21 Crayon Busters: How To Get Scribbles Off From Walls

Have a little scribble artist nearby? No worries, they’ll grow out of it eventually! I promise ;). As the oldest of four children, a busy neighborhood babysitter as a teen and then a mom when I “grew up”, I’ve had plenty of years under my belt dealing with munchkins on the loose.

It’s astonishing how these little fellas instinctively know to a) be secretive with their “artwork” doodles and b) how fast it happens. Be very wary when things are too quiet ;).

Although the damage can be horrific (and I’ve seen some real doozies!), there’s no need to panic: it’s only crayon…it’s going to be OK!

Here is my master tip file that I’ve gathered and organized over time, each promising to be effective for getting rid of crayon markings from painted walls and other surfaces.

Caution: Keep in mind some finishes may be dulled or damaged by a particular method, so test a small hidden area first.

Note: If you’re dealing with wallpaper, you’ll want to work carefully. Test an inconspicuous corner and watch for paper discoloration as well as fiber damage. Things like WD-40 and solvents of any kind may leave stains behind, so take your time finding the right solution, the non-washable varieties are especially tricky (I did add some tips to the bottom of this page).

Ok, take a deep breath and let’s get to it…I’m confident you’ll find something here that will repair the damage and bring things back good as new.

Collection of Removal Tips

Unless otherwise directed, carefully apply one of the solutions below by gently rubbing directly into the wax and then lifting it up with a warm, damp cloth.

  1. Toothpaste (regular paste–not gel). This one is my first pick always (good old regular Crest), it’s ideal for taking off crayon scribbles as well as getting rid of permanent marker stains pretty easily.
  2. Artgum Eraser: Lightly rub in a circular motion, can also try a regular pencil eraser. Done carefully, this might be an option for wallpaper.
  3. Baking Soda: Mix into a paste with water and apply with some pressure to try to lift the wax. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive so you should be safe with no scratches left behind, though don’t use too much muscle. You could also just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge.
  4. Baby Oil.
  5. Mayonnaise: Glob some on then scrub a bit in a circular motion.
  6. Shaving Cream: Apply as with mayonnaise above.
  7. WD-40: Make sure to wipe surface with hot soapy water when done.
  8. Turpentine: Dab some on a damp rag first and then dab into area.
  9. Lighter Fluid: Apply as you would turpentine.
  10. Goo Gone: Same directions as for turpentine.
  11. Ammonia: Soak a section of cloth in household ammonia then dab into area. You may also luck out with an ammonia based cleanser like Windex and a hot soapy sponge.
  12. Vinegar: Soak a toothbrush in white vinegar then use it to scrub and lift wax.
  13. Heat: Take a hair dryer to the scribbles and allow it to heat the wax. Wipe residue away with a hot, soapy cloth. You could try a clothes iron as well (no steam), just make sure it’s on a low heat setting so it won’t scorch the paint. Place a few paper towels between the surface and the iron.
  14. Hand Lotion.
  15. Powdered Dishwasher Detergent: Mix a paste with water and gently work it into area. Some detergents contain bleach so be careful on wallpaper.
  16. Powdered Household Cleaners (such as Ajax or Comet): Mix with some water or sprinkle on a damp sponge then scrub lightly.
  17. Non-stick Cooking Spray: Just spray it on then wipe away the marks. Not the best solution for wallpaper since this could leave a grease mark.
  18. Hairspray: Spray generously onto surface then remove.
  19. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Work gently, you don’t want to take off any paint.
  20. Rubbing Alcohol: Saturate part of a rag then rub.
  21. Moist Baby Towelettes.

More Help For Wallpaper:

Here are a few tips dealing with stains: (Source page no longer available online)

Crayon: (You have to remove both wax/grease and color.) If thick amount left, scrape off excess with table knife. Use a warm iron and white paper towel method as under “grease spots”.

For non-washable papers, try paste spot remover as under “grease spots”, or wipe gently with a cloth moistened with denatured alcohol or spot remover; these are flammable and the vapors are toxic, so be sure there is no flame, spark or pilot light in area and have plenty of ventilation. Do not clean walls by this method! Use only on small spots.

