During the summer months, kids love to be active. They might be playing inside, perhaps using crayons to color in a coloring book. Suddenly, their friend shows up and they get a chance to go outside. During the excitement, perhaps they forget to pick up after themselves. When they finally return to pick things up, they might find their crayons don’t look like crayons anymore. They’ve melted in the sun, and perhaps right into the carpet!
Because they love you so much, they don’t hide it but report the innocent accident with wide, sobbing, puppy-dog eyes. Much to your credit, you’ve been keeping up to date with the intermittent series called The Bane of Stains, on Redding’s own Preferred Carpet Care website. Thankfully, they recently had a post about cleaning up crayons from carpet. With pride in their honesty, you wipe the tears from the eyes of your kids and invite them to help you in cleaning the stain.
Interesting Facts about Crayons
Crayons have been around in one form or another since the 1600’s, but the ones we and our kids are so familiar with got their main start around 1881. Binney and Smith, the parent company of Crayola, stared selling their crayons in 1903, and soon became the leading name for crayons. The crayons most used today consist of two main ingredients: pigment for the color, and paraffin wax for the consistency.
Wait – wax? Like, candle wax? Well, yes. Many candles today are made with paraffin wax, which is a white odorless solid byproduct of petroleum (still perfectly safe for kids, by the way). Crayons use the same wax but inject different pigments to get all those nifty colors.
The Removal Process
You might remember our earlier post about candle wax and how to remove it from your carpet. Using the heat or cold methods described in that post might work with crayons as well, but the inherent pigments in crayons typically become a challenge. Start with the following procedure. If it doesn’t seem to work, please give Preferred Carpet Care a call before trying the candle wax removal procedures.
- Start with a clean white cloth or towel and douse it with rubbing alcohol. Then, blot the area with the towel until no further color is being transferred to the towel. Do not scrub, as that will push the pigment deeper into the carpet. If you need to rub the alcohol into the stain, do it gently and in only one direction to avoid spreading the pigment. Also, avoid pouring the alcohol directly on the stain, as the alcohol could penetrate deeper and compromise your carpet backing.
- If the stain persists, mix ¼ teaspoon of hand or dish washing detergent with 1 quart of water and dab it into the stain until there is no further color transference.
- Finally, rinse the area using water in a spray bottle, blot it with a clean towel, and weigh down a few paper towels to soak up the remaining water.
- If the stain is still there, carefully moisten the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let sit for an hour, then blot the area.
If that crayon still won’t go, give us a call or schedule an appointment online – there might be other ingredients in the crayon or other chemicals in your carpet adding an obstacle to the removal. Let Preferred Carpet Care inspect at your crayon stain – we promise to stay inside the lines.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On September 5, 2019