Crayons are the perfect tool for people – especially children – who want to express themselves on a blank canvas. Unfortunately, they’re not always easy to get off the wall when creativity has run a little too wild!
This is usually down to the materials the crayons are made from. They can draw on many surfaces, but that isn’t really as desirable as it sounds, so it’s common to ask how to get crayon off the wall.
First of all, let’s look at what crayons are actually made from.
What are Crayons Made Of?
Crayons are oil or wax-based implements that children commonly use to draw with. Modern crayons have been around since the 19th century but may have been around in one form or another since the 16th century – and the use of wax in producing art is thousands of years old. The French word “crayon” means “chalk pencil” and is derived from ‘craie’ which means chalk.
Modern crayons are sticks of pigmented wax. Most crayons are made from a mixture of petroleum-based waxes like paraffin, stearic acid, and calcium stearate (a chemical salt) – essentially making crayons a mix of wax and a chalk-like substance. They can be scented with the same smells you’d get from candles, so they have an added dimension of being able to leave your walls with a distinct smell as well as an unwanted pattern.
Washable crayons were developed in the 1990s, but standard wax crayons still seem to be the most popular choice of young wall artists.
How Do You Remove Crayon from a Wall?
If you’re going to have a room in your home with crayons, you should know how to get crayon marks off the wall easily and quickly. Removing crayon from the wall isn’t always problematic; it just takes a bit of time and patience.
There are a few different ways you can remove crayon from walls, depending on how fresh the marks are and how much of the wall is covered in wax. The most common way to do it is using methylated spirits or turpentine – both of which work wonderfully well at removing crayon. All you need to do is dab some of the liquid directly onto the wax, wait for it to soak in, and then wipe it off with a dry cloth.
If you can’t find either of these things at home, you could try using nail polish remover. This will also work well but may take longer than methylated spirits or turpentine due to the lower potency of the product.
If you’re not one for flammable products around children, try using a wet wipe. Although this won’t work as well as methylated spirits or turpentine (which are both flammable), it will do in a pinch.
All of these options use chemicals that you may not want to introduce into your home, and they can also have the added side effect of taking the paint with them – but there are alternatives.
Can You Wash Crayon Off the Wall?
Using water alone will not work, as the wax in the crayon will simply repel the water. You can try using a wet cloth or sponge to scrub the crayon off, but it will take time as well as a lot of elbow grease – and can damage the paintwork, too.
You can try washing the area with soap and water first to break down any wax or oils that may be lingering on your painted surface before using a dry towel to wipe it clean.
Mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid and water together in a bowl and use this solution as an all-purpose cleaner for getting crayon stains off just about anything – including your walls. Because of the composition of wax crayons, this may or may not work depending on the exact situation. Still, it is the method that is least likely to remove the paint unnecessarily.
However, if your wall is painted with water-based paint, it is possible that simply washing the wall with water could cause severe damage to the finish. It would be best to test a small patch of paint first to ensure it doesn’t cause any problems.
As a last resort, you could try removing as much wax as possible with a razor blade and then covering it up with fresh paint or wallpaper, but if that seems a little extreme, read on for some other ideas for how to get crayon off walls without removing paint.
How to Get Crayon Out of The Wall
If the crayon markings stay firm and don’t want to be removed, it might be time to rely on another property of wax. As you know, candles are made of wax, and they melt as the candle is used.
By applying heat to the wax crayon mark, you stand a fair chance of getting the mark to move. Don’t use a heat gun – these are designed to remove paint, which is the opposite of what you are aiming to do!
You can try heating the area with a hairdryer on the low setting. This should prevent any unwanted paint removal but can heat the wax just enough for it to melt. Once the wax has turned into a liquid, a paper towel makes a good choice for absorbing the residue.
Some people find that using a clothes iron on the wall can also be effective. Only try this at your own risk, as using an iron can bring its own dangers!
Never apply an iron directly to the wall. Instead, place a towel or piece of paper on the mark and the iron on top of that. The material between the wall and the iron will absorb the melted wax, so if you choose to use a towel, make sure it is one you’re happy to dispose of.
Again, using a low setting, gently move the iron around over the wax crayon drawing, and it should slowly transfer from the wall and onto the material, leaving your paint intact.
If you don’t own an iron, another solution is to place several ice cubes over the wax crayon mark and leave them there until they’ve frozen solid. Remove the ice cubes once this has happened and rub the area with a cloth or sponge. This should result in the wax coming away from the wall and onto whatever it is you’re using to wipe it up. Keep in mind that ice is less likely to achieve your goal than heat.
If you’re truly desperate and nothing else has worked, you can try to get the crayon off your wall without removing paint by using a heated scouring pad. If there is no metal in the pad, try heating up a scouring pad in a microwave and holding it close to the wax. Just as before, make sure you place a towel or cloth between the wall and your hand – the heat from the pad could damage the paint.
Be very careful and use a heat-resistant material to hold the pad to prevent burning your hand. This should melt the wax and allow you to wipe away the residue with a paper towel easily.
The Simple Answer for Getting Crayon Off the Wall
Getting crayon off the wall seems like such a simple task, but just like getting wine stains out of a carpet, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you visit a local store or search online, it’s pretty simple to find products that promise to remove wax stains from different surfaces, but they usually contain strong chemicals.
Solvents such as xylol can dissolve wax, but they don’t provide the perfect solution. These chemicals can damage your paint and your wall if used incorrectly and cause problems for anyone in the home who happens to inadvertently inhale the fumes they may produce.
Solutions that include razor blades or applying heat may work well, but you may not be confident handling the equipment needed, and of course, it can once again cause issues for little ones – keep razor blades, clothes irons, and hairdryers where they belong!
Wouldn’t it be much nicer to find a simple solution that didn’t require you to hurt yourself or your walls in this day and age?
The answer is to choose a professional cleaning business that has experience in removing dirt and stains of all kinds. They will bring the necessary equipment and ability to get your walls looking like new again.
Wax crayon removal from walls, completed safely, is a specialist job that requires years of experience and knowledge of how to work without damaging the finish of your wall.
So, when the time comes that you need to remove crayons from your walls without losing their paint finish, don’t risk using a razor blade or applying heat. Instead, trust the cleaning professionals at Happy Clean to do the job for you!