For washable papers, use sudsy sponge after lifting grease. Do not smear the residue.

After applying the treatment, make sure to completely wipe off any residue with hot soapy water.

If I missed your tried and true fix, I hope you’ll add it below :).

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Comments

    • Christi Gonzalez
    Reply

    Thanks for the toothpaste tip!! This really works. I have flat paint on walls and this finally did the trick without removing paint. I have also found that a pencil eraser works for pencil but not always on crayon. This trick is genuis!

    • Jeff Burnz
    Reply

    Weeeee, thanks for the toothpaste tip, worked a treat and so easy! Crayon wall art be gone!

    • Alexandra
    Reply

    My delightful almost three year old daughter is going through a phase of expressing her artistry by crayoning swirls on the one non-waterproof wallpapered wall. I have tried everything from ironing over kitchen paper towel to toothpaste and nothing has worked… until I tried a regular eraser. It has almost totally gone!!!

    • Bryony
    Reply

    My twin girls have drawn all over their bedroom walls with coloured pencils. Unfortunately it is onto unwashable wallpaper and everything I have tried so far is stripping the colour from the paper.

    • Tara
    Reply

    ok well i tried the toothpaste worked instantly however it was also taking bits of the paint off the wall and the baby oil worked too a little but my child has used a black crayon on all 4 walls and i ran out of tooth paste any more suggestions im open to them

    • Peter Hosie New Zealand
    Reply

    Grandchildren visited and 4 year old decided to decorate wall with purple crayon – used toothpaste and considering the mess cleaned up well. Cost – about half a tube of toothpaste

    • Emily
    Reply

    AWESOME!! Thank you so much for the toothpaste idea. I’m living in Thailand and we didn’t know what to do. It was perfect!!

    • Li
    Reply

    should have read these comments before i started! Goo Gone totally stripped my paint!

    • Grace M
    Reply

    My 19 month old daughter just did a Picasso on her bedroom wall I freaked out but remembered I had purchased Mr. clean magic eraser ! put some hot water in a cup and soaked it, started scrubbing and it started to come off! be careful and do it slowly bc the pain can come off! good luck!

    • Dawn W
    Reply

    My almost 3 year old daughter and almost 5 year old cousin were being watched by my husband while my aunt and I were out grocery shopping. Now I am in to arts and crafts big time so my daughter gets it honestly but we came home to art work all over the tile floor, all over her bedroom door, on the toilet, their toenails and fingernails. So a bath fixes the nails, 409 all purpose cleans the tile and toilet and most of the other stuff but the door has flat paint and I am really hoping that one of these will work for it cause we rent and our manager doesn’t have the same color anymore….LOL.

    • Dawn
    Reply

    Baking soda, Baking soda, my 5 year old granddaughter decided to teach the younger grandkids their letters with a crayon on several walls, a little baking soda, and hot water came right off, thanks for the tips.

    • Jackie
    Reply

    Will all these tips work on flat paint? I have 20 month old twins that absolutely LOVE to color on my walls… There are little masterpieces everywhere. Anyone have any suggestion on which one will work best on flat paint?

    • LiAnne
    Reply

    Toothpaste, Toothpaste, TOOTHPASTE!

    Wow, I just finished cleaning a huge crayon mark (3 inches x 3 inches) that
    my granddaughter (3 y.o.) put on my hallway wall. The wall is painted with
    an eggshell finish meant for easy clean up but I never thought I would get the
    crayon off of this wall without sanding it off and repainting.

    I used Colgate white paste with tartar control.( It’s what I had in bathroom.
    No wonder I like it so much for our teeth!) I put a bit on a old toothbrush and started scrubbing. Instantly crayon starting coming off. I have a very slight film on the wall that I think will come off with a bit more toothpaste and a bit more scrubbing but wow, what a difference. Gone, in an instant.

    No more anxiety. I actually think this toothpaste thing will work on lots of dirt on the wall!.. Here I go……Scrubbing the house clean with toothpaste!

    LiAnne
    Connecticut

    • Handbanana
    Reply

    Toothpaste worked great getting crayon off a Step 2 plastic childs desk. Thanks!

