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My experience with Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable markers on fabric

Hi friends! I have an important experience to tell you about. This past weekend, I used Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers to mark the quilting lines for an upcoming Fat Quarter Shop project that I’m participating in. I had heard some good reviews about using these markers on quilts while I was researching for my blog post about using Frixion Pens and quilting. First of all, never mark fabric without testing the marking tool first – my first mistake.

My experience using Crayola Ultra-Clean Markers on fabric during the quilting process @ The Crafty Quilter.

I began by using the blue Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Marker and a stencil to mark some quilt blocks. After I had marked four of them, I realized that I didn’t have time to quilt all 16 quilt blocks with this motif. I then started marking all of my straight lines with the pink Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Marker.

My experience using Crayola Ultra-Clean Markers on fabric during the quilting process @ The Crafty Quilter.
My experience using Crayola Ultra-Clean Markers on fabric during the quilting process @ The Crafty Quilter.

Once the straight lines were quilted, I decided to add a half-feathered wreath to the outer blocks and I used a blue water-soluble pen (thank goodness) to mark those. Usually when I’m done quilting, I spray my water-soluble marks with water and they disappear fairly easily. I noticed that the pink lines weren’t vanishing as readily as the blue water-soluble pen marks were. The four blocks that I marked with the blue Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Marks were hardly going away.

I decided that I would need to totally submerse the quilt in water to get all the marks to disappear. This required me to finish the quilt with binding first, and then start the washing process. I put the quilt in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and no detergent. Without checking the four blue-marked squares (mistake #2), I put the quilt in the dryer. I had a deadline to meet, and I needed to take pictures of the project, so I didn’t have any time to let it air dry. I took it out of the dryer while it was still a little damp. Then I noticed the blue Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Marker “stains” on only two of the four blocks. Hmmm. In the photo below, the pink/red vine fabric was marked with the same pen at the same time but it disappeared in the wash.

My experience using Crayola Ultra-Clean Markers on fabric during the quilting process @ The Crafty Quilter.

I tried Grandmother’s Stain Remover with no luck. Then I used OxiClean and it finally removed the marks, but I had to scrub and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before they completely went away.

My experience using Crayola Ultra-Clean Markers on fabric during the quilting process @ The Crafty Quilter.

Fortunately all of the pink-marked lines disappeared in the wash. They don’t vanish as quickly and easily as the blue water-soluble pens do. I don’t always want to wash a quilt to get rid of all of my quilting marks when I’m done. Usually a solid spritz of water from a spray bottle does the trick. If I mark heavy handedly and the ink penetrates the batting layer, then I need to repeat the water spraying process once or twice. Some people love the crinkled look of a freshly laundered quilt. Normally, that’s OK with me, but this was a different type of project (you’ll see in a few days). Here’s a sneak peak:

Sneak peak at my upcoming project with Fat Quarter Shop.

So, the long and short of it is to always test each marking tool on your fabric first. For this project, it might not have mattered since the blue Crayola Ultra-Clean Marker washed out of one fabric bot not the other from the same fabric line. I don’t think this result is very typical, though. Even though all of the marks did come out, I will definitely not take the chance using these markers again. I think my granddaughter, Amelia, will have a much better experience with them on her art projects.

Thanks for reading and I hope you learn from my silly mistakes. I’m so glad I can pass my experience along to you all! Have a wonderful day!

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  1. As a mother of a two year old boy during the pandemic I have definitely struggled with stained clothes! My very active, cloth diapered artist is a one man control group! Here are the best of the best products I have discovered and will live with forever. I usually utilize vinegar and Borax, but for the worst of the worst, pretreat with Kids’N’Pets ($5 at Walmart, crazy expensive online), and a laundry stripper called GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment for Baby Cloth Diapers. It’s pricey, but worth it. You won’t use it much unless you’re in cloth diaper heck! I will say this… this combo has never failed me… until Crayola Washable Markers came to visit!

  2. Thank you for the information. I also have a set of this marker, this is easy to wipe away from the skin, clothes… and convenient to bring along on travel trips.

  3. This is an older post, and I’m actually not a quilter. I’m buying my daughter a doodle bear for Christmas and was not having much luck finding out if I could buy crayola washable markers for it. I finally googled ‘will washable markers come out of clothing’ and it sent me here. Thank you all! Both the blogger and the commenters! It sounds like, as I will be washing the doodle bear with detergent, these markers will work for me! Thanks again!

