How to Remove Melted Crayons From a Car Cup Holder

Yup.  Every restaurant gives crayons to every youngster who enters their doors, and I know this has happened to at least some of you.  Junior forgot the crayons in the cup holder on the hottest day in history, and before you can say “What the —?!” you have hardened crayon soup in a very hard to clean spot.

I found some suggestions on this site, except that they were very clearly for flat, easy-to-get-to hard surfaces.  Would these tips work in my cup holders?  I followed the tips from How To Clean, and improvised a bit:


Ice in a sandwich bag


Old Toothbrush

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Goo Gone

Paper Towel


Step One: I put the ice into a sandwich bag and crushed it, so that it could reach all the melted crayon mess in the cup holder.

Step Two: Leave the ice in the bag in the cup holder for about 10 minutes.  This will harden the crayon and make it easier to scrape.

Step Three: Remove the bag of ice and scrape the living daylights out of the crayon mess.  I used a pumpkin-guts scraper from a Halloween jack-o-lantern kit (yes, I keep that stuff, and now you know why – this was the perfect tool for this job!) It is advisable to put a blanket or towel down over your seats and floor as some of the scraped bits will go flying, and if you don’t have something down to intercept it, you will only be moving the melted crayon mess to a different part of your car interior, rather than cleaning it up.

Step Four: After scraping, I realized I had no way to get the crayon scrapings out of the cup holder, so I drove to a DIY car-wash and vacuumed them out.  If you have a canister vac, that would work nicely. (Note to self: purchase canister vac)

Step Five: The toothbrush, advised on How To Clean was of absolutely no use to me at this point, so I put it aside.

Step Six: Use the next tool in your arsenal, the all-powerful Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Don’t forget to wet it and squeeze out the water first.  Try to cover as much surface area as you can, but stop when the eraser starts falling apart and leaving bits of itself behind.

Step Seven: Break out the secret weapon, the pièce de resistance… Goo Gone.  I poured enough to cover the bottom of the cup holder, as that was where the remaining crayon residue was.  I left it there for a bit, and grabbed a bunch of paper towels.  I used the first bunch to soak up most of the Goo Gone, and used the second bunch to wipe what was left.  I switched back and forth between the soaked towel and the more dry one until the residue was mostly eliminated.

Step Eight: Because the bottom of my cup holder is textured, I figured I’d give the toothbrush another go to see if I could get those last bits of yellow and blue out.  I took the head off, as the whole toothbrush was preventing me from getting into those nooks and crannies, and it worked.  I gave it one last swipe with the less-soaked Goo Gone paper towel, and you can see the results below.

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I am amazed at the results.  I am also instituting a no-crayon policy for the car, effective immediately.


10 thoughts on “How to Remove Melted Crayons From a Car Cup Holder

  1. Pingback: Deconstructing Glasses | Simple. I Just Do.

  2. Looking forward to trying this out! I also keep the Halloween cutting tools :). You don’t HAVE to buy them every year :). I don’t have crayon, but I have some serious crud in there.

  3. I found an easier way. Boil water, pour into cup holder, let it set for a minute, scrape with plastic spoon, then take old rag to soak it up. Repeat for more stubborn crayons. Use paper towels to dry up. Worked for me in five minutes because the wax floated .

  4. Just reading this…as I just found 4 lovely little restaurant crayons melted in the door handle of my youngest’ seat of the car…I was thinking exactly the same thing – easy to get off a nice flat surface, but how in world am I going to get in this little spot?! I’m going to try the goo gone, I think that’s going to be key (after scraping)…but just wanted to ask, why does there always have to be a penny melted in the crayon mess?! =)

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