If you have a toddler, or a very artistic child, you may find that the art creations don’t always stay on the paper. Sometimes they find their way on to the walls for all to see. And while parents may enjoy these unique creations, you will probably want to remove them in short order. How exactly can you get crayon marks or marker off the walls without potentially ruining your paint or surface? Read on for some mom-genius tips.
Once your little Picasso has created their masterpiece you may be at your wits end trying to find a formula to get rid of the mess without harming the surface. We suggest starting with household options first. Vinegar and baking soda are great items to start with.
Start with Vinegar
Vinegar is an amazing all-purpose cleaners that can get many things (like windows) spotless in minutes. Crayons have both wax and pigment in them that make them extra hard to clean up. Thankfully, the acetic acid in vinegar breaks down both the wax and pigment components.
To clean crayon marks with vinegar we suggest trying a bit of the product on a part of your painted walls first before you use a larger amount. This “test area” will tell you if the vinegar will leave your paint looking faded.
Once you have tested the product, take an old toothbrush and dip it in the vinegar. Scrub slowly around the crayon marks until the wax and pigment comes free. Don’t worry about the smell of the vinegar, it will go away once the area has been wiped over with soap and warm water and allowed to dry.
We especially like the vinegar option because it is non-toxic and most families have some in their cabinets.
Baking Soda & Water
If vinegar isn’t working, take a box of baking soda (which is probably in your kitchen or refrigerator) and mix a dime size with a small amount of warm water on a clean cloth. Run in circles on the offending wall until the crayon (or even marker) comes off. Again, wipe the area down with warm water and soap after you have removed the artwork.
Baking Soda & Toothpaste
If the baking soda and water isn’t cutting the crayon or pen marks, take it up a notch by mixing a small dollop of non-gel, white toothpaste with about a dime-sized amount of baking soda. The extra grit and cleaning power can give a boost to the cleaning action. In terms of what toothpaste to choose, we suggest anything non-whitening, non-gel, and without colors.
Sometimes the most obvious household items can work to get rid of stubborn crayon or marker stains. Try the rubber eraser on your child’s pencil, peanut butter, or even mayonnaise. You may want to avoid items like abrasive cleansers that can take the color out of your wall surface.
In the future, you may want to check out stain resistant paint for your most highly traveled areas, especially your child’s playroom. Good luck and don’t forget to take a picture of the artwork to show them when they are grown!