Subscribe to this Blog
Today's Blogs
    The Checkup:

The Great Crayon Fiasco

It all started innocently enough. Dinner out on a busy, tiring weekday. Crayons at the table that made their way into pockets.

That part of the story is about as ordinary as they come. Except, same busy, tired parents and kids managed to forget about those crayons. And so, Saturday night rolled around. It's late and the kids need to get into pajamas and brush their teeth. Down to the dryer, grab the clothes to find clean pajamas. And then come some words I dare not repeat. Out come the whites -- only they aren't so white and beige anymore. Instead, the clothes are covered with streaks of green and brown. Plus, the dryer's now out of commission unless I want all my remaining loads of laundry to turn green.

Onto the Web I go. Thank goodness for Google. Search "how to remove crayon clothes dryer" and lots of great resources spring to life. But which ones work?

There's About.com, which swears by WD-40. Fifteen minutes it says. On ThriftyFun.com readers share their tips. It seems crayon running through the dryer is a common occurrence. Toothpaste; soft scrub; vinegar, Oxyclean, Shout and laundry detergent ... the solutions kept flowing. But would they work?

Given that we've got Soft Scrub and not Oxyclean lying around the house, I sprayed it on the dryer and let it seep in. It worked pretty well for the bits of brown, but the green was as stubborn as stains come. Next up, WD-40 sprayed on a rag. Wipe the rag inside the drum, put a dry rag in and turn the dryer on. Medium ought to do it, I figured. Twenty minutes later, I checked in. Well, partial success. The crayon on the drum walls wiped right off, but the glossy back side was STILL green. So, I repeated the process while husband went to the store to buy more -- lots more -- WD-40.

Three go-rounds on the dryer drum, and I caved. We're just going to have to hope the remaining green doesn't seep into all the rest of our clothes. Maybe I'll try toothpaste later this week.

As for the clothes, WD-40, dishwashing soap, bleach, Tide and two run-throughs with hot water got about 75 percent of the crayon out. As for the rest, we'll be wearing crayon streaked socks and underwear all summer. Now, if only we could get the scent of WD-40 off the clothes ...

Have you suffered from the no good, very bad crayon in the dryer episode? What was your solution?

Note to Readers: I'm on vacation for the remainder of the week. Starting tomorrow, please welcome Rebeldad Brian Reid to On Parenting. He'll be writing for the rest of the week, then joining On Parenting on a weekly basis.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  June 24, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
Previous: The Gloucester Girls | Next: Introducing Brian

Comments


Before throwing the clothes into the wash, I check all the pockets of all the clothes, including the little watch pockets and all shirt pockets. I have to do this, not because of my son, but because my DH is terrible about picking up random stuff and leaving it in his pockets. One load of laundry destroyed by a pocket full of old rusty screws and lesson learned.
This is not a very interesting topic today, is it?

Posted by: VaLGaL | June 24, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't you get Leslie iso Brian?

Standby for boring blogs!

Posted by: The Horror | June 24, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

ValGal


"This is not a very interesting topic today, is it?"

No. Change it.

Posted by: It's not rocket science | June 24, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

First time visiting this blog...heavy stuff here...I wish that the issues the rest of us deal with were as trivial as crayons in the dryer. Good luck with that!

Posted by: Mike Sorce | June 24, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"Couldn't you get Leslie iso Brian? "

Ha, ha! Crayons in the dryer up at the mansion!

If Leslie sells her "survivor" memoir to the movies, who would be cast in the leads???

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I'll do all you suburbanites one better: green crayon in the dryer - in the apartment-building laundry room! Talk about sharing the love...

Posted by: BxNY | June 24, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Scarlett Johansson

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I can go you one better than crayone: tar in a gas dryer. You can't use any flammable products like WD-40 to get it out because of the fear of explosion. I spent a holiday weekend with my head in the dryer with oxyclean and steel wool. The steel wool took some of the finish off but at least I don't have tar on my clothes.

Posted by: Change to Heloise's helpful hints | June 24, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Scarlett Johansson"

and whom do you cast as the male lead in "Crazy Love"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"I spent a holiday weekend with my head in the dryer with oxyclean and steel wool. "

"Rent to Own " stores were invented for people like you...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

""I spent a holiday weekend with my head in the dryer with oxyclean and steel wool. "

"Rent to Own " stores were invented for people like you...

Posted by: | June 24, 2008 9:28 AM"

HUH? No need to rent - I am perfectly capable of buying my own appliances rather than being ripped off and paying twice what the item is actually worth.

