5 Simple Steps to Remove Crayon Stains

How to Remove Crayon Stains

The Spruce / Joules Garcia

If you just realized that an entire load of laundry has been ruined by a lone crayon left in the washing machine, you might be feeling a little hopeless. Crayon stains, which combine dye with a waxy oil stain, are notoriously difficult to remove, but it is possible. Start by pulling out the clothes that most need to be treated and identifying where the crayon left its mark.


Not just for squeaky doors, the best way to remove a crayon stain is with WD-40 (also effective at removing crayon from walls). Spray WD-40 on both sides of the crayon stain. Let the solution sit for three to five minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Be aware that this is a slick substance; use caution and try not to get anything on any other surfaces. Follow caution directions on the can for accidental skin contact and other minor emergencies. Test the solution on a hidden seam before applying to a large area of the clothing. If discoloration or damage occurs, you'll want to try a different method.

Dish Soap

Rub dish soap into the stained area with a clean cloth, changing sections of the cloth as the crayon stain begins to bleed away. Dish soap will begin to break down the stained area. Large chunks of crayon may begin to come away, or there may just be a light fading of the stained area until the stain no longer remains. Repeat until the crayon is removed. This step may need to be repeated a few times depending on how much crayon is on your laundry; be patient. It is worth the work, in the end, to get your laundry back in mint condition.

Stain Remover

Apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray to the crayon stain. Any of these types of stain removers will work well, but a liquid spray may have the best chance to soak into the stained part of your clothing. Let sit for three to five minutes to get through to the stain and begin to work its magic.

Repeat the steps above as many times as needed until you can no longer see any improvement. This is the time to work hard to get that stain out. You don't want to dry a stain that is mostly gone since the tiny bit that remains will be nearly impossible to get rid of. Take your time and repeat any steps that still seem to be working before you decide to give up.

Hot Water

Wash in the hottest water that the fabric can safely tolerate. Hot water is key to making sure any leftover pieces of the crayon stain are completely removed. Be sure to check the stained item when it comes out of the washing machine and before you add it to the dryer. Drying this stain will set it perhaps permanently. It's better to let the clothing air dry to be sure it is completely gone. Once you believe the crayon stain is completely gone, you can wash and dry clothes normally.

Be sure to check the interior of your dryer and washer drum for pieces of crayon. If that is the way crayon got on to your clothes, you are likely to have other loads that show up with crayon stains until the washer and dryer drums are cleaned out. It's also important to check pockets as you sort laundry, since a small piece of crayon can end up hidden in a pocket and somehow fall out, marking up entire loads of laundry.