Anyone who has ever been around children for any length of time can understand the pain and frustration of coming out to their car on a warm spring or summer day and finding your child's crayons all over the back seat—melted. It is pretty amazing how something as small as a crayon can create a mess so large that it seems to dominate all your thoughts. While in an abstract way the melted wax can look rather pretty, the stain left behind is anything but. Here are a few methods you can use to help in removing melted crayon from car upholstery.
- Nonylphenol. While it may not sound familiar, this man-made organic compound is found in many of the most effective detergents and cleansers. However, while this compound (and the type of cleaners it is usually found in) is extremely effective at cleaning, it is also highly toxic. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions as posted on the packaging and use some simple safety precautions when removing the crayon. Just keep in mind that nonylphenol is best used as an ingredient of another cleaner, all of which can be purchased at any local grocery, department, or home improvement store.
- Scrape. Apply an ice cube to the stained area to help harden and stiffen the wax for easier removal. Once the wax has hardened use a blunt butter knife or credit card to scrape off as much of the wax as possible. Place a large paper towel on the floor of the car and scrape everything on to it for an easier clean up.
- Iron. Since you may not be able to stretch an iron from the house to the car, hook an iron to an extension cord and run it out to the car. Turn the iron on and allow it to heat up. Place a brown paper bag onto the stain and, after the iron has heated up, place it onto the bag. Allow the heat to seep through the bag and heat up the wax. Periodically pull up the bag and check to see how saturated it has become. Once the wax begins to soak through the entire bag you will need to change it. Repeat this process until no more wax is lifted up.
- WD-40. Believe it or not, a little WD-40 will go a long way to being able to clean up the stain. While WD-40 may be a lubricant, it will also help break down the wax for an easier clean up. Apply the lubricant to a paper towel or clean rag and gently wipe away the wax. Repeat the process as many times as necessary till you cannot wipe up any more wax.
- Dishwashing soap. Since dishwashing soap is usually designed to break up grease, it only stands to reason that the soap will also work on crayons. Apply a little detergent to a rag and then get the rag wet. Gently scrub the stain away, rinsing out the rag periodically, till the stain has been removed.
Any one of these individual methods will work wonders at removing the melted crayon wax from your car. However, if you really want to get all traces of melted crayon utilize all of these options in conjunction. There is no particular order that needs to be followed, but if all of the options are used, you can be sure to remove every last bit of wax in your car.