Posted by: Helpful hints | June 24, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Bret Farve

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm on vacation for the remainder of the week. Starting tomorrow, please welcome Rebeldad Brian Reid to On Parenting. He'll be writing for the rest of the week, then joining On Parenting on a weekly basis

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: The horror, the horror | June 24, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

topic suggestion for the vacation season:

Best car games for travel sanity:

For the Academically inclined:
GHOST
For the little travellers:
Eye-Spy
For the Artsy:
Take Turns singing a song
For the frantic:
The Quiet Game; First to make noise loses
For the Sarcastic:
If I were Dad/Mom in this situation I'd Say: Dont Make me stop this Car!

Any games the OnParenting crew want to suggest? Even you snarky epty nesters and breeder haters must have some ways to pass the time in the car? Hmmmm: But maybe kicking the chair in front should be ruled out to avaoid all those nasty kids shouldnt be allowed in cars postings...

Posted by: Fo3 | June 24, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"Bret Farve"

Do you possibly mean Brett Favre?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

er sorry for lack of spell check, maybe that's why I always lost in GHOST.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 24, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

800 killed in Phillipines boat accident;
84,000 dead in typhoon;
Stock market headed into the toilet;
Gasoline over $4 per gallon;
War continues in Iraq;
Larry Birkhead buys Anna Nicole's underwear for the baby;
Brittany Spears gets a hickey;
Another no-talent celeb wannabe is knocked up.

And the most thought-provoking topic you can think of is crayons in the dryer? Jeez. Get a life. No wonder childfree people avoid you.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Do you possibly mean Brett Favre?

Yea, him too!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The name of the blog is "On Parenting", not "On Tragedy."

There are plenty of other blogs out there to discuss world food prices.

Posted by: to 10:21 | June 24, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Brett Favre"

Why?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Brett Favre" as Leslie's first husband?
A Malibu Barbie & Ken couple...

Wow! Perry is a really big contrast...to the ex.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

guess I'll get some work done today...

Posted by: yowie | June 24, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the midst of finding the perfect stain-fighter. Thankfully, no crayons yet, though my husband has sent more pens through the wash than I can count. So, the buzz is that Zout works miracles. I couldn't find it the other day, so I grabbed Spray and
Wash super duper something or other with Resolve. Shout could not get blueberry stains out, but this stuff worked great. I'm still on the look-out for Zout, though.

For crayons in the dryer, I would have gone with Goo Gone or that Mr. Clean Eraser sponge thingy. WD-40 is flammable. Flammable + dryer = not recommended.

Posted by: atb | June 24, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Brett Favre"

Why?

He is retired and has plenty of times on his hands?

I dunno. You asked, this is what I thought. I mean Brett starred with Carmen Diaz or whoever it was in Something About Mary.

Posted by: to 10.41 | June 24, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Wow! Perry is a really big contrast...to the ex."

And that would be surprising...why? Wouldn't you want to go with the polar opposite after that experience?

Topic? Topic? Did you say "topic"? Don't talk to me about "topic"? Topic? Topic? Are you kidding me? Topic?

(Seriously - just go through the pockets before you put the clothes in the washer. Tired and lazy is no excuse. I've cleaned up enough messes from my wife who doesn't empty the pockets of her jeans to have learned that lesson.)

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

'Topics? We ain't got no topics. We don't need no topics! I don't have to show you any stinkin' topics!'

Posted by: Gold Hat | June 24, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Why does every post have to be "thought provoking"? This is a topic that many folks I know can relate to (though, thankfully not me) and I found it informative. It relates directly to parenting issues.

Posted by: Jen | June 24, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jen

"Why does every post have to be "thought provoking"? This is a topic that many folks I know can relate to (though, thankfully not me) and I found it informative. It relates directly to parenting issues. "

The number of comments is one way to measure the amount of interest in a topic...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The name of the blog is "On Parenting", not "On Tragedy."

There are plenty of other blogs out there to discuss world food prices.

Posted by: to 10:21 | June 24, 2008 10:26 AM

Some people just don't get it. Truly amazes me. And yet, they keep coming back!

By the way WD-40 is flammable if you hold a flame to it. Don't recall reading too many WD-40 dryer fires. Lint build-up is another story.

Posted by: Anon for this one | June 24, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am the culprit in our house regarding leaving things in pockets. I rarely use them so when I actually put something in them, I forget. Honey goes through his pockets when he throws this clothes in the laundry but doesn't think to check mine when it comes time to actually laundering them. Luckily, the worst we have come out with was a melted candy inside of its wrapper.

Posted by: Billie | June 24, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I love it when I leave paper money in my pockets. It comes out so clean and spring time fresh!

Coins esp. in the dryer are another matter.

Posted by: Dollar Bill | June 24, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Brett Favre" as Leslie's first husband?
A Malibu Barbie & Ken couple...

Wow! Perry is a really big contrast...to the ex."

Former NY Governor Spitzer could play present day Perry...


Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Does Stacey actually moderate this blog? I have never seen her post a comment or contribute to the discussion past the column itself.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Does Stacey actually moderate this blog? "

Yes.

