I use 3 products pretty exclusively, aside from soap and water. They are:
1: Plain Alcohol - For marker removal. This works FABULOUS of Sharpie and all other permanent markers. Especially on plastic items.
2: WD-40 - For crayon removal. Works like magic.
3: Hydrogen Peroxide - For protein stain removal from clothing. Mostly on cotton items. But test other fabrics for safety.
I have a Mixed Media Artist in my home, so I usually have to employ these in certain orders. Take for instance, today. The artist got it into her pretty little head that she could draw play companions onto the wall if they could not actually be here for a visit. She used various crayons, markers, sharpies, and colored pencils to make them "come alive". So, after taking some fast acting Ibuprophen for the beginning of a headache, began a systematic search for all creative extentions of the artists' brain. In this case it was enough to fill this bucket:
Now, given the other crafting supplies I also found, and the board books she used as place holders for those crafting supplies, I know she has stashed more, so I know there will be more art to come. But I digress...
Grab 4 clean rags. 2 for the pink walls and 2 for the brown walls. 1 rag for each wall color will be for the WD-40 use and the other 2 rags will be for the Alcohol use.
Open a window and or set up a fan.
Begin with the WD-40 for the crayon. Spray it liberally on the crayon art. Let it sit for a moment. Long enough to get all the crayon covered. Take your rag and rub. It should come off like magic. Sometimes, you have to make a second pass. And in rare occurances, you will have to make a 3rd pass.
Now, you will have a wall that looks as though you rubbed oil onto it. You have. You can take a lightly soaped rag and wash then wash with a clean wet rag. It will dry in moments completely clean.
But if you have marker to clean up, you need to clean it up second.
Begin by taking your other clean rag and saturating it in a bowl of alcohol. It should be very wet. Start my just pressing the rag onto the marker. DO NOT SCRUB or RUB. You will notice after a several seconds the marker will start to run down the wall. This is what you want. This will be the size of the area you will work in. When it starts to run, Move back to the first spot you started with and LIGHTLY wipe away the ink. If you work in light strokes, you will remove less paint. If you still see resedue of marker, start again with saturating the rag and letting it soak into the marker. The longer the permanent marker has been there, the more patience and attempts will be neccessary to remove it.
Sometimes, you can't get marker off completely. And you might be tempted to just paint over it. If you don't clean the marker first, it will seep through your paint in a few days and still be there. So, clean it with the alcohol as much as you can, THEN paint. The alcohol will stop it from coming through.
Now, if you have a proeien stain from skinned knees or even dinner messes, they can be cleaned with Hydrogen Peroxide. Just pour a good enough amount to let it sit saturated on the stained area. You will see it bubble. Rinse then repeat till stain is gone. Wash in the washing machine as normal. What happens is the peroxide cells get in between the fibers of the garment. They infuse themeselves into the protein cells and swell, in basic terms, they burst, inhibiting the protien from staining the fibers. I had a neighbor friend growing up who worked as an orthadontal assisstant. She would come home with various dental "spatters"... She would soak her clothes and have no problems getting them completely clean. I was amazed way back then... No need for fancy, expensive stain fighters, that really just use the same basic items plus some glycerin to make it seem more potant than regular alcohol or peroxide.
Anyways, Until next time.