  4. Thanks for the story. The Crayola markers are not designed to be used on fabric. The hundreds of lucky quilters who successfully get the colors washed out of their fabric are: lucky. About the time (every few years) I wonder if they are a reliable fabric WASH-OUT marker I hear or read several reports from quilters who are frustrated, disappointed, angry, or even agonizing over these Crayola marks not washing out. As a professional handquilter for 30+ yrs I’m sticking with the blue wash-out markers that were designed to be used on fabric. So far they’ve worked for me (I wash all fabric before using it.) Cheers!

  5. I have to admit, I’ve only used a few of the colours of the Crayola Washable Markers Andy it has only been on quilts I intended to wash. That said, there were no problems with the colour washing out. I used old water and a small amount of detergent and all the colour came out.
    I’ve also had no issues with Frixion pens with the same washing treatment.
    I’m so glad you were able to finally get it all out!

  6. Julie, thanks so much for sharing your experience. Wow, you must have been shocked to see the marks after washing your quilt! So glad you were able to salvage your project. Lesson learned and you have saved so many quilters heartache.

  7. I use these markers a LOT on my quilts and I do a LOT of quilting that requires registration lines. The Crayola Washable Markers are washable, not water soluble.

    To remove the marks you MUST use warm water and detergent (any kind) in a washing machine. Plain water will NOT remove these markers.

    These markers were designed for young children to use. If they got the marker on their clothes, how would you wash their clothes. Usually with warm water and detergent! That is the same way you need to wash your quilts to remove the marker.

    As a professional machine quilter, on a customer quilt, I do not use the Crayola markers because I don’t wash my customer’s quilt. I will use other marking products that I can easily remove.

    1. My 2 year old ruined 3 brand new outfits at the beginning of the summer with the Crayola “Washable” Markers. I am no laundry slouch… I pretreated, treated, and even stripped the clothes with a heavy duty cloth diaper stripper I have. Nothing. It was as if my husband left a pen in his pocket in the wash . The only markers that we use now (and we have gone through many… mom’s a seamstress so she did a lot of testing for us… are Jar Melo Washable Markers for Kids. Even the dog washes clean!

  8. I use the Crayola Ultra Clean Washable markers in my quilt room, but I save them for things like marking my lines for HST’s, flying geese, etc. since these lines will not be visible from the front of the quilt. It makes a very strong line that is easy to see and to follow. But since they do leave such a strong mark, I don’t find them easy to just spritz and remove, so I never use them on the front of my quilt. For marking on the front of my quilt, I use the water soluble blue pens. In over twenty years of quilting, these water soluble pens have never failed me (I spritz them with water from my water bottle and they quickly and easily disappear). And they have never re-appeared later as sometimes happens with frixion pens.

    Thanks for your take on these markers – it was an enjoyable read and I’m glad in the end you got all the marks out! 🙂

  9. oh my gosh I was stressed out reading this! After your post on Frixion pens I picked up a few from Joan’s with a coupon to keep on hand! thanks for the QA testing on this!!

  10. I had the same problem with the orange marker washing out of all but one fabric. I did have to wash the quilt three times, trying different laundry products. The blue marker came out in the first wash.

    1. This just happened to me! I’ve been using Crayola markers for a while with no problems. (I was tired of paying $4-5 for one specialty pen, and had not had good results from any other methods.) So I was really surprised when I took my newly finished quilt out of the washer and saw that just ONE square still had markings on it, and they are orange. (I had used three different colors) I’ve got stain remover on it right now – I’m determined to get it clean! I will not give up on the Crayola markers.

  11. Thanks for the tips Julie. I haven’t used anything but pencils so far. Glad your quilt wasn’t ruined. All that work!

  12. Thanks for sharing your experiences!! I don’t like to wash my quilts until I absolutely have to! But, I love the blue wash out marker from Clover. I have bought some crayons awhile ago, but hadn’t dared use them yet…they will go into the Grandkid pile too LOL. And, I’ll stock up on the Clover blue pen…that is my go to!

    1. The other 2 VERY washable markers (kind of) I have found are any liquid chalk markers from Loodie Doodle, and although I hate to say it, Crayola Paint Brush Pens (they have very fine tips).

