Crayons are one of the best tools for nurturing a child’s creativity. They are inexpensive and can write on a variety of surfaces; and therein lies the problem. What can you do when the crayon strays from the approved paper and mars your table, walls, upholstery, or clothing? The method of stain removal depends upon the stained surface. These tips are for regular wax crayons. A detailed stain removal guide is available at Crayola.com for help with any Crayola product, including markers and gel products.
First, let’s tackle hard surfaces. For concrete and brick, Crayola suggests spraying with WD-40 and scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. For painted walls, plastic, washable wallpaper and blackboards, spray with WD-40 and wipe with a soft cloth. If stain remains, use a little liquid dish detergent and warm water, then wipe again with a soft cloth. For glass, carefully scrape off any residue you can, then use glass cleaner as you normally would for glass surfaces.
Unfortunately, children sometimes decide to decorate their clothing or your upholstery. For fresh stains (not heat-set) Crayola recommends first scraping off excess crayon with a dull knife or metal spoon. Spray crayon with WD-40 and let stand a few minutes, scrub with a small, stiff brush (like a toothbrush) and wipe with paper towels. Next work in more WD-40 with some liquid dish detergent and wipe with a damp sponge. Repeat if necessary. For clothing, place stained surface down on layers of paper towels, spray with WD-40, let stand a few minutes, then spray WD-40 on other side. Work liquid dish detergent into stain and use fresh paper towels to absorb stain. Wash in hot water with laundry detergent and color-safe bleach on heavily soiled setting.
The most daunting of all stains is the heat-set crayon stain, usually caused by accidentally running a crayon through the dryer. Yikes! Treat the fabrics using the same procedure as for fresh stains. Also, you must make sure all crayon is removed from the drum of your clothes dryer. Do this by spraying a soft cloth with WD-40 and wiping the drum thoroughly. Next, clean off the WD-40 with liquid dish detergent and water. Finally, run a load of rags through a drying cycle and inspect them to make sure there is no crayon left in the dryer.
Keep a few basics on hand and you will be ready for stains. Remember to get some WD-40 for your cleaning closet as well as for your toolbox. Some still bristle brushes in various sizes, soft cloths, dish detergent, and color-safe bleach are the other essentials. Crayola also recommends Amodex ink stain remover for fabrics. From my experience cleaning wedding gowns, I can vouch for the effectiveness of ink remover on many stubborn stains. As always, test products in an inconspicuous spot to be sure you won’t further harm the stained surface.
Source: “Crayola Stain Removal Suggestions,” http://www.crayola.com/canwehelp/staintips/guide.cfm