    • Lexy
    Reply

    The comet worked perfectly, thanks so much!!!!

    • Ada
    Reply

    My neighbor’s kids decided to come over our house while we were grocery shopping and color with green crayon on our porch mulpitple hopschotch patters. How do I get it off?!?! Please Help!!! There’s NO crayon glops’ they just colored

    • Mary
    Reply

    My daughter just learned how.to.color. She decided, while my dad was watching her, to color in dark red crayons on nearly every wall. I guess he was distracted and didn’t see. Anyway, there were about 30 large scribble marks on the wall and the toothpaste trick took less than 20 minutes to clean every spot. My dad helped clean too but still, the point is, toothpaste Will forever be my trick for.cleaning crayons from walls.
    I hope she learns quickly that crayons are made for paper.

    Thank you for these tips, got me out of a stressful situation quickly πŸ™‚

    • Kayelle
    Reply

    baby oil works very easily also…. and most people already have it on hand if you have a kid…. not much scrubbing required. thanks!

      • Kristian
      Reply

      Kaylee, THANK YOU!!! I tried the toothpaste, no good, Magic Eraser almost took the paint off of my freshly painted walls, I was at a loss thinking I was going to have to repaint. THANKS!!! The baby oil did just the thing. <3

    • GJ
    Reply

    The toothpaste actually works! Tried it on a painted wall and voila! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • Nancy
    Reply

    After a visit from us when my son was about 3, my mom discovered that Avon Skin-So-Soft works great to get crayon off the walls. I hadn’t bothered cleaning it from our walls, but tried it, and it worked great! Very little elbow grease required! And it leaves the room smelling great too. The only problem I had was in my son’s room, where the previous owners had used a very cheap flat paint, and it left it looking wet; I guess the oil had soaked into the paint. We were discussing painting the room anyway, so that is what we ended up doing. So if you are not sure of the quality of the paint, test a small inconspicuous area first!

    • Paige
    Reply

    After reading this article yesterday (12-28-10) I used toothpaste to clean off crayon off my wall and my antique stone fireplace. I can attest that it worked and it worked fast! Only took me about 5 minutes to do both. I used regular “cheap” tubed toothpaste.
    Thank you for the tip!

    • darlene
    Reply

    going to try the tooth paste trick and then the dishwasing detergent dawn and comet thanks for the tips googone did not work and way too expensive to boot

    • Donna
    Reply

    I use a paper towel and combined dawn dish soap & comet cleanser. rub it in and crayon comes off flat latex wall paint

    • Ashley
    Reply

    THANK YOU!!!!

    The toothpaste is awesome! A little scrubbing involved, but better than anything else! The Goo Gone completely took the paint off my wall, don’t use that!

    • L ea
    Reply

    the simple and best way to remove all crayon from walls with no streaks etc or left over marks is ‘WHITE ERASER’

    WARNING:
    with using ‘Mr. Clean magic eraser’ was it stripped the paint off the walls in the house I was renting !

    White eraser is non toxic and safe to use. I even get the kids to do the erasing off (they don’t write on the wall any longer as they learned it’s faster to mark all over the wall and erasing takes more time cause you’ve got to erase your lines that you’ve drawn. Both my children each done this and it cured them of doing it again.

    • Kish
    Reply

    Toothpaste worked with a toothbrush and a little bit of elbow grease. I wiped the wall afterwards with a warm wash cloth. No trace of the crayon and no damage to the paint. I also tried the vinegar, but it just left a smear mark. Thanks for the tip!

    • Ashly
    Reply

    Thank you for posting this I needed it I have a 5 year old and a 21 month old who just love to draw on the walls. I had no clue how I was going to get the marks off but the toothpaste trick did it.

    • Gordon
    Reply

    Had about 12 square feet of crayon art to clean off a painted wall, so I tried a few things. Rubbing alcohol spread the crayon around without really taking it off. Bad idea. Toothpaste worked okay, paste better than gel, although the gel still worked. Making a baking soda paste worked the best of all.

    • Melissa
    Reply

    I couldn’t get magic eraser to work on my son’s artwork on my wall. The toothpaste did not work, so I tried the hair dryer and then applied the magic eraser. It did leave purple all over the wall, which I washed off with a washcloth. Thank you so much for this great website!