  13. I was sorry to see that you had such a difficult time removing the marker lines! My experience with Crayola markers during my pre-school teacher days would agree with your results! I will learn from your findings and not trust the improved, superwash markers…

  14. Thank you for sharing your experience: Glad to see what you learned so I don’t use those markers!!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with those markers! I can heed a warning and save myself some grief…
    Looks like you are enjoying your new studio!

  16. Thank you for testing the Crayola Ultra Clean Markers for us. Your findings will have saved me from a big future headache because I was ready to get a box to use.

  17. Oh, how painful! I’ve actually had pretty good luck with the Crayola markers, but I did test them first and I only use them on quilts that will be washed. Oddly, the orange was the one that didn’t come out thoroughly on my white fabrics (while yellow, brown and red came out beautifully).

  18. Instructions on my box of Crayola markers indicates that laundering the fabric with detergent is required to remove the marks. I have had no problems in following that practice. As you pointed out, however, we don’t always want our projects to be washed.

  19. Thanks Julie…Makes me wish I could use my Hera marker for everything. Glad it worked out okay for you!

  20. Thanks so much for the information on markers. This has been a problem for me for years to the extent that I do most of my quilting freehand, with an occasional tissue paper template to quilt around if I need a vine or scroll. I had hoped these markers would be an answer. Appreciate your experiments and advice.

  21. Thanks for the info. Sometimes markers go all the way into the batting and show through on white fabric. They are nearly impossible to get out✂️

  22. I had a similar experience I used them on the word of so many on different quilting forums. Despite 4 washings in ever stronger cleaners the marks only became faint enough not to make me cry everytime I saw them, they never fully came out. I like you did not test them I just went on the words of others. Never again will I touch my quilt with those things. They now have been incinerated in our towns waste to energy plant.

  23. Oh my! I don’t think I could even write this post if it happened to me – I would be so angry. I’m glad you were able to salvage it, and I will stick with my tried and true methods!

  24. I’m so glad to hear you managed to save the project. And thank U for the information, will stick to the Frixon pen.

  25. I too don’t always want to “have to” wash the quilt, and do many wall hangings that aren’t meant to be washed. Thanks for your experience, I’ll pass on using these all together, and sorry for the ordeal of having to do extra work to get out the stains. There’s generally a- one, two, three punch we’re hit with when working on a quilt. A law of the jungle, I guess.

  26. I haven’t been a fan of frixion pens since I read about them from the early days – I can’t understand why they’re latest/greatest when you can guarantee that the ink doesn’t not leave the fabric. I would consent to use them for a cutting line in HST’s and such, but never would consider using them for anything I cared about. This Crayola product comes right in there as well. Thanks for doing the research and clearing up a lot of misinformation about a product that was never meant for quilters to use.

  27. Thank you, Julie, for testing and reporting on the Frixion pens, and now your experience with these markers. It will save many of us the anguish of quilting marks not coming out of our finished quilt tops.

  28. I use these all the time for my fabric dyeing and have never had a problem. Then again, there’s soda ash and much soaking and rinsing in the dyeing process. Thank you for the heads up regarding the line marking.

  29. So glad for you that the Crayola markings finally came out! I’m guilty of not testing anything beforehand; luckily I’ve not had any irreversible catastrophes.You’d think I’d learn. Thanks for your post.

  30. Just wanted to put in for the other side. I have used all shades of the Crayola washable markers for several years. I have never had trouble with them. They have always washed out completely. We have well water. Don’t know if that makes a difference.

  31. Thank you, Julie, for sharing your experience with the Crayola markers! I have not had time to try mine, but I will be wary when I do! Then again, maybe mine will also go to the grandkids…why risk it when I am perfectly happy with my blue washout and chalk wheel?!

  32. Whew! Just thank goodness it all came out! I was holding my breath! 🙂 Thank you for your valuable experiment, Julie!
    -Jean ❤

  33. I had a similar experience. I used the orange, the gray and the green. When I had finished the quilting and binding, I washed the quilt. When I took it out, I found that the orange had not washed out of the aqua border on my quilt. The colors all came out of the other colors. I washed it again-no improvement. I soaked it in Oxy-CLean-no improvement. Someone suggested Dawn dish liquid. I rubbed it in the marks, waited an hour and washed it again. ALL MARKS WERE GONE! I did have Plan B but I was glad not to have to use it.

  34. Hi Julie, many thanks for this! I’m quilting my latest project and have used Prym Aqua Trickmarker to mark the lines… I haven’t tested it, so fingers crossed it will not mark. Pleased it turned out ok in the end. Mx

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