How to Remove Sidewalk Chalk + Crayon Marks from Pavers (Guide)
Sidewalk chalk provides a fun, inexpensive way to spend an afternoon creating outdoor art with your kids. It encourages creativity, sparks their imagination and can even be educational. However, when the art session is over and the kids have moved on to other activities, you are stuck with trying to figure out how to remove their precious artwork – after taking plenty of pictures, of course.
The intention behind the creation of sidewalk chalk was that this art medium would simply wash away with the first good rain. But, as the song says, it never rains in Southern California, so you might be enjoying your children’s artwork for a long time before any rain could potentially wash it away.
If the chalk art is on a concrete patio in your backyard, you might not mind keeping it around for a while, but if it is on your beautiful paving stone driveway where it is seen by guests or passersby, you might eventually want to remove it. And, of course, you may also need to remove sidewalk chalk from paving stones or concrete in order to make room for your child’s next bit of creative expression.
This post will focus on how to remove sidewalk chalk from paving stones, but if you happen to have concrete, asphalt or brick patios, sidewalks or driveways that have also been decorated with chalk, these tips will work on these surfaces as well.
And, since kids who have grown up using sidewalk chalk have learned that it is okay to draw on the driveway and might accidentally use regular crayons for their artwork at some point, we will also go over how to remove crayon marks from paving stones.
How to Remove Sidewalk Chalk from Paving Stones
The theory behind sidewalk chalk is that it can be fairly easily removed with a good rainfall. Working from this logic, it would make sense that a garden hose should remove chalk just as well as rain. Therefore, the first thing to try is simply spraying down the surface with a garden hose and nozzle that will direct the water for a stronger spray. This should remove most of the chalk, but you will likely notice that the chalk that got into the pores and small crevices in your paving stones, concrete or bricks is not so easily removed.
Crayola, one of the top manufacturers of sidewalk chalk, has tested out stain removal involving each of their products on all sorts of surfaces. For how to remove sidewalk chalk from asphalt, concrete, cement and masonry (which will also work for paving stones), Crayola recommends using a brush and water to scrub the area. While Crayola does not note the type of brush that should be used, you should never use a wire brush on concrete, paving stones or bricks, since it could score the surface. Use a regular scrub brush or deck brush for this project.
If a few cycles of scrubbing and rinsing does not remove the sidewalk chalk, use a mild, abrasive cleanser with your brush to scrub the area. Crayola recommends Soft Scrub, since that product did well in their laboratory trials. Another option is to mix baking soda and water to create a mildly abrasive paste.
Crayola also notes that the colorants used in sidewalk chalk may be more readily absorbed by the open pores in newly poured concrete slabs, so you may want to avoid using chalk on any recently poured, concrete patios, sidewalks or driveways.
How to Remove Crayon from Paving Stones
While sidewalk chalk was specifically created for use on concrete, asphalt and similar surfaces, crayons were not. But, unfortunately, this does not mean that your kids will never accidentally grab their crayons instead of their chalk when they head outside to draw on your driveway.
If their latest masterpiece happens to be in crayon, it is going to be a bit more work to remove, but it is possible.
Here is your step-by-step guide to remove crayon from paving stones, concrete and bricks:
1. Hose down the area.
2. Apply liquid dish soap (Crayola recommends Dawn or Joy), and scrub in a circular motion with a scrub brush.
3. Rinse the area with water.
At this point, you may notice that the crayon marks have gotten lighter, but they will most likely not be gone.
4. While the area is still wet, apply a cleanser (Crayola recommends Kaboom) and continue to scrub the area. You can scrub the area off and on for up to 30 minutes.
5. Rinse the area with water.
6. If the crayon marks are still visible after your paving stones or concrete has dried, try dabbing Goof Off on the area and using paper towels to blot it up.
7. Rinse with water.
You may have to repeat this process more than once to completely remove crayon marks from pavers, concrete or bricks.
If all else fails and the crayon marks can still be seen, keep in mind that you can always schedule professional paver cleaning services, or remove and replace one or more paving stones without having to redo your entire driveway or patio. This is not the case with concrete slabs or bricks, but it is one of the many benefits of choosing paving stones for your home improvement projects.