If you’re a parent, you’re surely more than used to your little ones making messes anywhere they can in your home. But cleaning up crayon stains on your walls is a different beast entirely — and we don’t blame you for wondering how the heck to safely remove your mini Picasso’s brand new work of art. One Oregon mom did a bit of Googling and found the answer right in her refrigerator.
Yep, it’s one of those cleaning hacks that have existed as long as the internet has, so Jessica Hard recently put it to the test, showing that she was able to safely remove some serious blue crayon stains from her white walls with a bit of mayonnaise, leaving behind no traces of her kid’s artistic masterpiece. As her Facebook video racked up more than 4 million views, 113,000 shares, and 24,000 comments, she revealed that she found the tip in a search, joking, “I didn’t just grab a random condiment and try it.”
Thinking that this must be too good to be true, we reached out to a few cleaning experts, who gave us the scoop on this, erm, tasty technique. Turns out, it really does work — with a few important caveats.
First, how exactly does mayo work to remove vibrant crayon stains from walls? “Mayonnaise consists of oils that help break down the wax in crayons,” explained Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority. “By applying to the crayon stained walls, it helps remove the mayo without pulling the paint off.”
Before you try anything, though, you’ll want to “test any product [in this case, mayo] first on an inconspicuous area to make sure that the product is compatible with the wall surface,” notes Mary Gagliardi, Clorox’s laundry and cleaning expert.
If all appears well with a patch test, you can go ahead and apply the mayo to the stain. “After the mayo has soaked in for a few minutes, it can be removed with a damp cloth and applying a little pressure by rubbing in small circles to help pull the crayon wax from the wall. Be sure to wipe down with a damp cloth all of the mayonnaise to completely remove any oily residue, to prevent any oil stains,” said Stapf.
You’ll also want to proceed with caution depending on the type of paint on your walls. “Do not use mayo to get crayon marking off a wall if the paint has a matte or flat finish, such as in most bedrooms,” said Caleb Liu, owner of HouseSimplySold.com, a California-based house flipping company. “The texture is porous and will absorb oil from the mayo. You’ll end up with a greasy mess.”
For matte or flat finishes, Liu recommends trying “baking soda and a hot wet rag, softening the crayon with a blow dryer” or applying “WD-40 followed by warm soapy water.”
While these tricks should safely remove the stains, there’s an equally easy way to remove any final residue. “If marks of the crayon remain after scrubbing, try using a Magic Eraser,” adds Stapf. “Magic Erasers are more abrasive and work well on many surfaces including scuffs, crayons, and pencil marks on walls, countertops, and much more.”