How to remove melted crayon from clothes

How to get melted crayons out of clothes

Last Friday my husband and I were planning on going on a date to a football game. Earlier during the day I threw my favorite jeans into the washing machine. After the load of laundry was done doing its thing I put everything into the dryer, but first I checked each item of clothing. This is something I’ve started doing after having kids because their clothes are always covered in dirt, food, and other UCOs (unidentified crusty objects) and I want to make sure everything is clean before drying. Everything looked spic-n-span and ready to be tumbled. My husband returned home from work and I was almost ready to go get the babysitter, I just needed my jeans.  I opened the dryer and pulled them out…

They were covered in red.

RED!

Everywhere!

I started frantically pulling other items out the dryer. Red. Red. Red. Everything had red on it. I started freaking out searching for a lone lipstick tube or anything else that could have caused such a disaster. I couldn’t find anything! I was completely stumped when suddenly I could see in my mind’s eye a scene that played out earlier that day. While vacuuming my boy’s room I reached down and picked up a red crayon and stuck it in the back pocket of my jeans, that I then threw into the washing machine without checking the pockets. UGH!

I threw that load of laundry in my room, so angry that most of my son’s brand new school clothes were ruined and left for my date. Two days later I remembered that I needed to do something about the pile of red stained clothes and googled, “how to get melted crayon out of clothes.” I found some results, but I was skeptical and didn’t think it would work. I knew it was worth a shot though, so I laundered the clothes and just like magic the evil red stains disappeared! I was so amazed.

Here are a few before and after photos. The only reason the colors look different in the photos is because the first ones were taken with a flash at night and the second photos were no flash during the day.

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How to remove melted crayon from clothes

The red came out of most t-shirts, jeans, khakis, and socks, but it didn’t work on one of my husband’s work shirts. The shirt was slightly textured so it really soaked up that crayon wax and it wouldn’t come out, but really that shirt was a beast to iron and I secretly was plotting its demise anyway (I think I’ll turn it into this). It also didn’t come out of the bands on my boys’ underwear, but I’m totally fine with stained underwear bands (there’s gotta be a good joke here, but I can’t think of one). So, this might not work for everything in a ruined load of laundry, but it’s worth a shot!

Here are the steps to remove melted crayon from clothes:

  1. Fill a few large pots with water, put them on your stove top and heat to boiling.
  2.  Put the clothes in the washer, and set the water to hot. You want it to be super hot, so that’s where the boiling water comes into play. Add those to the washing machine now.
  3. Add laundry detergent. Whatever kind you normally use, it doesn’t matter if it’s powder or liquid.
  4. Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 5 Tablespoons of dish soap (Dawn works great).
  5. Soak clothes for 15 minutes.
  6. Run the washer.

I don’t own a front load washing machine so I haven’t tried this yet, but this has worked for others around the internet. So here are the steps for a front load washing machine:

  1. Set washer to sanitize cycle and load clothes.
  2. Pour 1/2 white vinegar over the clothes.
  3. Add four tablespoons of Dawn dish soap to the clothes.
  4. Choose automatic soak cycle if you have one (15-30 minutes is perfect)
  5. Add detergent. Use whatever you normally use.
  6. Turn on the cycle.

Don’t forget to clean the drum of your dryer so you don’t stain any other clothes. I used a magic eraser and it worked great removing all the red crayon.

How to get melted crayon out of clothes that have been washed and dried

Vinegar * Dawn dish soap * Laundry detergent * Large pot * Magic Eraser

Good luck! (And breath…everything will be alright!)

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  • Tracy Hadfield

    What about dried on silly putty that is all stuck onto a towel (a towel that I made into a hooded towel, nonetheless!)? Any suggestions on that? It is a waste unless I can get it out!ReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      This might sound crazy, but try WD-40. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • megan

    I hate finding stains on all the clothes. I have been guilty of leaving things in my pocket, gum, for example has been in my work uniform on more than one occasion. Thanks for the great tip. I will have to use this the next time (hopefully there won’t be one) I leave something in my pocket and try to blame my husband.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Thank you! It worked.ReplyCancel

  • Christy

    Thanks for this info! I want to try other things before wd-40 since the affected clothes include my baby’s clothes! My only problem is that I have a front-loading washer and I’m not sure how to adapt this technique. Any ideas? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kristen

    Does this work in an HE washer?ReplyCancel

  • Sara

    FYI, to clean the crayon off of the dryer cylinder used an old/used fabric softener dryer sheet and some elbow grease. The old/used dryer sheet works just like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I learned this trick from my husband.ReplyCancel

  • I found red and yellow crayon all over a large load of whites today! I was so dismayed but joked to my friends I’d reached another Mommy milestone! Thank you so much for this post. It has saved our clothes and our dryer! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      It is for sure a mommy milestone! I’m glad these tips could help, thanks for leaving a comment and letting us know!ReplyCancel

