Back-to-School Stain Removal Tips: How to Get Out Glue, Glitter + More

That custom crayon artwork in the hallway doesn't have to be on permanent display.

Related To:

School's back in session, which means schedules, homework and...stains. Likely, stains from lunch, recess, art, but really — who knows. Once these questionable stains start moving from their clothing to the walls and upholstery, it's time to put these at-home cleaning remedies to the test. 

If you thought your furnishings were ruined, have no fear! Debra Johnson, a home cleaning expert from Merry Maids, shares her no-fail solutions for removing crayon, glue, glitter and permanent marker from walls, upholstery, clothes and more.


DIY Projects With Sharpies

DIY Projects With Sharpies

Check out HGTV Magazine's ideas for creative ways to use permanent markers.

Photo by: Philip Friedman

Philip Friedman

Removing Permanent Marker From Walls:

1: Find a chemical-based toiletry like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, hairspray or nail polish remover.

2: Test it on your wall to make sure your wall reacts appropriately.

3: Pour the cleaner on a soft rag or cotton ball and blot the mark.

4: Clean the area with gentle soap and water.

Removing Permanent Marker From Carpet/Upholstery:

1: Mix 2 cups of cool water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.

2: Place a microfiber cloth into the soapy solution. Wring out well.

3: Blot the marker spot with the damp cloth.

4: Continue to blot the marker spot until the marker has transferred to the cloth. Refresh the cloth with the soapy solution as needed.

5: If the marker spot does not diminish, then blot the stained area with rubbing alcohol.

6: Blot the area with cold water.

7: Continue to blot with a dry cloth to remove excess water from the upholstery or carpet.


Pour Glitter on Painted Design

Pour Glitter on Painted Design

While the paint is still wet, pour glitter over the painted design.

Removing Glitter From Clothes:

1: Lint rollers are great for more than just lint! When your child’s glitter seems to get on every article of clothing, find a lint roller and roll away.

2: If needed, follow up by vacuuming with the upholstery tool to remove any remaining glitter.




Kid Scribble on the Wall

Photo by: Bojan Zivkovic, iStock

Bojan Zivkovic, iStock

Removing Crayon From Carpet/Upholstery:

1: Scrape as much crayon wax as possible from the carpet, then cover the stained area with a clean cloth.

2: Use the tip of a warm iron to press on the cloth where the stain is to transfer the crayon wax from the carpet to the cloth.

3: Replace or move the cloth frequently, being careful not to spread the stain further.

TIP: Before using the iron on your carpet, test it with the cloth in an inconspicuous area. Some carpets made with man-made fibers can melt, even at low temperatures, which would damage your carpet.

Removing Crayon From Walls:

1: Make a paste using one tablespoon of baking soda, then add enough warm water to make a paste.

2: Dip a damp microfiber cloth into the baking soda paste. Be sure to test an inconspicuous spot on the wall using the paste.

3: Once the tested area is dry and there is no visible removal of paint or discoloration, use the paste to remove crayon marks from the wall.


A Quick and Easy Valentine Craft for Kids

A Quick and Easy Valentine Craft for Kids

Coming up with a kid-friendly craft for Valentine’s Day that doesn’t include candy can be tricky. These adorable DIY heart-themed barrettes and headbands are so sweet, you won’t need the sugar!

Removing Glue From the Floor or Table:

1: Lay a wet, soapy cloth over the glue and let it set for several hours.

2: After three to four hours, blot at the softened glue with a clean cloth to remove the glue that has softened.

3: Repeat until all of the glue is gone.

Removing Glue From Upholstery:

1: Mix 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.

2: Dip a microfiber cloth into the soapy solution. Wring cloth out well.

3: If the glue has hardened, allow the damp cloth to sit on the glue and soften it.

4: Blot the glue area with the damp cloth.

5: Then, blot the damp area with a dry cloth.

6: Repeat this process until all glue is removed.

Clean Your Home in Five Minutes Flat (Or Just Fake It)

See All Photos

Clever Caddy

"My life hack around the house is my 'cleaning bag'! I have all my cleaning supplies ready in seconds. Comes in handy in a two-story house." -Facebook fan Russal Jennifer Lucas Golding

Photo By: Melanie Acevedo

Spin Cycles

"Do at least 1 load of laundry every day; saves me from spending an entire day (or weekend) catching up on a week's worth of dirty clothes for a household of 4." -Facebook fan Sandra Cordova

From: Traci Zeller

Ready, Set, Go

"Set a cleaning timer. 10 minutes in each room. No more, no less. Do not leave or stray. It's amazing what you can accomplish when focused and racing the clock!" -Facebook fan Monica McBride Parent

Photo By: Shutterstock/Devenorr

Lemony Fresh

"After I scrub down the shower walls, I polish them with lemon oil. It shines them up, and repels water & soap scum to make future cleaning much easier & less frequent." -Facebook fan Susan Miller

Natural Solutions

"Vinegar. It cuts through everything [...]" -Facebook fan Shelia Tirro-George

Photo By: Shutterstock/ThamKC

Nail It

"Nail polish remover will take permanent marker off of plastic and a white board marker will take it off of white boards (in case you use the wrong pen)." -Facebook fan Jennifer Custard Armes

Photo By: Shutterstock/Olha Kozachenko

Air Out Your Automobile

"When your car needs [to be cleaned], I use the leaf blower. Works great!" -Facebook fan Shelly Best-Gorsett

© 2011, HGTV

See Spots Run

"Hydrogen peroxide on blood. Pour straight on to the blood and it will literally lift the blood off." -Facebook fan Christine Simonette

©Debbie Wolfe

Shower Power

"I keep a squeegee in the shower to quickly and easily clean shower doors." -Facebook fan Kim Hoskins

Photo By: Anders Hviid

Dishwasher Tricks

Use the dishwasher for more than dishes. When it isn't quite full, fill it the rest of the way with things like stove burners, vases, candlesticks and even children's plastic toys contained in a mesh bag.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Dorm Room Decorating: Must-Know Tips From College Students

You may think a bland dorm room holds no decorating potential, but just wait. We have savvy design and storage tips to turn your new college digs into home sweet home.

How to Modernize an Old Trunk

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine went digging in the attic for treasures that deserve a second chance.

Dorm Life Realities Every Freshman Needs to Know

It's not parties and sleepovers every night.

How to Make a Giant Chalkboard Calendar

Follow the steps below to create this giant chalkboard calendar from the pages of HGTV Magazine.

How to Make a Fabric Pouf Ottoman

A multipurpose decor item, this fabric pouf can be used as an ottoman, extra seating for guests or as a coffee table with a tray on top. Use a fun, patterned fabric that matches the other decor in your dorm room.

How to Make a Multipurpose Room Divider

Separate your spaces with a multifunctional room divider that is upholstered in a patterned fabric on one side and painted with chalkboard paint on the other.

How to Make Fabric-Wrapped Shelves

Re-create this trendy piece on a budget with this step-by-step from a crafty blogger featured in HGTV Magazine.

How to Ombre Dip-Dye a Duvet Cover

Transform a simple set of white bedding into a fresh and modern masterpiece with your favorite color dye and just a few hours.

How to Make a Personalized Wall Photo Mural

This printable wall mural makes a bold statement without the need for paint or wallpaper, perfect for apartments and dorm rooms where temporary decor is a must.

How to Make a Recycled T-Shirt Rug

Don't throw away those old T-shirts — they can easily be turned into a one-of-a-kind doormat to decorate the inside of your dorm room.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts