crayon on white shirt

How to Get Crayon Out of Fabric

Crayons and a good colouring book can keep kids entertained for hours… or so you think!

The colouring activity seems to work out okay until your mini Picasso and Van Gough decide that the colouring books (that they took an age to choose in Tesco) are no longer that interesting, and they’ve chosen new canvasses to draw on.

Of course, the new canvasses in question aren’t pieces of paper or envelopes the post person threw in. They’ve got to be patches of fabric (normally delicate and expensive ones, too), either the sofa, a t-shirt, or both! And so, the nightmare begins…

Or so you might believe. What if I told you that getting rid of crayon form fabric isn’t as complicated as it first looks, as long as you have the right tools and time, obviously?

Follow the steps below to remove crayon from fabric.


Tips to Remember

black crayon stain on white fabric

Consider the points below as you clean crayon off your fabric items:

  • Test your chosen cleaning method before you use it on your clothes and upholstery.
  • Act as quickly as you can!
  • Don’t dry your crayon-stained item until you’ve removed all the crayon from it. Keep the items away from heat sources like tumble dryers, irons, the sun, and heaters.
  • Be patient! Crayon isn’t the easiest type of stain to remove from fabric, so take your time. And don’t panic if you have to repeat some treatments more than once.
  • It’s absolutely fine to ask a professional for help! Especially if you’re trying to treat very old pieces of clothing, delicate items, and furniture.
  • A tip for the future… When putting laundry in the washing machine, check all the pockets for rouge crayons – you don’t want melted crayon all over your pile of washing!
  • If you accidentally wash and melt a crayon(s) in a washing machine, clean the washer before using it again. There’ll be little crayon remains in the machine, and you don’t want them landing on and staining other items.


How to Remove Crayon from Clothes

remove crayon stain with liquid detergent

Option 1: Liquid detergent

Steps to follow:

  1. Lay some kitchen towels on a flat surface and pop your crayon-stained item on top.
  2. When the item of clothing is on the flat surface, grab a plastic spatula or plastic teaspoon, and scrape the excess crayon off the garment.
  3. Repeat Step 2 until you remove all the crayon.
  4. Check the item’s care label – you need to know how to wash the item!
  5. Pre-treat the stain with a liquid washing detergent like Ariel Original – pour the liquid directly onto the stain.
  6. Wait a few minutes for the detergent to get to work.
  7. Pop your crayon-stained item in the washing machine with the detergent still on it (if the garment cannot be machine washed, hand wash the item instead).
  8. Select the right water temperature and cycle.
  9. Add a dose of liquid laundry detergent to the washer.
  10. Start the wash.
  11. When you’ve cleaned the item, inspect it.
  12. If there are still stains, repeat the steps above. If the garment is free from stains, you can dry it.

If hand-washing, follow Steps 1 to 6 above. Then fill a basin with water, add a dose of detergent to it, and agitate the item in the soapy water to clean it by hand.

To end the cleaning process, rinse the item under the cold water tap to remove the soapy residue from it.

As mentioned above, check the garment before you dry it because you’ll need to re-treat it if there are still stains present.


Option 2: Washing-up liquid

remove crayon stain with washing up liquid

Washing-up liquid can handle some of the toughest, greasiest stains about, so why not remove your crayon blemishes with it?

All you need to do is:

  1. Scrape as much crayon off the item of clothing as you can.
  2. Soak a neutral-coloured microfibre cloth in some lukewarm water.
  3. Pop a blob of washing-up liquid onto the damp cloth.
  4. Rub the damp soapy cloth into the stain in circular motions.
  5. Work the soap into the stain.
  6. Wait about 10 minutes.
  7. Launder your item as usual – take note of the washing instructions on the garment’s care label.
  8. Check the item over when it’s been washed. And repeat this treatment if there is still crayon on the item. If not, dry the garment.


Option 3: Warm water and bicarbonate of soda

remove crayon stain with bicarbonate of soda

Steps to follow:

  1. Remove as much crayon as you can by scraping it off with a plastic tool.
  2. Wash your item of clothing in the hottest water permitted for the fabric.
  3. Add a regular dose of detergent to the washer.
  4. Select an appropriate cycle.
  5. Add a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the washer – bicarb’s abrasive nature will get to work on the stain and remove those pesky dyes.
  6. Run the wash.
  7. Check the item at the end of the wash to see if there are still crayon stains on the garment. If there are blemishes, repeat this treatment or try another option from this list.


