21 Smart Uses For Chalk

uses for chalk

If you spend any time on Pinterest or looking through the pages of home decorating magazines you will no doubt know that chalk and chalkboards have made their way out of the classroom and into the living room (and dining room, and kitchen, and office, etc) as of late. If you have kids, you mostly likely have had your driveway and sidewalks decorated with chalk masterpieces at some point this summer. But these sticks of soft white limestone are much more than just a means of beautifying your home, they have all kinds of other useful applications!

Here are 20 smart uses for chalk curated from across the world wide web:


uses for chalk

Remove Grease Stains

Rub chalk on the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes. This helps absorb the grease. Before throwing it in the washing machine, wipe off the excess dust.


uses for chalk

Clean Ring-Around-The-Collar.

Rub the stain heavily with white chalk. The chalk will absorb the oil that holds in the dirt. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, then wash as usual.


uses for chalk

Remove Grease Stains from Suede

Crush the chalk and sprinkle it on the grease stain. Let sit overnight. Then brush off in the morning. The chalk dust absorbs the grease from the suede.


uses for chalk

Prevent Mildew and Odors in the Laundry Hamper

Place several pieces of sidewalk chalk in a resealable plastic bag, and place the open bag in the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper. The chalk will absorb the moisture from the damp clothes, preventing the growth of odor causing mildew. Replace once a month.


uses for chalk

Stop Silver from Losing its Luster

Keep some chalk in the same place that you store your silver. It’ll absorb the moisture and prevent the silver from tarnishing.


uses for chalk

Prevent Tarnished Jewelry

A piece of chalk in your jewelry box will prevent costume and silver jewelry from tarnishing. The chalk will absorb the sulfur compounds inside the jewelry box before they can turn the jewelry black.


uses for chalk

Clean Pewter

Make a paste with a ground-up piece of chalk and vodka. Rub on pewter, rinse it off, and polish.


uses for chalk

Prevent Musty Closets

A bundle of chalk in a closet will go a long way in preventing the mustiness that often occurs.


uses for chalk

Rearranging Furniture

Chalk is a great temporary way to mark out a new design on the floor when you’re redecorating. You can stand back and see if it will work before you start moving things around.


uses for chalk

Sand a Surface Evenly

Rub chalk on the surface you are sanding. Continue to sand until it’s all gone, and you’ll end up with a perfectly even surface!


uses for chalk

Keep Your Toolbox Rust-Free

Since chalk absorbs moisture, a handful of chalk pieces in your toolbox will help prevent your tools from rusting.


uses for chalk

Prevent Screwdrivers from Slipping

Rub some chalk on the head of a flathead to prevent your screwdriver from slipping when you’re turning a screw.


uses for chalk

Instant Wall Repairs

For a quick fix of little nicks and scrapes on your walls, find a piece of chalk that matches the paint color and just draw it in.


uses for chalk

Stop Ants In Their Tracks

For some reason, ants don’t like to cross chalk lines. Draw some on around your doorways, windowsills and wherever else the ants are coming in from to stop them in their tracks.


uses for chalk

Instant Fingernail Brightener

Rub a nail brush over white chalk, then rub the brush under the tips of fingernails, re-loading the brush with chalk as needed. The brush bristles dislodge and remove dirt from under nails while the white chalk leaves behind a fresh, clean manicured look.


uses for chalk

Shine Metal or Marble

In a small bowl, crush a few pieces of sidewalk chalk (color doesn’t matter) into a fine powder. Dampen a soft cloth and dip the tip of it into the crushed chalk and use it to wipe the dull metal or marble. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry. The chalk granules are just abrasive enough to remove the cloudy residue without damaging the finish.


uses for chalk

Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks

Sticking Keys

Got a door key that keeps sticking in the lock? Rub a piece of chalk along the teeth and tip of the key, then slide the key in and out of the lock a few times. The chalk coats the dirt particles inside the lock and absorbs any moisture.


uses for chalk

Installing Door Hardware

To get an exact fit for door hardware, coat the underside of the hardware on the door, then shut the door. The chalk will mark the exact location for latches, locks, etc.


uses for chalk

Hide Ceiling Marks

Temporarily cover up water or scuff marks on the ceiling until you have time to paint or make a permanent repair. Rub a stick of white chalk over the mark until it lightens or disappears.


uses for chalk

Create Patterned Paper

Shave some colored chalk slivers into a bowl of water then dip a piece of paper into the water. Let air dry and then set the design with hairspray.


uses for chalk

Photo by My Kid Craft

And finally….you can take leftover pieces of chalk that aren’t usable anymore and make MORE CHALK!

Just crush it, mix with water, pour into some kind of mold and let dry. If it is too chunky to use for writing, the kids can use it as sidewalk chalk. Add a bit of tempura paint powder to make colored chalk.


uses for chalk

Bet you won’t look at a box of chalk the same way again!  I know I won’t!



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  1. Ruthie says

    What’s up with the blue suede shoe in between stains on shirts.
    Me thinks that there is on more hint a coming.

    • Trixie F says

      I used sidewalk chalk to keep ants out of my strawberry tree this Summer. As long as I kept chalk on the sidewalk all the way around the base, they stayed off. Although, I had to re-apply every couple of days because of the nature of sidewalk chalk, it washed away very easily. So, in my experience, it TOTALLY works!!

  2. Michelle says

    Will the chalk clean a granite surface as well as the metal and marble? I have a sink that needs cleaning and this sounded like a good way to clean it if it won’t harm the granite.

  3. KD says

    I’m going to have to try the part for jewelry. I have a lot of silver, and I always end up having to clean it before I can wear it :)

  4. Terri S says

    is there a difference between the small sticks of chalk and “sidewalk chalk”? i noticed sometimes you designate the use of “sidewalk chalk” and other times just “chalk”…

  5. Trixie F says

    Thanks for all the great ideas, Jillee! I’m wondering now if chalk wouldn’t absorb odors in the freezer like baking soda. I have a whole box of the little sticks, I think I’m going to go throw a couple in and find out. If I remember, I’ll check back and let you know the results of my little experiment :)

    Have a great day!

  6. says

    I had NO CLUE there were so many amazing chalk uses out there. Thanks for sharing this… I’m about to go buy a pack of white chalk right now! Ha.

  7. COMET says

    Some newer chalk has a “coating” on the outside that will prevent it from absorbing! So use a textured surface to get that coating off before you try to use these hints.

    Sidewalk chalk does not seem to have that coating so it might be a better one to use.

    For the ants in the garden—get a bag of LIME from your hardware of feed store–this is MUCH less spendy than chalk and is the SAME thing inside! I think it is the size and texture of the lime chalk etc they don;t like—I think I have read it does something to their systems they don’t like.

    For the popular “chalk paint”—dissolve some plaster of paris or UNSANDED grout in a small amount of WATER and then mix well with LATEX paint. This is NOT chalkboard paint–the proportions are different—but this will cover ANYTHING and does not need primer etc. This avoids that gritty feeling and can be sealed with poly or wax or even wax shoe polish! The pre-mixed chalk paint costs the earth but you can use pretty much anything you have on hand for this DIY.

  8. JoAnne says

    I wonder how well it would do in a seasonal camper to keep out that musty smell? I’m going to try this year. Thanks for the tips!