Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What to do When You've Ruined the Laundry by Washing a Crayon

Tonight I went to remove the clothes from the dryer and found out that I had ruined the whole load because I had a green crayon in the pocket of my jeans. Right now you are probably thinking one of three things:

1. Why in the world did you have a green crayon in your pocket?!?! You don't even have kids!!!
2. Oh man... I've done that!
3. Oh no! Did you get all the stains out of your clothes?

Here's how the drama played out...

We have one of our college students staying with us this week and she needed to do a little laundry. I went to empty the dryer so she could put her load in and found a little surprise. As I pulled each piece of clothing from the dryer, I quickly realized that our entire load was probably ruined. The crayon had melted onto each and every article of clothing leaving greasy, green freckles everywhere.

We quickly relinquished the idea of ever salvaging the laundry. I was pretty frustrated with myself, but also knew that I had to get the dryer clean because I could handle ruining our clothes, but I had to make sure the green crayon would not ruin our college student's clothes too. I became engrossed in removing all the debris from the dryer. If you haven't ever had this problem, you would be amazed at the the way a crayon gets into every nook and cranny inside the dryer and leaves stains all over the drum of the dryer.

I began trying to wipe down the inside of the dryer. First I tried Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Counter Top Spray, and then I tried vinegar. So far very little results.

Our next thought was to google the problem. We found many suggestions, including WD-40, Dawn, Shout Advanced, and dish detergent. One post particularly convinced us we need to try Dawn Power Dissolver. Google quickly told us that Wal-Mart carries this but none of the Wal-Marts in our area had any in stock. All other searches revealed that this product is often difficult to find in many stores. I could order it online, but didn't want to wait that long. So off we went to HEB, knowing this would probably be the only other place we had any chance of finding this product in Abilene.

As I walked down the cleaning aisle I picked up some Oxi-Clean Max Force and Shout Advanced, just in case. Then I went to look for the Dawn Power Dissolver. Once again, my local HEB saved the day! (I love HEB, but that's a post for another day.)

Finally, we headed home to begin the investigation. DJ set to work using the Dawn Power Dissolver on the dryer and it worked magically! It only left a little discoloration on the back of the dryer, but we think this was from our jeans and had nothing to do with the crayon at all.

I began testing the laundry with the 3 products and soon discovered that Oxi- Clean Max Force has amazing powers. All three products were able to remove some of the stains, but the Oxi-Clean seemed to have the strongest power to remove the biggest, deepest stains. I let the stain remover set on the stain for a few minutes and then scrubbed the stains by hand using hot water. Most of the stains came completely out. Finally, I put all the laundry back into the washing machine for another wash and I was amazed to find that all of the stains had disappeared!

The moral of this story?
1. Check your pockets EVERY TIME before you do laundry.
2. Don't allow green crayons to end up in your dryer.
3. But if you do, Dawn Power Dissolver, Oxi-Clean Max Force (and HEB) can save the day!!!

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