How to Remove Crayon from Just About Anything

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Did your kids decide to turn the walls or furniture into a sketchbook? Don't worry—there are some tried-and-true methods for removing crayon!

I have small children, ages two to six, which means that I’ve seen my fair share of crayon scribbles. Because crayon is a wax, it can leave a nasty stain on anything that it comes into contact with. I have good news, though: It isn’t the end of the world.

Read on as I detail how to remove crayon without leaving a trace.

How to Remove Crayon from Walls

The Child Draws On The Wall With A Crayon. The Boy Is Engaged In Creativity At HomeJohnAlexandr/Getty Images

This might be the thing that scares parents the most! You can’t prevent every mess, but you can remove doodles from walls. There are several ways to remove crayon marks from walls effectively, but it’s important to do it as soon as the “artwork” happens.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a household cleaning staple and it does a great job of removing crayon marks. You’ll need to wet a rag with warm water, and then dip it in a bit of baking soda. Scrub the stained area for about 10 minutes, or until you see the crayon start to dissipate.

You might need to wring the rag out and use fresh water once or twice to get the full effect.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another effective tool for removing crayon marks from the walls. You’ll need to use the non-gel type of toothpaste, as gel toothpaste will stain the wall even worse. You’ll also need a traditional scrub brush, the cheapest kind you can get your hands on. Scrub the stain with warm water and toothpaste for 10 minutes, or until you see a difference.

How to Remove Crayon from Fabric Upholstery

Child's Drawings On Wall In Living RoomHeide Benser/Getty Images

If you have fabric upholstery, nothing is worse than finding crayon stains all over the cushions of your new sofa. You might think that you have to pay a professional to remove these stains, but that isn’t the case at all. There are several different ways to remove crayon from the couch, some of which you might be surprised by.

WD-40

WD-40 probably isn’t the first thing that you want to put on your couch cushions, but the stuff works great for removing crayon marks. First, use a butter knife to scrape off excess crayon until there is only the fabric stain left. Then apply a small amount of WD-40 to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.

I know you’re probably thinking that the WD-40 is going to stain your couch, but that isn’t the case. Use a small amount of dish soap to clean the remaining WD-40 from the cushion. If the stain is deeply rooted in the cushion, you might need to use a scrub brush or a carpet cleaning brush.

Dry Cleaning Solvent

If you don’t want to risk using WD-40 on your couch, don’t fret. You can also use a dry cleaning solvent. This solution is often sold in the laundry aisle of your grocery store and it will work to lift crayon stains as well. The trick here is that you don’t scrub the crayon; instead, slowly blot for about five minutes.

Don’t miss our full list of hints to help with kid messes—like chewing gum, permanent marker and stuck-on stickers.

How to Remove Crayon from Leather Upholstery

Vintage Retro Tan Leather Danish Chair And Tablejodiejohnson/Getty Images

Removing crayon scribbles from your leather upholstery doesn’t have to be difficult. Just keep in mind that certain types of cleaning solutions can potentially damage leather.

Lemon and Cream of Tartar

Using a mixture of lemon juice and cream of tartar is an effective way to remove crayon marks from leather. Simply mix an equal amount of lemon juice and cream of tartar in the same container, and then pour the paste on top of the stain.

Although the smell will be quite strong, after about 10 minutes, the stain should start to dissolve. This method will also require a scrub brush of some sort, and it can take a good bit of gentle scrubbing to remove the stain completely.

Find more fresh ways to clean with lemon.

How to Remove Crayon from Other Fabrics

Removing crayon stains from fabric is a nerve-racking process. When my son got crayon stains all over his school uniform, I didn’t think we could salvage it! Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to remove crayon from fabric if you move swiftly. If the crayon stain is thick, use a dull knife to scrape the top part of the residue off.

Dish Soap

Liquid dish soap is magnificent for removing tough stains, and it works quite well on crayons. Work the dish soap into the affected area, in a slow, circular motion. Allow at least 10 minutes for the dish soap to penetrate the stain. Then, once the dish soap has done its work, wash the garment on the “heavy soil” setting with warm or hot water.

See what other stain removers work wonders on fabric.

How to Remove Crayon from Tables and Chairs

Baby's Hand Drawing On The White Paper With Colorful Crayonspong_chan/Getty Images

Did your Picasso decide to turn your kitchen table into an easel? The most traditional type of kitchen table is going to be wood, and wood can be tough to clean because you don’t want to accidentally strip the finish off. This means that a natural solution is always a better choice, and wine vinegar works exceptionally well.

Wine Vinegar

Pour a fair amount of wine vinegar on top of the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes, after which you’ll blot the stain with a rag. The wax should begin to dissolve, at which point you can use a scrub brush to finish the job. If you have a table with a rough or distressed surface, plan for extra scrubbing.

Toothpaste also works on wooden surfaces. Scrub the crayon with warm water and toothpaste to remove it from tables or chairs.

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Cameron Eittreim
Freelance writer and yoga instructor. I have been writing online since 2006, and my experience includes vintage video gaming, yoga, and automotive. My work can be seen at Motor Junkie, Auto Wise, and Medium. My latest project has been MyRetroGamer.com, which is the premier source for vintage video game content.