Crayon on the walls: It's an unfortunate rite of parenting passage. But the cleanup needn't add to the punishment. For a cheap and effective way to remove those offending crayon marks, turn to common household items and watch them vanish before your eyes. In particular, let vinegar, that amazing all-purpose cleaner, do its trick. In addition to vinegar, review multiple ways to remove your little artist's handiwork.
If you are tempted to use alternative methods, such as WD-40 or a disposable cleaning eraser, to eliminate the crayon mark do so with extreme and gentle care. These items can potentially take the paint off the wall or ink off of wallpaper.
Equipment / Tools
- Small bowl
- Old toothbrush
- Soft cloths and rags
- White vinegar
- 1 tube non-gel toothpaste
- Baking soda
- Pencil eraser
How to Remove Crayon With Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the most effective ways to remove crayon from painted walls. The acetic acid in vinegar breaks down the wax and pigment components of the crayon marks. If it works on your surface, this chemical reaction can save a lot of scrubbing power. Vinegar is a useful "green" cleaner for many household chores. It is a perfect choice for this task because it is inexpensive, non-toxic, and safe for most surfaces.
If you're concerned about the smell of vinegar, don't worry: Once the vinegar dries, the smell disappears, and it leaves no lingering odor.
Test vinegar on a small area before applying it to the entire stain. Not all paints and finishes will react favorably to the treatment, and you might have better luck with one of the options explained below. As with any cleaner, avoid all contact with your eyes and prolonged contact with your skin.
Prepare the Vinegar
Pour a small amount of undiluted white vinegar into a bowl.
Scrub the Surface
Dip an old toothbrush in the undiluted white vinegar. Use the toothbrush to scrub away the stain. Start gently and add pressure while scrubbing if necessary to remove the crayon.
Rinse and Dry
Once you remove all the offending crayon, rinse and wipe the wall with a clean, damp cloth.
How to Remove Crayon With Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another popular non-toxic, household item that can remove crayon marks.
Smear the Toothpaste
Put about an inch of toothpaste on your finger. Smear the toothpaste onto the crayon mark.
Scrub the Crayon
Scrub the spot with an old toothbrush or a rag.
Rinse off the Toothpaste
Rinse the area with a soft, damp cloth. If you did not remove all the crayon, repeat the steps.
How to Remove Crayon With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can be effective as well.
Prepare the Baking Soda
Pour a bit of baking soda into a small bowl.
Dampen a Rag
Moisten a rag and dip some of it into the bowl of baking soda.
Scrub the Crayon
Use the rag to scrub the baking soda onto the crayon mark. The moist rag will help to create a thick paste of baking soda.
Rinse and Dry
Once the crayon mark is gone, use another clean, damp rag to rinse the area. Then dry the area with another rag.
Remove Crayon With Pencil Eraser
Sometimes the most obvious answer works: a pencil eraser. This trick may work best for small marks.
Be very gentle as you begin to erase the mark. You don't want to rub off the paint. Use an even lighter touch if removing crayon from wallpaper.
Wipe the Surface
Use a soft, slightly damp cloth to wipe away any eraser bits that are left behind after removing the crayon.
Turn to Your Kitchen or Bath
The solution to your crayon problem may also be right in your fridge or bathroom. Parents have used the following items to erase crayon marks from painted surfaces:
- Peanut butter
- Shaving cream
Try rubbing your "remover" of choice into the crayon and allow it to set for several minutes. Then just wipe it away with a damp cloth.
Some of these items have ingredients which may stain or discolor your wallpaper or wall. Test on a discreet area of the wall before using it directly on the crayon mark.