Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting Crayon Off The Walls

6 months ago my husband bought the kids some window markers.  These are markers that are specifically designed to use on glass surfaces without smearing.  Those things are HORRIBLE! They left a film of ink that took several tries of scrubbing to get it off which stained every towel I used.
But worse then that is ever since then, my daughter (who is almost 2) has decided that it's ok to draw on anything. I can't blame her logic.  I let her use a marker on the window so why not on the wall and furniture?   We do our best to hide crayons and pens and markers from her, but she has a gift.  She has some sort of bat like sonar that lets her track a lonely pen that fell into a tiny crevasse that only her little hands can reach into. 

So finding random marks on the wall isn't an uncommon thing.  But a couple weeks ago my little Picasso really had a good time and covered a four foot diameter with a red crayon.  It was hard to scold her when she was so proud of those scribbles.

Usually I use one of two methods to clean the marks off the wall. It depends on what she used to color with and how big of a mess she made. A plain wet towel works great but the towels tend to fall apart if you use it to much. A Mr. Clean Eraser will get off any type of mark, but some times it will leave a permanent shiny mark on the paint.

I wanted to try something new so off to the web I went and found three methods I wanted to try.

A pencil eraser
Baking Soda
and Mayonnaise

Yes you read that right, mayonnaise. I was really excited to try this. It's not often you have an excuse to smear mayo all over your wall.  But seriously, who thought of this?  Who said "huh, there is crayon on the wall, the fridge seems like a logical place to find cleaning supplies"

So I got my tools and hi ho, hi ho, off to the wall I go

NOTE: I tried these methods on a matte tan paint. I don't know if the results will vary depending on the paint.

I started with the eraser because it was the easiest and less messy.

The Verdict: Not only did it NOT work, but it made it worse.  The eraser just smeared the wax deeper into the paint and it made it harder to clean later. The person who said "huh, there is crayon on the wall, the desk drawer seems like a logical place to find a cleaning supply," should have kept looking.  Check the fridge next time buddy.

After failing miserably with the eraser I moved onto the baking soda. The instructions said to pour a little baking soda on a damp cloth, rub clean and rinse. I don't think the person who wrote those instructions had a Michelangelo in training who covered the whole wall in mind. A little bit on a rag was not going to cut it, so I poured baking soda and water in a bowl until I had a nice paste, then I used a rag to scrub the crayon off the wall.

I really didn't have to scrub very hard for it to start coming off.
The Verdict: This worked great.  It was easy to use and the crayon came right off.  However, as the paste on the wall dried it started to fall off in chunks and I ended up with pink baking soda bits on the floor that I had to vacuum up.  Plus, it took three scrubs with a clean wet towel to get all the gritty baking soda off the wall.  So even though it worked really well, who wants a cleaning method that adds more cleaning?

That brings us to the Mayo.  The instructions tell you to rub it on the wall, wait a minute or so then scrub it off with a damp rag.

So that's what I did.  I smeared some mayo on the crayon (making sure my little artist was in her crib so there was no chance of her seeing me do this and decide she wants to join in the fun) then went back to cleaning up the baking soda mess for a few minutes.

The Verdict: HOLY MOLY!!! I did 2 quick scrubs and the crayon was gone.  It took very little effort.  I wiped over it once to get the rest of the mayo off and that was it.  For three days I kept starring at the wall, convinced that a grease mark was going to show up. But it's been a week, and still no grease mark on the wall.  Way to go mayo. There was no evidence of the crayon left on the wall.

But you know, that was a lot of work for me.  I was pretty hungry after all that scrubbing. A BLT sounded pretty good...

hmmmm out of Mayo........

Not to worry, I know where some extra mayo is, and hey, I don't even need to dirty a knife to get the mayo on the bread.

Update: 2.8.13 - I have used Mayonnaise to get crayons off my walls several more times since posting this blog and I have learned something, Mayonnaise is picky.  Some crayon marks will wipe right off while others take some serious scrubbing.  I think it has to do with what brand the crayon is but I don't know for sure because I have yet to catch my little artist in the act.  Even if I did catch her it probably wouldn't  help because all my crayons look like they have been through a massacre and the labels are either torn off or unreadable.


  1. Sweet, not that I would ever need this, oh wait I could look in any room and probably find a spot. Whatcha got for red crayon in the carpet that WON'T come out? I've tried everything!

    1. I have a carpet cleaner mixture for my bissell that I really like. I don't know if it will get crayon out. I'll email that to you if you want it. I've been trying different carpet cleaners the last few weeks, ones that don't' require a bissell. I'll probably do a post about it in a few weeks.

    2. Goo Gone also works amazing on crayon. Not as fun as mayo though :)

  2. Wow mayo! Never would have thought. Have so much crayon on the wall I can't keep up with it.. i'll be spreading some mayo tmr! Thanks Jannie! you are really funny too :)

  3. No way, I can't believe Mayo did the trick! Do you think it has to be fancy Olive Oil Mayo (you're so sophisticated) or can I use my generic Miracle Whip? I wish I would have known about this a few weeks ago. I scrubbed so hard with a magic eraser that it actually took the paint off the wall. Boo!!!

    1. Actually, i've been wondering the same thing. I started making my own Mayo about a month ago and one of these days i'm going to color on the wall and use the homemade mayo to see if any mayo gets it off. And I will not be testing Miracle Whip because i'm sorry, but that stuff is NASTY, and is not allowed in my house :)

  4. You clean too much! Good think you're funny too, because I can still read your blog for entertainment value and forget about my own dirty house :)

  5. You clean too much! Good think you're funny too, because I can still read your blog for entertainment value and forget about my own Sendhamarai Engineering Boom Lift Rental In Chennai