Children are curious and creative creatures growing up, and love to express themselves in various ways. Many kids get crafty — clay sculptures, plushie theatre shows, Mummy’s fancy lipstick on their face. And of course, there’s good old-fashioned crayons to draw whatever their artist hearts desire.
The thing with kids and crayons is that anything is now a canvas. Sometimes that means colouring books, sometimes that means scrap paper… and sometimes that means the nice, clean wall. And while you treasure your child’s art, you also treasure your tidy home décor. (Or your rental deposit.) Thankfully, the answer to “how to get crayon off the wall” is very straightforward — and you can even rope your kids in to help!
Here’s a rundown of some of the best products to help remove crayon from walls:
- White Vinegar
- Bicarb Soda
- Pencil Erasers
- Magic Eraser
- Dish Soap and a Blow Dryer
Some people also recommend steel wool or mayonnaise, but the above methods should be more than effective at getting crayon off your wall. Still, sometimes you can’t get the job done on your own, or maybe your little artist scrawled over too much canvas, and the end of your lease is coming up. Then it’s a job for professional end of lease cleaners, who can get your house looking good as new — just don’t let your child near the crayon box again after!
So how to get crayon off walls? Pick your method, distract your child, and get scrubbing. (And while you’re already cleaning your walls, maybe tidy up your skirting boards too!)
We should all just have a litre or two of vinegar in stock in our homes, because this kitchen product can do just about anything — including help get crayon off walls.
Dip an old toothbrush in plain white vinegar and scrub at your walls to remove crayon marks from the surface. You can add a few drops of lemon juice to help cut the scent. When all the crayon marks are gone, wipe the surface with a damp microfibre cloth to clean up. Ta da! — easy method for cleaning crayon off walls.
TIP: You can also spray vinegar directly onto the wall and scrub off with a toothbrush. It’ll also act as a natural mould deterrent!
The mildly abrasive nature of bicarb soda is also an effective way to remove crayon from your walls or wallpaper. Dip a damp microfibre cloth into some bicarb soda, or make a thick paste with some bicarb soda and water. Rub the paste in careful circles — not too hard, or you could damage your paint or drywall! — to scrub off any crayon marks. Wipe off the residue with a damp cleaning cloth afterwards.
TIP: You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush with this method, but be careful — too much abrasiveness could damage your walls instead!
Pencil erasers or art erasers are more effective for small areas, and for wallpaper rather than painted concrete or drywall. Use small circular motions and don’t rub too hard, or you’ll smudge the colour instead and make things worse!
You can also use this method as a primer before moving to one of these other tips, to lighten some of the crayon stains and reduce the amount of scrubbing needed.
The important thing for this method is to use non-gel toothpaste — and preferably white, because the colour might rub off… and then you’ll have to clean even more. Also, test it out on a small part of your wall first, just in case.
To get crayon off walls with toothpaste, apply some on a damp towel or microfibre cloth. Rub the toothpaste in gentle circular motions over the crayon marks until they’ve been cleaned off.
TIP: You can use toothpaste to clean other things too, like shoes!
Magic erasers or eraser sponges are nifty tools for cleaning in your home, and you can use them for cleaning crayon marks too! Dampen the eraser or sponge — damp, not wet! — then scrub over the marked-up surface and watch the stains vanish.
Like pencil or art erasers, though, this method is only effective over a small area. If large sections of your wall — or multiple walls — are covered in crayon marks, you’ll risk wearing out your eraser or sponge. If your kid has made a pretty big mess, it’ll be more worth it to choose one of the other ways instead.
This is the toughest solution on the list that doesn’t involve simply repainting or repapering your whole wall (and let’s not resort to that). It will, however, work for large sections more effectively. Grab some WD-40, paper towels, soapy water, and two microfibre cloths for the cleanup job after.
Do not spray WD-40 directly onto your wall. Instead, spray a small amount onto the paper towel, and work the WD-40 over the crayon marks. Be gentle, and use only enough to cover the stains. Change paper towels regularly so you don’t stain the wall further.
When you’re all done and the crayon marks have been wiped off, dip your microfibre cloth into some soap and water to clean up any WD-40 residue. Dry the wall after with a fresh cloth.
Dish Soap and a Blow Dryer
Sometimes the simplest method is the best. Grab a blow dryer, some dish soap, bicarb soda, and warm water. Mix the last three items into a paste, then keep it handy!
First up, use the dryer — but exercise caution. Too much heat applied to one spot could damage your wall. The dryer will heat up the wax on the walls, making it easier to wipe off. After blow drying one spot, go over it with a damp towel dipped in your cleaning paste to (gently!) rub off the crayon marks. Keep going until the whole wall is clean.
Following that, go over the wall again with a microfibre cloth dipped in warm water to remove any remaining residue. Then enjoy your clean wall… for however long it lasts.
The best way to avoid having to remove crayon marks from your walls is to never have them in the first place! It seems impossible — kids will be kids, after all — but there are some tricks you can employ to protect your walls from your child’s creative endeavours. But if that doesn’t work, grab your cleaning product and get scrubbing.
1. Buy washable crayons
Simple in hindsight, isn’t it? Make clean-up easier by getting a crayon set that you can simply wash off after your child inevitably turns your wall into their magnum opus. No need to put in so much effort to clean, and no need to dampen your kid’s self-expression — creative freedom is one of the joys of childhood.
2. Paper the walls
If you want to preserve your kids’ artistry but prevent them from risking your rental apartment at the same time, grab some manila paper and get ready to paper up. It’s a straightforward idea — just line the lower part of your walls with removable paper, so your children can scrawl on it however they want. Then when it’s full, take it down, keep it somewhere safe, and replace. No clean-up needed and you get to treasure the art for longer.
3. Test first
If you’re wondering how to get crayon off the wall, and you’re choosing one of these methods, make sure you test it on a small section of your walls first to make sure you don’t damage it. It’s especially important if your place is a rental, or if you have wallpaper that could be scuffed or stained. Once you’ve tested to make sure your choice of cleaning method words, feel free to work over the whole area. But if you’re really stumped, sometimes it’s better to leave it to the professionals!