Step 1: Wait.
If you just discovered a fresh Bluetiful puddle in your backseat, the best thing you can do is wait. Crayon messes, like so many kid-related problems, will be easier to deal with when both the crayons and your temper have cooled.
Step 2: Google “How do I get melted crayon out of my car?”
The fact that you’re here means that you’ve already completed this step. Great!
Step 3: Follow the instructions.
The video tutorials that pop up in your search results give you two options: Either heat the crayon enough so that you can carefully blot most of the stain out, or chill the crayon enough so that it will be brittle enough to remove. Whether you use the ironing or freezing method, you should be able to get the crayon out.
Step 4: Browse, don’t search.
Wait, the crayon’s already out of the car. Why is there another step?
Because you’re still probably actually melting down in Step 1, you need a little time to cool off before tackling this problem. You can use that time to learn much better ways to find answers to your questions.
Your initial strategy worked well enough. When you Googled “How do I get melted crayon out of my car?” you found video tutorial results from how-to sites or and auto detailers.
There’s nothing wrong with these resources, of course. WikiHow is generally a useful resource for everyday cleaning questions, and auto detailers certainly have good ideas to offer about cleaning your car upholstery.
If that crayon mess was really bad, so bad that you started shopping for a new car right now, would you buy the first one you found? No. You’d start by browsing, maybe looking at multiple dealerships online, test driving a bunch of different cars, and then gathering lots of pricing data before making a decision.
The same browsing strategy works for internet research, too. The first result in your Google search isn’t necessarily the right or best answer.
Still in a murderous rage about your upholstery? The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of the Google search results, 95% of search traffic goes to the first page.
If you are among the 5% of people who look beyond the first page of Google search results, you might be surprised by what you find. Buried on page 3 of the search results, for example, is a link to Crayola’s website. The company probably has some experience with melted crayons, so its advice to use dish soap seems reasonable.
That article can also redirect you to the stain tips section of Crayola’s website, which contains 330 suggestions for removing various types of crayon from every conceivable surface, including your dryer drum, as well as how to remove silly putty from hair.
Step 5: Learn something unexpected.
The benefit of this kind of search strategy is that it’s not really a “search” at all. By browsing through the results and seeing what comes up, you leave yourself open to learning not just how to solve your problem, but all sorts of things you didn’t know, like how many Crayola crayons are made each year (over three billion), how much the original 8-count box of crayons cost (a nickel), or what Crayola means (basically “oily chalk”). You can find out how to create a personalized box of crayons. You can also find coloring pages, craft inspiration, and tutorials on melting crayons on purpose. You might even find your new favorite craft tool.
That few extra minutes of browsing can help improve your mood, and give you a few free ideas to keep the kids busy while you tackle the mess in the car.
Step 6: Go right to the experts.
Okay, let’s say you’re not in a browsing mood because your search results are full of ads for other art supplies you’d rather not see in your Mauvelous-induced madness. At times like these, remember that you don’t need to ask the whole internet for an answer to your question. You can go right to the expert.
Instead of a blind search for whomever happens to be writing about melted crayons, you could put the experts right into your search. The following command will let you use Google to search a specific site:
site:www.crayola.com melted crayon in car
Alternatively, you could go right to Crayola’s website and look for stain tips under the “parent resources.” It’s almost like Crayola knew this would happen to you and is just waiting to help you through it.