How to Get Crayon Out of Clothes (and 3 Other Common Stains)
Here are some tips for removing common stains, such as those caused by art supplies, mud, grass, food and juice.
It's a fact of life: Kids are messy. As a parent, you probably spend a lot of time cleaning up the messes your child makes, but stain removal is one of the toughest jobs. If you know various stain removal techniques, such as how to get crayon out of clothes or even get poop out of anything, you can make your life much easier. Here's how to tackle four common types of stains.
Crayon, Marker and Paint
To make future stain removal easier, you should make sure that your child "always uses washable crayons, paints and markers," says Sommer Poquette, the creator of Green & Clean Mom. Stains from washable art supplies are far easier to remove than stains from supplies that aren't labeled as washable. According to Poquette, when washable art supplies migrate onto your child's clothes, you should use "good old-fashioned soap, water and scrubbing" to remove the stains.
If your child was using non-washable art supplies, you can use store-bought stain removers to help get rid of the stains, but you might have to treat and wash the pieces more than once. You should "repeat the stain-removing process before drying if the stain is still present," says Becky Rapinchuk, the author and creator of Clean Mama. During the drying process, a stain will set, and, as a result, it will be much harder to remove.
Mud and Grass
Playing in the mud and running through the grass are rites of passage for children, but some kids don't always remember to put on play clothes before they hop in a puddle or roll around on the ground. Mud and grass stains are removable, however. "The key for mud and grass stains is to treat the stain immediately," notes Poquette. According to Rapinchuk, you should start by rinsing the clothing. Then "use a mixture of baking soda and dish soap and scrub the stains well with a toothbrush," recommends Poquette.
If the mud or grass has already set into your child's clothes, soak the clothing in soapy water overnight. You should then scrub and wash these pieces in the morning. If the clothes are white, Poquette recommends using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to naturally bleach the stain.
Food and Juice
Children are typically messy eaters. If your child tends to drop food and spill juice on his clothes, don't fear! These stains are fairly easy to remove. The trick, says Poquette, "is to treat the stain right away." You should start by squirting a bit of dish soap directly onto the stain. Then, rub the soap into the stain and soak the clothing in "warm water, which will help release the stain," notes Poquette.
Next, wash the clothing as you normally would. You should repeat the entire process again if the stain is still noticeable. Club soda works well, too. "Simply pour a little bit of soda over the stain and blot it up with a white cloth. Repeat until the stain is lifted," instructs Rapinchuk.
Children are known to get cuts and bruises when they're playing in the yard. The most important thing to remember when it comes to removing blood is to "use cold water," says Poquette. You should pretreat the stain with a stain remover and then wash the clothing right away. If the clothing is white, use a drop or two of hydrogen peroxide to naturally bleach the stain out, and then wash the item as you normally would.
Knowing how to get crayon out of clothes, along with these other common stains, is a must for any parent. Luckily, most of the typical stains that a child can get when eating, drinking or playing can be easily removed if you act quickly. "Sometimes you'll just have to try more than once!" says Poquette.
Sara Ipatenco is an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's and master's degree, both in child development and elementary education. Ipatenco has been published in "Teaching Tolerance" and "Family Fun" magazines.