How to Get Crayola Out of Fabric

By Erin Moseley

Crayola crayons come in a variety of styles: glitter, glow-in-the-dark, sidewalk and window crayons, but most are made with a paraffin wax base. When children mark crayons on upholstery in the car, on mom’s evening gown when they’re playing "make-up" or on the neighbor’s tablecloth, you are in for some extra duty. This job requires persistence and several household tools of the trade. Avoid excessive scrubbing to prevent abrasions to stained areas. Following fabric-washing instructions may mean a trip to the dry cleaners.

Use rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemical agents.

Set sheets of paper towels 1/2-in. thick on a flat, hard surface. Smooth the fabric or clothing over the paper towels with the stain side facing up.

Spray the stain with WD-40 until saturated and allow fabric to sit for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over, smooth it out and spray that side.

Work some liquid dish soap into the stain and blot with paper towels. Use your gloved fingers to massage the dish soap into the fabric. This action will coat crayon particles to help lift them out in the washing process. Lemon or lemon-lime dish soap can neutralize the WD-40 odor.

Blot the stain from both the front and back of the fabric with paper towels. Replace paper towels as the crayon stain gets absorbed into them.

Wash the fabric or garment in hot water using a color bleach product such as OxiClean. Continue washing for about 12 minutes or run the heavy load washer cycle. Complete the cycle with a warm water rinse.

Check the stained area and repeat steps above if necessary to completely remove the stain.


To prevent crayon stains in the laundry, always check the pockets of clothing before washing and drying.


Always wear protective clothing when working with chemical cleaners.

About the Author

Erin Moseley is an advocate for science education. Since 1985, she has written numerous technical, user and training manuals for major corporations, public agencies and universities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology.