Back to School Edition: How to Clean Ink, Paint and Crayon from your Carpet

Well, parents – it’s finally here: the start of school! If you’ve been home with your children this summer, you certainly understand the joy this time of year brings. But with the beginning of each new grade, new homework challenges and projects follow your kids home. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few tips on how to clean carpet stains caused by homework related items such as ink, paint and crayons.

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How to Clean Ink, Paint and Crayon from your CarpetYour Project is Due When?!?

It seems there’s always some project or homework assignment that’s due tomorrow. And somehow you’ve got to find time between school, work, baseball practice and dance class to help your child complete his/her next A+ assignment.

Your coffee table now becomes a classroom/lab/studio as the family frantically rushes to get everything done before bedtime. And just when everything is going so well……SPLAT! You have a new project – cleaning the new mess off the carpet. Here are some helpful tips to get you through this “assignment” without putting yourself (or your kids!) in detention.


The pen might be mightier than the sword, but is your carpet mightier than ink? As always, you’ll want to grab your Basic Spot Removal Kit and then follow these steps:

Sponge with detergent solution, then rinse. If the stain remains, saturate with cheap hair spray and blot. Always work from the outside in to avoid making the spot bigger.


Watercolors. Finger paints. Oil-based masterpieces. Your number one goal – make sure more paint gets on the project than on your child. If he/she touches anything during this project – it’s going to get a new color. I hope this helps. It works for varnish as well.

Oil-based paint or varnish: if fresh, flush with mineral spirits. If dry, carefully soften with lacquer thinner (test first for fabric damage) then flush with appropriate solvent.


How many colors are there, anyway? While you’ve been rushing around to complete the project, you just know a few of these guys have rolled off the table and onto the floor. I wonder if some carpet cleaner invented crayons to be round, just for this purpose. I promise, it wasn’t me.

And what happens to things when they fall unseen to the floor? They get stepped on. Smushed and crunched and ground into your carpet. That’s loads of fun, right? Don’t worry though – here’s what you can do:

Scrape off all the crayon you can. Use a hot iron (be sure it’s on a low heat setting) over a damp cloth to melt and absorb the remaining wax. Apply dry cleaning solvent, then blot. Apply detergent solutions. Rinse, then blot dry.

Hopefully you’ll get through this year’s projects unscathed. And I hope there are plenty of A’s in your kid’s future. But if things start to get messy – don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Don’t forget – it’s a good time to have your carpets professionally cleaned while your kids are in school and out of the house. Contact us today to schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you and your family.

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