    • suzanne
    Reply

    It works wonders! Put toothpaste on the wall (which i am using Colgate fluoride toothpaste, whitening cool mint), work around in a circular motion, which u will see working right away, then take a rag and wipe away. I had to take orange crayon off of a blue wall, magic! Wa La! All gone and never a sign of it being there! Magic eraser cannot hold a candle to toothpaste!!!! πŸ™‚ Good luck.

      • MUMMAEARTH
      Reply

      … Voila … not Wa LA … sorry … word nerd

    • kitty
    Reply

    i used the magic eraser on my wall, and no matter how many times rinsed it, all it did was smear the crayon all over the wall, so instead of a line of crayon i ended with a big purple spot on my wall

      • House momma of twins!
      Reply

      I tried the magic eraser on my walls and it smeared in the crayon marks and when I tried to get out the pen and pencil marks, it took the paint right off! (And yes I did wipe gently-maybe its because I have various colors for the walls of each room in my house and not just white?)

    • Dee
    Reply

    Lemon Pledge. Spray on, let sit a few minutes, wipe off. No elbow grease required!

    • RICKY
    Reply

    the blow dryer is fast works awesome way easy

    • Malinda
    Reply

    I had just resigned to repainting the walls when we move out of the house we are renting then my husband told me to try using an eraser for the pencil marks throughout the house, and it worked tike a charm. I first tried a colored pencil topper eraser and it started to turn the wall the color of the eraser, then I found my sons white eraser (they work great on paper cause they dont rub holes in the paper) and it took all the pencil marks off in no time. I also recommend cleaning the area that has the marks first with hot water and letting it dry. This makes the marks come off a bit quicker. Be sure to let the wall dry before erasing otherwise you may start to remove the paint (I did). Then just wipe the wall down when done, and good as new. I’m so glad I don’t have to paint when we move out now.

    • Lance
    Reply

    Not on the wall, but on a bookshelf (the cheepo white laminate kind). First tried the Norwex cloth, that usally works on anything, not here. Then tried soap and water. Forget it! Then tried the WD-40, wow, came off real easy just sprayed it on and wiped off with a paper towel. No scrubbing required. Thanks!

    • arlet
    Reply

    Removing the crayon with toothpaste is genius!! I dabbed a little toothpaste on the crayon line down my wall and it rubbed right off! Thanks!!!

    • MARCIE
    Reply

    USE SOME COLGATE WHITENING&TATAR CONTROL TO REMOVE THE WONDERFUL ARTISTIC EXPRESSION MY 1 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER LEFT ON MY FRONT DOOR, WALL # 1,#2,#3, AND MY WHITE BANISTER IT WORKED WONDERS IT JUST REQUIRED A LITTLE ELBOW GREASE, NOT AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD NEED WITH JUST SOAP AND WATER. I RECOMMEND THAT STRATEGY, PEANUT BUTTER SOUNDS LIKE MORE MESS ON TOP OF THE MESS THAT NEEDS T0 BE CLEANED

    • sandra jones
    Reply

    thank you so so sooooo much for the toothpast tip, i just used it on a square foot of wall. orange crayon on laura ashley (non washable wallpaper). id only decorated 2 weeks ago and i was devestated when i daughter drew an orange giant on her bedroom wall! now im so delighted to have come across this information. thank you again.

    • Joanna
    Reply

    My son for the first time at 22 months decided to color on the wall with crayon. I tried soap and water and that was not working so I looked online and found this page. I tried the WD-40 and that just started to take the paint off the walls. So I started trying the toothpaste and it looks like its working. It does take ALOT of scrubing but it sure looks like it is working. I am taking a break now and letting my son clean some of it so he learns not to do it anymore. I really like the toothpast method cause I can let him clean it up and show him it is NOT fun to have to sit there and scrub. πŸ™‚

    • Vel
    Reply

    Just had to scrub crayon off the wall this morning and I tried the toothpaste. My regular crest toothpaste didn’t work so I mixed the Rembrandt with water and used a toothbrush to scrub it off. Your arm will be tired but it worked!

