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Removing melted crayon

By Dr. Laundry February 8, 2013

I ran my child’s clothes through the dryer without realizing there was a crayon in there too. How can I remove the stain?

It doesn’t matter whether the crayon melted in the pocket of a sweatshirt left in the hot car or accidentally went through a hot dryer—you have quite a problem to deal with! Crayons have a waxy component that doesn’t break up in a detergent and water solution–that’s why these stains are such a pain. Below are some tips for getting out wax stains which should hopefully help you:


  1. Scrape away as much of the wax as possible with a dull knife.

  2. Cut open a brown paper grocery (light weight) or lunch bag. Be sure the bag does NOT have any wax coating on it!

  3. Place the bag over the wax spot, and then gently press with a dry iron on its lowest heat setting. You should see dark brown splotches appear on the bag as the wax transfers from the clothing to the bag and is absorbed.

  4. Reposition a fresh part of the bag over the wax spot and gently press again with the iron. Repeat until no more wax absorbs onto the bag.

  5. Finally, pretreat any remaining stain before washing. For white items, apply Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel directly to the stain and rub in, and then wash immediately in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent + ½ cup Concentrated Clorox® Regular-Bleach. For colored items (or white items that contain spandex) apply Clorox2® Stain Fighter and Color Booster directly to the stain. Wait 5 minutes, and then wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label with detergent and more Clorox2®. Air dry and check for success—repeat if necessary.


A few more thoughts on wax removal: brown paper bags are nice to work with here because it is very easy to see the wax absorb onto the bag. It’s also important to work with the iron on its lowest heat setting so you don’t melt the wax too quickly and cause it to absorb into the fabric, or melt the fabric if it is synthetic. You can check your progress and possibly increase the temperature depending on how hot your iron is–they do vary.