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How To Get Crayola Markers Off Skin

Mess and marks are some of the staples of parenting, and nothing fills you with more dread than a child covered in paint, pen, or worst of all, marker. Some children choose to smear their work all over the walls and floors of your home.

Fortunately, these are easily removed (most of the time!)

However, other children choose to use themselves as a blank canvas, and if your children are anything like this, you’ll find yourself frantically searching for how to remove markers from your toddler’s skin. 

Fortunately, most Crayola products are washable, and this means they can be easily removed from your child’s canvas of choice, whether that is your walls, your floors, clothing, or their skin. 

Soap and Water

As previously mentioned, most Crayola products are water-based and designed to wash away easily. However, the dyes and pigmentation in Crayola products can react differently with different skin types.

Most of the time, good old-fashioned soap and water should do the trick and leave your baby squeaky clean and marker-free. This method is likely to work the best while the marker stain is fresh on the skin before it has a chance to dry and set in.

Wet the skin with warm water and then find a clean and soft washcloth. Use any type of soap, shower gel, or even dish detergent to help remove the stain.

Add your soap of choice to the washcloth and clean the area gently, using small circular motions. You should find the stain lifting, although the area may need to be cleaned several times to remove all traces of the stain. 

Hand Sanitizer

Due to the current health crisis, you probably have some hand sanitizer rolling around in a drawer, decorating your bathroom sink, or making a home in your handbag.

Luckily, hand sanitizer can be ideal in combatting pesky marker stains and removing them from your child’s sensitive skin. One of the pros of using hand sanitizer to remove marker is that it is skin-friendly.

In order to remove the stain, you should apply a minuscule amount to the affected area. This will re-activate the ink and you can then use a cotton ball or a damp washcloth to remove the ink from the skin. 

One thing to be aware of with hand sanitizer is that most include some amount of alcohol. This can be very drying on the skin, so it might be worth following up with a moisturizer on your child’s skin if this is your preferred method to combat Crayola markers. 

Make-Up Remover

Make-up remover is every woman’s secret weapon for removing bold eyeshadow, stubborn waterproof mascara, and lingering glitter. But who says it can only be used for make-up?

This might be one of the safest and most skin-friendly methods for removing marker, especially if the troublesome stains have ended up near your child’s delicate eye area. 

Apply your make-up remover of choice to a cotton pad, cotton ball, or reusable cloth and gently massage into the skin.

Once the stain is gone, rinse the skin with warm water to remove all traces of the make-up remover. It might also be a good idea to follow up with a moisturizer. 

Make-up remover will also work well to remove any annoying ink stains or paint from your child’s delicate skin. 

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are a handbag staple of moms everywhere and are ideal for cleaning everything from sticky hands to stroller handles, car seats, and much more.

They are also gentle on the skin and effective against stains, making them a great choice for combatting marker.

They are also a speedier choice than some of the alternatives on our list, and probably the gentlest option for young skin as they are made specifically with babies in mind. 

Baby Oil

If you have a baby or toddler in your life, you’ll likely have some baby oil hiding in a cupboard or drawer somewhere in your house. This is another quick choice for removing marker, and likely something you have to hand in a pinch.

The oil will attach to the excess oil on your baby’s skin and help to shift stubborn stains. And one of the key benefits of using baby oil is that it will work on even the stubbornest pen stains, such as permanent marker. 

Pour some oil onto a cotton ball or a washcloth and massage it into your baby’s skin. Rinse the skin with warm water, ensuring that all the oil is removed. 


Milk is right! Perhaps one of the more unconventional methods of marker removal, and with varying reviews from other moms on this topic, it may be worth a try if all else has failed.

Some moms suggest that milk will only work as a stain remover on upholstery or fabric, but if nothing else has worked, it can’t hurt to try some milk in removing marker from your child’s skin. Some say it is also effective in removing permanent marker stains. 

One thing to ensure if you’re using milk as a cleanser is that your child’s skin is thoroughly cleaned after use. 

Things Not To Try

While there are plenty of methods to try to remove markers, from the more conventional to some weirder and wackier options, there are also plenty of things that you shouldn’t try on your baby’s skin.

Some things containing strong fragrances or harsh chemicals can be very damaging to your baby’s sensitive skin.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover generally contains acetone which is harsh and abrasive on the skin. This will be especially true when sued on a child’s delicate skin so it should absolutely be avoided as a method for removing marker.

It can, however, be effective in removing marker stains from upholstery, walls, and other household furnishings. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be incredibly harsh on the skin, and due to the alcohol contents, it can be very damaging. Skin absorbs alcohol very quickly, and this can lead to isopropyl alcohol poisoning.

Products containing alcohol should absolutely be avoided on the skin, and even products containing small amounts, such as hand sanitizer, should be used with care. Alternatives should always be considered before resorting to these products. 

However, just like nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol can be effective in combatting stains on your household furnishings. 

Cleaning Products

It goes without saying that some cleaning products contain harsh chemicals such as bleach and these should never be applied to the skin.

They can, of course, be useful in removing your child’s artwork from around the house, but they should absolutely be avoided from removing artwork from your child. 

The Final Thought

Marker stains are one of the staples of parenthood, and you will inevitably have to remove markers from your child at some point. Whichever method you choose, the most important thing is that you are gentle with your child’s sensitive and delicate skin.

You should also follow up your marker removal with a moisturizer if you think this is necessary and avoid anything harsh that could be damaging to the skin.