If you have small kids, then you obviously have crayons and scribble marks on your walls. Psychologists consider scribbling on walls as a healthy activity. But it is definitely an eyesore, especially when you have guests or worse, your landlord coming for a visit.
As I have two kids under 8, scribbled walls are plenty at my home. These are not just crayons but also sketch pens, ball pens and pencil marks. To find out the best method, I sectioned the space with paper tape and experimented with 6 different cleaning agents. Here is what we found.
Method 1: Dishwashing Liquid
We diluted some dishwashing liquid and scrubbed the wall with it using a Scotch Brite. The method works pretty well on crayon marks. But, the colour from the crayons tends to spread all over. So, you need to keep a moist cloth handy to wipe as you go. Else, the spread colour may be set on the wall. Dishwashing liquid however isn’t the best option for ball pen marks. And if you scrub too much, the paint may flake off.
Method 2: Glass Cleaner
Glass cleaners predominantly contain alcohol. To test this method, we sprayed glass cleaner on the wall and scrubbed it with Scotchbrite. Then, we wiped the surface with a moist cloth. The results weren’t as satisfactory as dishwashing liquid. It required a lot more effort to clean the area. Ball pen marks especially required a lot more effort to the extent the paint starts to flake off a bit.
Method 3: Baking Soda
Baking soda is an abrasive cleaning agent that has many effective applications. We made a paste of baking soda with water and applied it to the wall. Then, we scrubbed and sponged the area.
In our tests, baking soda wasn’t effective at all for cleaning scribbles from walls. It was terrible even at cleaning crayon marks. This is because baking soda doesn’t react or form a lather that can lift off the marks. Any result if at all is from the elbow grease and use of abrasive scrub. As a cleaning agent for wall scribbles, baking soda definitely isn’t worthwhile.
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Method 4: Vinegar
To test this method, we used a toothbrush to apply the vinegar and gently exfoliate the wall. But, it didn’t prove helpful. So, we scrubbed the wall with a vinegar-soaked pad. This helped lift off the crayon stains a little bit. But it wasn’t quite effective at cleaning ball pen marks.
Overall, it is better than baking soda but doesn’t work as effectively as dishwashing liquid.
Method 5: Toothpaste
For this test, we used regular Colgate toothpaste. Avoid using blue or coloured toothpaste as it may stain the wall. Just like the previous methods, we applied the paste on the wall with a toothbrush and scoured the wall. This was quite effective at removing crayon marks. Simply scrubbing with a toothbrush was enough and it didn’t require Scotchbrite. But this again wasn’t quite effective at removing ball pen marks.
How To Remove Ball Pen Marks From Walls?
Toothpaste, dishwashing liquid and such cleaning agents work well on crayon and paint marks, but not quite so on ball pens. Removing ball pen and sketch pen marks completely is a tad difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to restore it back to the previous finishing. That being said, rubbing alcohol can help to an extent. So can hand sanitiser. But, it requires a lot of elbow grease too.
Dishwashing liquid and toothpaste work effectively at removing crayon, colour pencil and paint from the wall. However, when it comes to ball pen marks, these cleaning agents aren’t exactly the best option. The better alternative is rubbing alcohol.
Ideally, use a toothbrush or sponge to clean the surface. If you use an abrasive scrub be gentle, else the paint may flake off. Also, wear gloves to protect your hands.