Here’s a question I bet you never thought you would ask, “how to get crayon out of clothes?” If you spend enough time around young people, a crayon stain will happen at some point. My biggest mistake was assuming that throwing a crayon stained garment in the wash would be all that was required to remove the stain. Wrong! I’ll show you my mistakes and, most importantly, how to get crayon out of clothes. 

How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes

To remove crayon from clothing, follow this foolproof method at the first sign of a crayon stain. 

  1. Cool the stain down with an ice pack, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. 
  2. Once the wax from the crayon stain has hardened, use a butter knife to gently scrape off any excess crayon. 
  3. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of water and a few drops of dish soap to create a paste. 
  4. Place the paste on the stained garment and rub it in with your fingers for about a minute. 
  5. Put the clothing through a regular wash cycle. 
  6. At the end of the wash cycle, check for the stain; if it has not been removed, start the process again.

Are Crayon Stains Permanent? 

Whether it’s a blue crayon or a red one that got your favorite pair of white jeans, you have a really good chance of getting the stain out. Crayon stains are tough to remove because they have a combination of wax and dye. This means you have to fight off oil and coloration. 

Your best defense against crayon stains is to act quickly and avoid putting your crayon-stained clothing through the dryer. If you have tried my methods without any luck, you may need to bring the shirt to a dry cleaner to see what additional methods they may have. 

Does Melted Crayon Come Out of Clothes? 

Melted crayon stains can come out of clothing, but it is a more involved process. To remove melted crayon, you will have to harden the crayon residue, break it off into pieces and then remove crayon stains so the dye does not remain on your clothing. 

A combination of liquid dish soap, baking soda, and a solid machine wash should do the trick. Take a look at my favorite methods below. 

Methods for Getting Crayon Out of Clothes 

I’ll warn you that if you throw your crayon stained garment into a load of wash, your entire load may end up with a little orange crayon, yellow crayon, or the ever-popular black crayon! Crayon marks can spread in the wash, and crayon wax certainly fits into the category of “tough stains.” Here are my favorite methods. 

Dealing With Melted Crayon Stains 

Melted crayons have set in, and their dye has transferred to your clothing. You see this a lot in school clothes. 

You Will Need: Ice Pack, Butter Knife, Dawn Dish Soap, Toothbrush

  1. Place an ice pack on the crayon stained clothes. 
  2. Use the butter knife to remove any of the solid crayon that is left in place. 
  3. Place a little warm water and liquid dish soap directly on the stain, and rub it with a toothbrush. 
  4. Continue by washing clothes on a regular cycle, and repeat the process again if the stain is not removed. 

Dealing with Old or Dried Crayon Stains

Removing crayon stains is easier when fresh, but we don’t always have this opportunity. If you have already sent your kid’s clothes through the washer and dryer and you find clothes covered in crayon, follow these steps. 

You Will Need: Ice Pack, Dull Knife, Oxygenated Cleaning Materials like OxiClean, Bowl 

  1. Place an ice pack on the crayon wax that is leftover on the clothing. 
  2. Use a dull knife and a few paper towels to remove as much of the crayon as you can. 
  3. Soak clothes in a bowl with warm water and OxiClean
  4. Remove the garment from the cleaning solution and add laundry detergent or apply a dish soap directly to the stain.
  5. Scrub the stain with your fingers or an old toothbrush.
  6. Wash with like colored clothes, air dry, and check for stains. (Repeat if necessary). 

Will crayons come out of clothes after drying?

Drying crayon stained clothing without removing as much crayon as you can will set the crayon deeper into the clothing. It’s best to remove crayon stains before the dryer, but if you are diligent about the stain removal process, you still have a chance to get the remaining crayon out. 

My mistake was that I didn’t first remove as much of the crayon as possible, and it transferred to the washing machine, dryer, and other clothing in that wash. 

Dealing With Fresh Crayon Stains 

I find fresh crayon stains the easiest to deal with. Of course, getting to the stained area and having the time to clean it immediately may be the most difficult part of this process. The good news is if you find a fresh crayon stain, you won’t have to worry so much about the whole load of laundry in your washing machine being crayon stained!

Can you iron crayon out of clothes?

I have found that ice works a bit better than the iron as a stain remover, but you can use an iron and paper towel to release some of the crayon stain on clothing. 

  1. First, remove as much crayon as possible with a dull knife. 
  2. Place paper towels on top of the stain. 
  3. On a low setting, to avoid damaging the clothing, place the iron on top of the paper towel and let it sit for a few seconds. 
  4. When you pull up the paper towel, some crayon should have been transferred. 
  5. Switch to new clean paper towels and repeat the process. 
  6. Pre-treat the stain with Dawn soap and wash; before putting it in the dryer, check for the remaining stain and repeat the process if necessary. 

Boiling Water and Dish Soap

I treat a lot of stains with cold water. However, with fresh crayons, I have had luck with boiling or hot water. 

  1. Remove the clothing and place it in a clean sink. 
  2. Run the sink for a few minutes until it produces the hottest water. 
  3. Let the warm water run on the solid crayon stain. 
  4. Use a little Dawn dish soap and rub it into the stain; continue by rinsing it with more warm water. 
  5. Put the clothing through a heavy soil wash with normal detergent, and repeat the process if necessary before putting the clothing in the dryer. 

Vinegar and Dish Soap 

Distilled white vinegar is not the most pleasant-smelling stain remover, but it works so well. I use this in my kitchen and even on my patio to help with various issues. 

  1. Use an ice pack to harden the crayon stain.
  2. Take a dull knife and work to remove melted or fresh crayon. 
  3. Pour white vinegar and blue Dawn soap directly on the stain, and scrub with an old toothbrush. 
  4. Complete by putting the clothing through a wash cycle. 
  5. If the stain remains, repeat the process from the beginning. 

Commercial Stain Remover

If you don’t want to go through the natural process, or you have a particularly difficult stain, like the dreaded red crayon, a commercial stain remover can help. 

  1. Work to remove as much of the crayon as possible with a credit card or dull knife.
  2. Take Shout Stain Remover and pour a little onto the crayon-stained spot; use the brush to rub a bit of the stain remover into the stain. 
  3. Wash with like-colored clothing, and repeat if necessary before putting it in the dryer. 

WD-40 (Not Fully Recommended)

You will see WD-40 featured as a stain remover for crayons, but I would be careful with this one. The WD-40 can be a little harsh on certain clothing, and it’s best to spray it only when the clothing is inside out. 

I would skip this one and go with hot water, dish soap, baking soda, or any other methods above. 

Additional Tips To Remove Crayon From Clothing

If you are still struggling to get crayons out of your clothes, here are a few last tips to consider. 

  • When stains are persistent, keep repeating the process. Even if the stain remains in place after one or two rounds, persistence is key in removing stains. 
  • If your washing machine or dryer has crayon on the inside, you may find stains on clothes for a long time; clean your washing machine and dryer. Put the washing machine on the heavy soil setting with NO clothes in it and check to see if any crayon is left when finished. 
  • Consider washing kids’ play clothes in a separate wash if you don’t want to spend time getting crayon out of all the clothes in your washing machine. 
  • Keep crayons stored at a cooler temperature; they are less likely to make a mess of clothing.


Britt Olizarowicz