    • shelly
    Reply

    Use a dry paper towel. I have removed crayon from cabinets and walls with no problem. Just rub the paper towel over the creative murals your kids have made, and it comes off with no problem. Heavier areas may take a little more elbow grease.

      • Kayden
      Reply

      Not trying to be funny hulk but if you use a blow dryer to get it heated it will wipe off

    • Angie
    Reply

    THanks for the crayon tip (using toothpaste). I just tried it on several walls and it worked wonderfully. Now if only I had a tip for cleaning the REST of the walls!

      • Nancy
      Reply

      baby wipes work great! Or just a damp sponge.

      Happy Cleaning!

      • sabrina
      Reply

      Ive tried the magic eraser, vinegar, toothpaste, and lysol wipes, baby wipes…. none of which are working. toothpaste came the closest but there is still some crayon left behind

        • Shaun
        Reply

        I just tried a few above, along with magic eraser on one certain type of crayon (unknown from a restaurant) that would not be moved. As a final attempt i used some Target brand all purpose cleaner spray. While i scrubbed one little spot, behind me the rest practically disappeared. I still don’t believe it. No loss of paint or discoloration.

    • Jennifer
    Reply

    Recently at a hotel during a stay at a hotel we had to come up with a crayon remover on textured wallpaper walls.
    Shampoo. with a little bit of water on it and some elbow grease, it came right off.

    • Crystal
    Reply

    My budding artist are constantly on the move with various writing and coloring gadgets…. I had basically went through the intire list of recent post recommendations… when I was at my wits end and exhausted from scrubbing walls, anong with some paint being removed from the walls with some applications. I sprayed the walls with Mosquito repellant, permant marker, carayons and ink pin marks all wiped off easily.

    • Danielle
    Reply

    You can use a pencil eraser and erase the crayon,wipe clean with cold wet cloth..It worked for me.Husband thought of this one!

    • sue
    Reply

    Peanut butter works like a charm for crayon on walls. Then wash off the residue. Not for use if someone in house is allergic to peanuts.

    • Krista
    Reply

    I just freshly repainted our home six months ago in just in the past month are fifteen month old has decided to draw on almost every wall in our home. Evey time we turn around there is another nice drawing on the wall. I love it by all means I even have taken pictures but I would like to remove it. So my husband and I did purchase googone from walmart and it is definitely not cheap. About 7 dollers for a gel bottle and a little bit doesn’t go along way. And I sprayed on the wall and let sit I sprayed again and srubbed and scrubbed and yeah its a tiny bit lighter but not by much. So today I am hoping on trying the toothpaste method. Well see. I wouldn’t waste your money on goo gone. Not impressed forthe price.

    • Safranit
    Reply

    You can remove crayon from books with rubber cement. Just paint it on, and then when you peel it off, the crayon comes off as well

    • Chester's Clean House
    Reply

    I always use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for stuff on the walls. My kids are always writing on the walls with crayons, markers, pens, pencils and the Magic Eraser works on all of them. It is a little expensive but works better then anything else I have tried. I’ll have to try the Goo Gone too.

      • Hopeless Mess Fixer
      Reply

      Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works great and can be expensive. I found a much cheaper brand at the Dollar Tree. Two for a Buck. Check out your Dollar Tree or 99 cent stores. If the mess is on a wall you don’t want to use a greasy substance or Goo Gone because it can stain or remove the paint from surface.

        • Leslie
        Reply

        Price update June 2013: Home Depot’s store brand was blocking the paint/wood stain aisle: box of 6 for $4. THANK YOU FOR THE TIPS! (My niece’s crayon scribbles are All My Fault since my sister was talking to me [on the phone 500 miles away] when she did it!) πŸ™‚

          • CHRIS
          Reply

          Wow awesome it really worked

    • magnoliasouth
    Reply

    Actually a better scrub free idea is Goo Gone (or googone?). It can be purchased at any Walmart. It’s as easy as wiping up water off your counter. Just wipe it over the wall on a cloth and watch the crayon disappear like magic.

    I’m not sure how well it works on all paint/wallpaper so be sure to test a small area first… just in case.

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