The last time I made a batch of firestarters (complete instructions here), I managed to spill some melted crayon wax on my kitchen table. I didn’t wipe it up fast enough, though, and it dried into a hard blob.
I had some Vaseline petroleum jelly sitting next to me (needed for the fire starters), and a little light bulb went off in my head. Wasn’t this the stuff they used to remove oil from wildlife after oil spills? If it worked on oil, would it work on wax? I decided to try it out.
The first thing I did was to scrape up the excess wax with the end of a plastic fork. This left behind some streaks of wax.
I then put a little bit of petroleum jelly on a paper towel and started wiping in a circular motion on the table. In a matter of seconds, the wax was gone!
Clearly this technique would work to remove crayon wax from any surface that can survive having petroleum jelly applied to it, such as a kitchen counter, table, or other work surface. I start to wonder, though, if it would work on painted walls, too.
I’m never one to back down from a challenge, especially when I can help my readers, so I went into my garage, crayon in hand, and drew on the flat white paint of my garage wall. I grabbed a clean paper towel and dabbed a little petroleum jelly on it. Sure enough, the wax disappeared after just a minute or so of polishing. As I suspected would happen, though, there was a greasy spot on the wall from the petroleum jelly residue.
I decided to start with the simplest approach to remove this grease — a couple of drops of dish soap on a wet sponge. Nothing cuts grease like Dawn, right? It worked like a charm and when I wiped the soap suds away, the greasy spot was gone and the wall was clean once again. (Then I left the garage as quickly as I could, before I was tempted to give the whole thing a fresh cleaning!)
So the next time you find yourself the victim of a budding artist who thinks walls make great canvases, remember that petroleum jelly is a safe and effective way to remove crayon wax from most hard surfaces. Give it a whirl and then let me know how it goes!