Cleaning Crayon Stains - Crayon Out Of Laundry

by Nicole Gile
(Castle Rock, CO)

How do you go about cleaning crayon stains in your laundry? That is what Nicole asked me in the Household Management 101's Ask A Question Section.

Nicole's Question About Getting Crayon Out Of Laundry

I washed a crayon in my son's pants, and it stained a few of his things. How do I get it out?

Taylor's Answer:

Nicole, I feel for you. It is so easy to accidentally leave something in a pocket when you are throwing stuff in the wash.

That is why I recommend you make it a habit to check pockets while you are sorting laundry.

But I know things can slip through the cracks. I find stuff in the wash more often than I would like that shouldn't be there, from coins to tissues.

Because you said that the crayon stains got on the laundry because of washing, I am assuming that the clothes are stained but there are not big chunks of crayon still stuck to them.

However, if there are big chunks of crayon still on the garments you should harden the crayon wax with ice and remove as much as possible by scraping it off with a dull knife.

Once what you have left on the clothes is basically ground in crayon into the fabric you start the next step.

To get out the crayon stain launder the clothes in the hottest water that is safe for that fabric, using laundry soap and a cup of baking soda.

Before you wash, however, remember to wipe
out your washing machine since you probably have some crayon marks inside it from the crayon in your son's pocket.

You definitely don't want to get additional crayon stains on the clothes you're trying to clean.

After washing once, but BEFORE drying the clothes, check to see if any additional crayon stains remain.

Note -- do not dry any of the clothes in the dryer until you completely remove the crayon stain, or you will set the stain, making it difficult to impossible to remove.

If a colored stain remains you should wash again using chlorine bleach, if it is safe for that fabric.

If chlorine bleach is not a safe choice for the clothes, in the alternative you can use color bleach (also known as oxygen bleach) or an enzyme pretreater, again using the hottest water that is safe for that clothing being rewashed.

If you are unsure what laundry products you can use on various clothing items, or how hot you can get the water, check out my article on laundry symbols and this video on decoding care tags on your clothing.

I hope this helps you know how to remove melted crayon from laundry.

For everyone -- I know this is a common problem with kids and laundry. What has worked for you? What hasn't?

Any tips on how to keep stuff like this out of your washing machine, like how you trained your kids to take all the stuff out of their pockets before they put their clothes in the hamper?

Photo by John-Morgan

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