayon wax. Crayola, a crayon manufacture, recommends the use of WD-40 for removal of crayon stains. After the wax is removed, the remaining color stain must be removed using ordinary stain-removal products. This method is recommended for individual pieces of clothing. 

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Blunt knife
  • Paper towels
  • WD-40
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Laundry detergent
  • Color-safe or chlorine bleach

Before you can safely remove the stain, you must first remove any excess crayon. If there is a large melted area of crayon, place the clothing in the freezer for fifteen minutes to harden it. Once hardened, you can simply scrape it off using a blunt knife. You can then remove the crayon stain from the clothing. 

  1. Fold paper towels to create a thick pad. Place on the underneath the stained area. 
  2. Spray WD-40 carefully onto the stain. Avoid spraying it on the areas of the fabric not stained. 
  3. Allow to stand for five minutes.
  4. Turn the fabric over so that you are looking at the back of the stain. Make sure the paper towels are underneath the stained area. They absorb the excess WD-40 and prevent it from leaking onto the surface below.
  5. Spray the stained area. Allow to penetrate the stain for another five minutes.
  6. Apply undiluted mild dishwashing liquid to the backside of the stain. Use your fingers to gently work it into the stain. This process helps to remove the WD-40, which takes the wax with it. The detergent will also begin to remove the color stain. 
  7. Blot the area with paper towels to absorb the stain. Continue to apply the dishwashing liquid and blot the stain with fresh paper towels until no more color removes from the fabric. Be sure to readjust the bottom paper towels regularly as they become stained. 
  8. Wash the garment in hot water using laundry detergent and color-safe bleach. If the fabric is white and bleach-safe, you may use the recommended dosage of chlorine bleach. Rinse using warm water. 

Do not place the item into the dryer without first inspecting it to ensure the stain is completely removed. The heat from the dryer will set the crayon stain and make it harder to remove.

Removing Heat-Set Crayon Stains from Clothes

When a crayon inadvertently goes through the washer and dryer it often ends up on the entire load of clothing. The good news is that the wax is minimal in the fabric. The bad news is the crayon stain has become set-in. 

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Ivory dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Color-safe bleach or chlorine bleach

Begin by thoroughly inspecting each piece of clothing. You may find that only certain pieces are stained. Depending on the heat setting of the dryer, you may even find pieces of the crayon melted into the stain. If you do find melted pieces of crayon in the clothing, set that clothing aside and treat using the WD-40 method. For clothes simply stained by the color dye, you can use ordinary household products to remove the stains.

Working in small loads, fill a washing machine with hot water for a small load. Add a generous amount of Ivory dishwashing liquid and 1/2 cup baking soda. Add the stained clothes, agitate for a minute, and then soak for 10 minutes. Check the clothing. If the stain remains, create a paste of baking soda and Ivory. Work the paste into each stain. Return the stained items to the washer and allow to wash through on a short cycle. If any stains remain, check the labels to ensure the safe usage of bleach. Separate colors from whites, as each type of clothing will need to be bleached separately. Wash the clothing in hot water using laundry detergent and the appropriate bleach. Colors require the use of color-safe bleach, while chlorine bleach may be used on most whites. This process should safely remove most crayon stains

The success of removing crayon stains from clothes depends on what type of crayon generated the stain. Just as various brands of crayons provide different coloring texture on paper, they also react differently to cleaning methods. Severe crayon stains that do not remove through these methods may need to be taken to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.