"$uper" frugal living. "$aving" money...one idea at a time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How To: Get melted crayon out of clothes

First of all...let me say that if you are searching out this topic because you have a similar problem...I am sorry.  Very sorry.

Now...where to begin. 

Well...if you recall, last week I was having a peaceful, stress-less morning until I opened up the dryer and found black crayon melted all over an entire extra large load of laundry (see Help!  I need you....Crayon vs Dryer).  JUST GREAT!

A part of me...a very LARGE part of me...wanted to just condemn the clothing and chuck 'em.  But...unfortunately, the more logical and frugal side of me won out.  I decided to try and clean them.  (Boo!)

It's not like I have all the time and money in the world.  I needed something quick and cheap but also wanted to give you, my readers, a true test of options.  So with that in mind, I tried a few different methods (adapted from Crayola.com this blog, and my own intellect), modifying them as I saw fit, and am here to give you my recommendations/solutions.

 For cleaning the dryer drum-

I put a few rags in the dryer and turned it on for a few minutes to warm the wax back up.  I then sprayed it with Pro-Tek (a non-toxic all purpose cleaner--safe for fabric) and wiped every inch of the drum clean (Crayola.com recommends using WD-40...my opinion...see below).  I then placed a few clean white rags in the drum and ran it again for a few minutes to test for cleanliness.  It worked.  Everything came out clean.  Also recommended...drying a load of dark clothing (if your crayon was dark) before anything else...."just in case".  After the rags I dried a load of old sheets and towels.  Worked for me.  Whatever you do...just make sure the drum in clean.  You don't want MORE crayon in fabric on your hands.  I'm confident that almost any cleaner would work for this step.  At least any cleaner with any sort of degreasing abilities.

For the clothes-
I tried a lot of different cleaners and methods.  Here's what I recommend.

#1 Fill washer tub with HOT water.  Add 1 to 1-1/2 cup(s) "Homemade Laundry Soap" concentrate (or whatever detergent you have on hand) and a capful of Clorox 2.  Add clothes.  Wash on REGULAR (not casual or delicate) for 3-5 minutes to distribute the soap/color safe bleach throughout.  Then stop the washer and let the clothes sit for 20-60 minutes before continuing the wash cycle.  Be sure to use the longest wash cycle your machine has (mine is called Super Plus and runs about 12 minutes long).  Rinse on WARM.

I found that by doing this I was able to eliminate at least 60 % of the stains right away.  Sweet!....the less scrubbing the better, right?

NOTE:  DO NOT PLACE CLOTHING THAT IS STILL STAINED IN THE DRYER TO DRY!!!!!!  Hang them to dry if you are not going to work on them right away.

#2 Let the scrubbing begin.
Honestly...like I said,  I tried a LOT of products. 

First, I tried this... 
Pro-Tek (a non-toxic all purpose cleaner--safe for laundry) and Clorox 2

Stain Devils-for pen and crayon and Clorox 2

My "homemade laundry soap" concentrate and Clorox 2
and...eventually....I did try this...for the sake of research
Crayola.com's suggested  concoction
Wanna know what worked best and was the cheapest?  The "Homemade Laundry Soap" coupled with the Clorox 2.  TRUE STORY!

The Pro-Tek and the Stain Devils (specifically made for pen and crayon) worked okay.  I had to spend just as much time scrubbing the clothing as with the laundry soap (maybe even a tad bit longer).  The WD-40....ugh!...did not work any better than anything else I tried.  I was very hesitant to use it (even though it came recommended by several different sources) but did so anyway...for the sake of research.  It added another step to the whole spray and scrub process because after using it you then have to scrub the WD-40 OUT of the fabric with dish soap.  And what did I end up with?  More stains...from the oily lubricant.  So...I can easily say that I personally would not recommend using WD-40.  It was, by far, the most expensive, as well as the most labor intensive process I tried.  That's my take.  Do with it what you will.

So here's what I suggest for remaining stains (after laundering as instructed above):

Take a small amount of  "Homemade Laundry Soap" concentrate and work it into the fabric using your knuckles, fingernails, a soft scrub brush (not a stiff one...I tried it...not so good on the fabric), or by rubbing the fabric together.  Continue scrubbing until stain is completely gone or significantly lighter.

Re-launder according to directions above. 

If stains remain (I only had two shirts that didn't come completely clean and the stains were very very light)....REMEMBER NOT TO DRY CLOTHES IN THE DRYER...and repeat scrubbing and laundering instructions above until clean.

Remember this light blue shirt that was BY FAR the worst of the bunch and I was ready to just throw away?



WELL...look at it now.


There are still a few very faint stains.  I will probably have to put it through the scrub/laundering process one more time before it is fit to wear but a VAST improvement I must say.  

It was Roberto's favorite work shirt.  He almost cried when he first saw it (he he he) but now he is just as hopeful as I am that he will be able to wear it again very soon.  

I hope this helps...and please take the advise given me by my mother.  Work on it slowly...one thing at a time...maybe only one article a day.  Don't let it overwhelm you.  All is not lost.

Happy Laundering y'all!


  1. OOhhh....sounds fun. NOT.

    Have you tried Goo Gone? It says it gets crayons out.

    I have some if you want to borrow it instead of buying it. It's good for getting gum out of hair. And for getting the sticky residue from stickers off of things. And it dried blood out of fabric.

  2. I just have to say that you rock.

  3. Thanks ladies.

    Julie-you're pretty cool too.


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