Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Saga of the Crayon & the Dryer

Those who know me know I really dislike doing laundry.  I'm not sure why I abhor it so.  I think I would "enjoy" it more (can you really enjoy something like that?) if I had a more organized laundry room; one that was a ROOM instead of a hallway. 

But I digress.  Because my lack of love for laundry or the layout of my laundry room has nothing to do with what happened when I pulled the latest load out of the dryer last week and discovered this...

...and this...

...and this...

And there were oh so many more pieces of clothing stained with these dark blue blobs.  I was aghast.  What could have caused this!?  I stuck my head in the dryer to discover this:

Yes, not surprisingly based on the sight of our clothes, the dryer was covered in this dark blue hue.  At first, I thought a pen had exploded in the dryer.  But, Jason determined it was crayon after he found this near the lint catcher:

Yes, it appears a blue crayon made it through the washer but got lodged in the dryer, melted, and spread all over the inside of the dryer and our clothes!  The problem now?  The waxy crayon had dried.  And did not want to come off.  

I quickly jumped on google and researched "remove melted crayon in dryer".  Apparently, I'm not the first person this has happened to!  Remedies ran the gamut from WD-40 (as advised by the Crayola website) to a homemade detergent paste.  One website in particular noted the seemingly ill-advised recommendation by Crayola to put a flammable liquid into the dryer (WD-40).  So, he tried the toothpaste route - turn your dryer on for 10 minutes to soften up the crayon, spread toothpaste on all the affected areas, turn the dryer back on for another 10 minutes, then get out your elbow grease, a wet washcloth and go to town scrubbing that off!  Well, I had my doubts but this guy had pictures to prove it removed the crayon.  So, I grabbed a new tube of toothpaste and went to town!

This method seemed to work - it was as though the warmed up goo absorbed the crayon and when the toothpaste dried, the crayon scrubbed off with the paste.  But boy, was there a lot of elbow grease involved!  YIKES!  After two hours of scrubbing, and getting my sinuses cleared thanks to the warmed toothpaste scent, I realized I was going to have to find another method.  Either by finding a different way of taking it off, or finding someone to do the scrubbing for me!  

Enter Jason, who returned home from work shortly after I took my break from the scrubbing.  He decided to try some other methods.  We tried a car polish - which worked but took a lot of scrubbing like the toothpaste.  And we tried some other car product (can't remember now) that had similar results.  And yes, these products are flammable and probably shouldn't be used inside a dryer.  But at this point, I was desperate to get it off for good and quickly!  My already mountainous pile of laundry was reaching epic proportions after several days of not being able to use the dryer!  

Enter Goof Off.  We sprayed that oily substance into the dryer and the crayon wiped off like fingerprints on a window with Windex.  Oh yes, it was magical!  And a short 15 minutes later, my dryer looked like this:

Oh yes, I was doing a happy dance unlike any other!  Yes, there were a few lingering blue tinges here and there but I think those were old stains from jeans.  I ran a load of rags to make sure nothing more came off and putting through a load of whites confirmed we were crayon free!  Oh happy day!

I never thought I would be so happy to do laundry.

Until next time...

PS - I should add that before I ran my first load, I took soap and water and washed out the inside of the dryer to try and get any greasy grime or flammable remnants of the Goof Off off the dryer surface!  Also, the one lucky thing in the whole fiasco is that most of the clothes in the initial load that got the crayon, were turned inside out.  So, I just ran the load again (after all, crayon is washable if not melted and dried on in thick globs) and most of the stains came out!  The few that remained are on the inside and will never be noticed.  Yea!


  1. How did you get it off the clothes? We have crayon on the concrete mortar of our fireplace hearth... thanks to a younger version of LeighAnna. I'm just glad it as pink and not neon green.

  2. Andrea - Thanks for reminding me! See my post script above...

  3. Ahhhhh yes, the good old color the inside of the dryer!! I don't remember having a crayon melt inside, but do know your dear dad has left a pen or two in his pockets.....always a mess. I had it happen on white shirts! Evidently, I smashed you love of laundry when you were about 18 mo. old and I would put your folded clothes in the drawer and when I would leave, you would go and shake them out on the floor!! That HAD to be STOPPED! Haha

  4. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a bunch for sharing about car accessories.

    BMW GPS DVD player & Mazda GPS DVD player


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