  • Bianca

    I did something similar. Used a small pot of water and pot treated a small patch of red crayon on a 35 dollar duvet pillow cover. I thought it was ruined. I started dipping it in the hot water and then using dawn soap then dipping again. Then I followed it up by putting vinegar on it which really helped. The last thing I did was use a paper towel to dab the spot and it worked. The pillow is saved and there is not trace of red on it. Thanks for the advice!ReplyCancel

  • Tara

    I have read hundreds of posts that this solution will work….it is not working for me and I am very distraught. My three kids start school tomorrow and I washed ALL of their uniform shirts tonight in prep for school tomorrow and ALL of them have red crayon on them (white and light blue oxfords and polos). I am on my second attempt repeating the boiling water, soak 15 min, extra dawn, extra vinegar, laundry detergent and wash cycle. I am not optimistic and have about 16 shirts that I probably have to replace at this point. Any idea why this isnt working for me? I am willing to try anything at this point..replacing all these uniform shirts will be incredibly expensive.
    Thanks for any tips you can provide.ReplyCancel

  • Christina

    Wow, my Mom was about to throw away the clothes I have never seen her so upset but I told her all we had to do is Google a solution!! Found this post and it worked wonders!!!!! Thank you so so much!!ReplyCancel

  • Holly

    I am so glad I found this! I had done a tremendous load of laundry with probably 3/4 of my sons clothes in it. After finding out what had happened and finding your advice I broke that giant load into two smaller loads to try the trick. The nylon clothes did great. The cotton clothes are on their third cycle. I’m not giving up yet, but I can say that the porous cotton is holding onto the crayon so much more than the nylon. Oh well at least it’s not a total loss. Thanks for the advice! So appreciative.ReplyCancel

  • patricia

    my dryer is broken so i did two loads of laundry at home, basically all of my go-to clothing for myself and daughter, put it all in a gigantic dryer at the laundry mat and just pulled them out to find red crayon on everything. i googled solutions when i got to work and found this. i will be trying this at home tonight. thank you so much. i hope, hope, hope it’ll work! thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    This worked so well! My three year old “helped” Mommy put the laundry into the dryer today, and in doing so left a blue crayon in the dryer. Surprise!!!

    Used this method in my front load washer by pouring the soap, vinegar and boiling water into my washing machiene’s soap dispenser. Voila!

    We only had one blue casualty, a waffle weave dress, out of an entire load of clothes including my husbands crisp white button downs. This saved my bacon! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Michele Schroeder

    Y’all are absolutely BRILLIANT!!! My 15 year old was doing her own laundry and she threw in her 8 yr old sister’s jacket in the wash. Little did we know the 8 yr old had blue and yellow crayons in her pocket!!! Ughhh!!!
    We followed your simple steps and amazingly ALL of the crayon came out….and there was a lot of it!!!
    Thank you again!
    MicheleReplyCancel

  • Suzi

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much for sharing this trick. I cried when I saw my daughter’s volleyball jersey covered in red crayon today. I did use a Fels-Naptha bar and super hot water . It turned the crayon orange-yellow but I am trying your trick now and praying it comes out of everything else. ?ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea

    Does the dish soap not foam in the washer?ReplyCancel

  • KB

    I have a HE washer and when I try to pour the boiling water in to soak, the stupid washer automatically drains the excess. There is no soak setting. There is literally no way to have clothes submerged in water in this washer. Our bathtubs are out of the question, since I don’t want to carry boiling water up the stairs. So angry at my washer I could pull an Office Space on it! Never buy the HE washers!ReplyCancel

  • Aja

    OMG you saved my life and laundry!!! I followed your instructions (added 1 full cup of vinegar) and all but 1 of my items has been cleared of blue crayon. The only item that didn’t fully clean was the pair of footed pjs my daughter had hidden the crayon in…but hey not too bad! Thank you thank you thank you!!
    AjaReplyCancel

  • Jessica Casey

    I’m crossing my fingers and praying (for my daughter’s sake) that this works! A few days ago my daughter wore her North Face fleece to “help” her grandfather work on a vehicle. She came home with it covered in grease. I kept my composure and told her to get the fleece and the shell (it was a NF jacket that the fleece liner unzips to make 2 jackets) and check the pockets before putting it in the washer. Well, she didn’t check the pockets and everything came out with blue crayon all over it. I have it in the washer on sanitize with the vinegar and Dawn right now and I’m praying this works.ReplyCancel

  • Kate

    Yesterday I washed a HUGE load with about 75% of the clothes my kids own. After the dryer I realized…green and yellow crayon in one of the pockets 🙁 It was on everything. This totally worked! I didn’t even do the boiling water step because I’m lazy (and our water is really hot). Thanks so much!! ReplyCancel

  • Frankie Gonzales

    Do I HAVE to use white vinegar or will Apple cider work? I live about 15 miles from the nearest town and that’s all I have. My brand new (first time been washed) $100+ jeans have red crayon all over them! ReplyCancel

  • Danielle Richardson

    This worked with a front load washer. Add vinegar directly to clothes and run on the sanitize cycle. The black crayon came out beuatifully from all but one item ReplyCancel

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Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!

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