"I have never seen her post a comment"

Stacey posts comments.

" or contribute to the discussion past the column itself."

Depends on your definition of "contribute".

Nice gig. Who knew there were such cushy jobs at the WaPo? Is Leslie's old blog up for grabs? Where do I sign?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone ever had a forgotten wrapped maxi pad go through the washer? They come out as huge, bloated hunks of plastic and really give you a first hand view of their absorbency.

Posted by: SapphicHokieMom | June 24, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

SapphicHokieMom

"Has anyone ever had a forgotten wrapped maxi pad go through the washer? "

Um. How exactly does that happen?

Pantiliner left on panty - yes.

Wrapped maxi pad - too big to forget.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Um. How exactly does that happen?"

Well, if you carry a tiny little wallet purse the only alternative is your pocket. Not those super overnight pads, but I can easily get two Always Ultra Thin in my jeans. My partner told me that they weighed about a pound each.

Posted by: SapphicHokieMom | June 24, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure every parent with a clothes dryer overlooks that crayon in the pocket thing. While it isn't a disaster, it is something that happens: a lot. I just ignored it as it was only small smears and it was dry. Nothing went onto my clothes and I've had a smeary dryer for about 6 years now. My whites are white and my colors keep their color as long as I remember to not add bleach at the wrong time during the wash cycle (but that is a different problem)

Posted by: who am I? | June 24, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Dryers are REALLY bad for the environment!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I used to be notorious about leaving chapstick in my pockets. It doesn't gum up the dryer, but all the clothes come out with little oily spots on them. Ugh!

Now that I have children I've gotten better about remembering to check pockets. I have also learned that liquid Clorox 2 (the color safe stuff) works wonders on any numbers of stains, particularly great on blood and other bodily fluids (I also learned that onesies are disposable--if they're really messy, pull out the scissors and cut them off, rather than going over the head!)

Posted by: HM | June 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

For those with Silly Putty embedded in the carpets or other fabrics, rubbing alcohol melts it away....you might neet oxyclean or something for the light residual stain.
Stanley Steemer couldn't get it up...gotta love Google.

Posted by: 2girls2boys | June 24, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Since I have a girl and few of her clothes (or mine, for that matter) have pockets, I mainly spend time going through pockets on my husband's clothes before doing wash.

So why do boys get so many pockets and girls get none?

Posted by: MaryB | June 24, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse


MaryB

"So why do boys get so many pockets and girls get none?

Why do infants get pockets on their clothes?

Posted by: Meow | June 24, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"So why do boys get so many pockets and girls get none?"

Because girls have purses.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"So why do boys get so many pockets and girls get none?"

Because girls get purses.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I, too, have been surprised the few times I've done net searches for household cleaning questions and not come up with any solid resources. There are some things that really are just learned by doing and sharing the stories. I am often surprised at how few people my age and younger don't know basic home remedies for sickness because I suppose it's not a general part of the culture anymore.

Posted by: Liz D | June 24, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

And the Oscar for the dullest topic ever goes to:

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

why not try to talk about something else if you find this topic boring? Let me see: would you chastise someone else's kid if they bothered you in public? At what point is your opinion more important than that kid's parent?

Posted by: who am I? | June 24, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

anon- There is a reason dryer companies don't recommend drying rags soaked in gasoline. I know it's hard for some people to understand, but some things undergo combustion at lower temps than others. Where's "Darwinism Takes its Course" when you need him?

Posted by: atb | June 24, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

With many, many apologies to H.W. Longfellow as this is loosely based on his poem "The Arrow and the Song"

I put a crayon in my pocket,
It fell into the dryer, I now know where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the fright
It turns all my whites into colors bright.

I sprayed some Soft Scrub into the air,
It fell to earth, But it turned nothing white there;
For the crayons have set so keen and strong,
I am just glad it was't my sarong!

Long, long afterward, I'm still broke
I found more stains still to soak;
And to Unilever, from beginning to end,
I've given much money, they are my friends!

Posted by: Poemster | June 24, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

And the Oscar for the dullest topic ever goes to:

Posted by: | June 24, 2008 3:11 PM

I didn't think Stacey could get any duller than some of her past topics on various toy recalls, but this is a whole new low.

Sheesh.

Posted by: gcoward | June 24, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

You people......

You can hurl invective at each all day without stopping to take a breath, but you can't be bothered to search the net for troubleshooting procedures, in this case, removal of crayon stains from clothing.

It took me all of 2 minutes to find the instructions. Here is the pdf:

http://www.crayola.com/canwehelp/staintips/pdf/1.pdf

You people shouldn't be allowed to write with anything sharper than a crayon.

Posted by: Jesus H. Keeerist | June 24, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Jesus, yell at Stacey next time. Ineptitude is not a collective problem.

Posted by: shamu | June 25, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company