How to clean crayon off a chalkboard

My kids had the lovely idea to use their crayons on the chalkboard one day. Has that ever happened to you?

I tried to clean the crayon off by using a variety of household cleaners, including vinegar, all to no avail. So I did what any modern mom would do, I googled it.

The top 2 suggestions I came across, were to use either WD-40 or Simple Green. I was pretty sure I had tried to clean the crayon off with Simple Green in the past, and I didn't recall that working, but since my memory was a bit cloudy, I couldn't rule it out. It was, after all,  recommended as a way to get crayon marks off a chalkboard.

So I decided to do a side-by-side test with the top two chalkboard crayon removal recommendations - and to set the record straight!

The contenders: WD-40 and Simple Green

I spritzed some of each solution on the chalkboard where the crayon marks were prominent, then I used a paper towel to wipe away the crayon - or so I thought! The WD-40 removed the crayon from the board with ease, while the Simple Green ended up on the paper towel, leaving the crayon wax (and chalk residue) on the board. *scratches head*

Notice that you can barely see the area I scrubbed with Simple Green in the pic below (the spot on the right). Why was this solution recommended as a crayon remover for chalkboard, anyway??

Once I determined the winner (this wasn't hard!), I used WD-40 on the whole board and got it super clean in no time.

WD-40 left a thin shiny film on the board, so just for good measure, I sprayed some vinegar on a paper towel and did a once over on the board - just to get the grease off.

Through this trial, I also learned a lesson about using chalk. If you want to leave long-lasting, hard to erase marks on a chalkboard, write on the board when it's still damp (or use wet chalk). I was being hasty when I was documenting the crayon removal process and wrote on the board when it was still a bit damp. Then I tried to erase it...

See what I mean? I ended up cleaning the board with vinegar. And then, I let it dry before we used it again.

NOTE: Using vinegar is the 'teacher recommended' way to clean a chalkboard - it just doesn't remove crayon wax, so if you need extra cleaning power, trust the WD-40!

My girls woke from their nap and quickly discovered their newly cleaned chalkboard. They promptly created a ton of chalk dust in our living room (and some cute little drawings, too). 

Thankfully, I'd hidden the crayons. ;)