Option 4: WD-40


Who would’ve thought that WD-40 could conquer a crayon stain? It may not be the most conventional treatment, but it does work!

There are, however, a few things you need to be aware of, though. And these include WD-40 doesn’t smell too nice and may stain certain fabrics – so test it out first!

Follow the steps below to use WD-40 to remove crayon stains from clothes:

  1. Scrape off the excess crayon using a teaspoon or plastic spatula.
  2. Slot a piece of kitchen towel between the front and back of your item so the liquid doesn’t run through.
  3. Spray the front of the stain with the solution.
  4. Turn the garment inside out and spray the back of the stain.
  5. Wait about five minutes.
  6. Scrape any loose crayon from the material using the tool from Step 1.
  7. Rinse the item clean under the tap.
  8. Wash the item as usual, using a normal amount of detergent.
  9. After the wash, check the item of clothing over. If there are still stains present, repeat the steps above. If there aren’t any stains, dry the item.


Option 5: Specialised stain remover

specialised stain removers

If you plan on buying an off-the-shelf stain remover, you must make sure that you purchase a product that is suitable for the material you’re going to clean.

In addition, you must also test the chosen cleaning solution out before you use it on your garment.

To use a stain remover, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a suitable stain remover – like Vanish Oxi Action powder or The Original KiSS-OFF stick.
  2. Tease the chunks of crayon off the fabric using a plastic teaspoon or spatula.
  3. Read the instructions on the solution’s packaging.
  4. Test the cleaner out.
  5. Apply the stain remover to the crayon marks as per the instructions on the packaging.
  6. Wait for the amount of time stipulated.
  7. Wash the item as instructed.
  8. Repeat the treatment if need be, or dry your garment.


How to Remove Melted Crayon from Clothes

melted crayons

 Steps to follow:

  1. Pop an ice pack on the crayon mess to harden it.
  2. Leave the ice on the crayon for around 30 minutes.
  3. Scrape off excess crayon using a dull instrument – a tool that won’t damage the fabric.
  4. If allowed (see care tag), soak the item of clothing in a bowl of oxygen-based bleach and water.
  5. Wait 30 minutes.
  6. Wash the item on the hottest setting allowed for the fabric in the washer, and add a regular dose of detergent!
  7. When the washer finishes the cleaning cycle, inspect the item. If the item is clean, you can dry it. If there are still stains present, re-treat the item.


How to Remove Crayon from Upholstery

crayon on upholstery

If someone’s drawn all over your sofa, don’t fret too much. You can save your couch, but you’ve got to act quickly.

To clean crayon-smeared upholstery, follow these steps:

  1. Remove as much crayon as you can from the fabric using a blunt tool, like a teaspoon.
  2. Soak a neutral-coloured microfibre cloth in lukewarm water.
  3. Press the damp cloth onto the stained patch – don’t oversaturate the area!
  4. Pop a blob of washing-up liquid onto the damp cloth – you can also use liquid laundry detergent.
  5. Press the cloth onto the stained area.
  6. Gently brush the soap into the upholstery using a very soft toothbrush.
  7. Take your time.
  8. Grab a second damp neutral-coloured microfibre cloth, and use it to rinse the soap from the area.
  9. Repeat Step 8 until you’ve removed all the soap from the upholstery – remember to soak and rinse the cloth regularly throughout the process to remove the dirt from it.
  10. Check the stain.
  11. If the stain is still on the upholstery, repeat this treatment.
  12. Dry your upholstery naturally. To speed up the drying process, open the windows and point a fan at the damp area.


Are Crayon Stains Permanent?

crayons on white shirt

Crayon stains can be removed from most surfaces and are generally not permanent if you treat them effectively.

For example, if you treat a crayon stain quickly and with the right kind of tools, you stand a very good chance of removing the entire stain.

However, if you accidentally melt a crayon onto a piece of fabric, a lot of crayon has stained an area, or the crayon blemish is very old, you may have trouble eradicating the whole stain.

In these examples, you might be left with some faint crayon stains. But these tend to be the worst case scenarios.