Crayon And Marker Stain Removal

So, how do you get crayon marks and/or markers off the wall, removed from clothing, and all other assorted items in and around the house?

Mothers, you can relate. You creep up the stairs because the silence coming from your supposedly sleeping toddler's room has alerted some sixth sense. The hairs on the nape of your neck prickle from impending doom as you reach the landing, then push back the door only to discover a wide-eyed two-year old poised with a crayon pressed to the wall; the masterpiece he's been marveling over, you can only stare at in stupified horror.

There are three questions that somehow filter into your stunned brain at that moment: "Why, God, why?" "Where did he find that crayon?" and "How in the world am I suppose to get that off of there?" Luckily for you, dear parent (or unfortunate grandparent and babysitter), there are those that have gone before and left us with information, despite not including it in the parent guidebook of Childhood Catastrophes 101.

Crayon Removal

So, how do you get crayon marks off the wall, removed from clothing, and all other assorted items in and around the house?

First off, pray that you have purchased the washable kind, so that clean up, in most cases, is simply a matter of using a dishwashing liquid and water. However, since the vast majority of people buy the good, old regular crayons, we'll be addressing clearing home interiors and exteriors of those particular markings.

For paneled walls and other wood surfaces as well as counter tops, metals, glass, plastic, and tile, all you need to do to banish any unwanted drawings is to grab a bottle of baby oil and a paper towel or dry cloth. Simply apply about a teaspoon of baby oil to a cloth and scrub away. If not completely successful on the first pass over, repeat until gone. When finished with the first step, clean the surface with soapy water and proceed by drying it off. The baby oil helps to soften and lift the waxed crayon and makes it easier to wipe away.

When considering eliminating crayon from painted or wallpapered walls, be sure to note what type of paint or paper you're working with. If the paint is semi-gloss or a gloss finish and the wallpaper is vinyl, then the same instructions apply as previously mentioned with the exception of being a tad more stingy with the baby oil. You may want to use another oily product such as WD-40 for a thinner coat. Once that is completed, make certain to rinse away all traces of oil and the dishwashing liquid-water combination. If the wall in question happens to have a flat paint finish or the wallpaper is sans vinyl coating for protection, then see the section below addressing unwashable items.



If your child happens to think it'd be neat to draw a pretty picture with crayons on the sidewalk outside your home instead of using chalk, gather together a bristle brush, a paint scraping tool or dull knife, the oil product of your choice, and a bucket of soapy water. Apply the oil and allow it to set for a few minutes, then use the paint scraper to lift the wax. Because concrete is a porous surface, it'll take a little more arm power to remove crayon marks. When done, wash with soapy water and rinse with a garden hose. This technique also applies to brick, pavement, and the odd terra cotta pot.

Now then, let's move on to fabrics. For those times when your child forgets that she has left a crayon or two in her jean pocket and it escaped only to melt onto other articles of clothing, skip the baby oil and go straight to using WD-40. Oil on fabrics? Yes, it may sound strange since oil tends to be in a category of necessary stain removal along with grease, but yes, oil.

The items you'll need to have on hand, other than WD-40 or similar car part lubricant, include paper towels, a kitchen knife, and dishwashing liquid. Scrape away all excess amounts of wax. Try to get as much of it as possible before you apply the oil. When ready, spray one side of the stained area and let stand, then spray the other side. Place a paper towel over the area to soak up the extra oil. After doing so, work in the dishwashing liquid-water combination and continue toweling occasionally until the crayon is removed. Immediately, put the formerly stained object into your washing machine using your normal laundry detergent and a color-safe bleach. Wash on hot to help rid the garment of any remaining wax. Don't be worried about it being a colored article, if so. If your item is colored instead of white, you don't need to do a full cycle. Ten to fifteen minutes should suffice, but remember that rinsing is important in keeping fabric from resoiling because soap leaves a residue all on its own.

For any unwashable surface or article in your home, there are products on the market to help. Energine and R2K are two that come highly recommended in the cleaning industry. Be certain to follow the directions provided with the products. If in doubt, consult a local cleaning specialist.

Marker Removal

If you're thinking you should pray for the markers you've bought to be washable, think again. "Washable markers" is a little misleading, if the fact that it requires a different approach to removing marker stains than mere soapy water is taken under consideration. Marker stains are removable, however, whether they're the washable kind or the regular version.

For scribbles on counter tops, tile, wooden surfaces, plastic, and metal, you'll need a liquid abrasive cleanser, rubbing alcohol, and water. Why so specific on which type of abrasive cleanser to use? Good question. A powder cleanser, while not harming some surfaces such as plastic, will indeed harm others like metal. Begin by working the cleanser into the stain and let it set in for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then check the stained area for hints of remaining marks. Repeat the process and rinse once again. If the area has a few stragglers left, use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe clean.

The process is similiar for any type of walls as well. Just as with crayons, though, you need to be certain what type of surface you're working with. When dealing with wallpaper, try to be careful with the amount of moisture you use. Over doing it could cause the paper's glue to lose its adhesive. Like with other surfaces, wash with liquid abrasive cleanser, rinse, check, do it again, check, and use rubbing alcohol on the rest.

Typically, for most stain removal jobs, cold water is your best friend. The difference between processes when dealing with washable markers versus regular markers on fabrics is hot and cold, in that order. Rinse the fabric, depending on which kind of marker has been used, under a water faucet until the water runs clear of color. Then, treat the fabric with rubbing alcohol, allow it to set, and wash with your normal laundry detergent.

We all know the big killer in the marker department is the permanent marker. There's a reason why. This type of marker was intended to withstand removal. While following the techniques above will, in all likelihood, clean most surfaces, ridding fabrics of permanent marker stains is not a guarantee. The best that can be hoped for is that you catch the stain fast, soak it in hot water overnight, and then wash per the usual.

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