Crayons in my Laundry | A Tale of Sorrow and Triumph

Is there anything as horrifying as pulling the laundry out of the dryer only to find large multi-colored blob-like stains all over everything? I think not. And I should know. It happened to me last week.

Proof That Laundry is Punishment

It was all innocent enough. I loaded a small load of darks into the washer, checking pockets and dropping items in as the washer filled. When the washer finished it’s rythmic cleaning cycle I transferred said load into the dryer for a tumble through the hot dry air, guaranteed to deliver warm, dry, wrinkle-reduced clothes to me. Only when I opened the dryer door and started removing the clothes, I noticed some weird, brightly colored spots on one set of my running shorts. Odd.

It was only after I pulled out several more items that the dropping feeling in the pit of my stomach arrived. Crayons! Where in the heck did the crayons come from? Are you kidding me?!?

The culprit, as my superior detective skills soon uncovered, was Captain Chaos (who else?). He had broken up a couple of crayons at dinner earlier in the week and loaded the smallest bits into his pants pockets. These were not uncovered by my cursory check of the laundry as I loaded the washer. The dryer, having far better crayon locating skills that I, had no problem locating the crayon bits.

Thankfully, this load contained mostly playclothes belonging to Captain Chaos. A couple pair of not for public consumption running shorts of mine, a pair of dark jeans, on of my nice shirts, one of Party Boy’s nice shirts, and two pairs of Party Boy’s favorite running shorts were also stained/crayoned. I became frantic, yet thankful, noting that none of Party Boy’s more expensive dress shirts had been in that load!

How to get Crayon Out of Clothes

I sorted through the load setting aside what was too far gone, what I didn’t care if it was stained, and what had to be dealt with. I then headed to Google for help, then I assembled my tools.

Laundry

Step One – Rewash with Baking Soda

Good Housekeeping reccommends a rewash when the entire load is afflicted. Hottest water for the fabric, detergent and a cup of baking soda. I used the hot water setting and ran the load back through the wash.

Verdict: Most of the clothes showed definite improvement. A few of the items were completely stain free, but most still had some faint staining.

Step Two – Rewash with OxyClean

This time I filled the washer with hot water and a scoop of OxyClean. I let the load soak for 30 minutes, then ran it as usual.

Verdict: Much Better! Most of the clothes were completely stain free. Two items retained nasty stains – one pair of gray running shorts and Party Boy’s polo style shirt.

Stain-Shorts

Stain-Shirt

Step Three – Goo Gone + Dawn

I laid out the running shorts with the stained side up on the counter. I tucked a thick pad of folded paper towels inside the shorts directly underneath the stains and dripped Goo Gone onto the crayon. Let set for 5 minutes. Blot with clean dry paper towel.

Verdict: The yellow crayon stains were completely gone! Yay! Shorts saved. I then used regular dishwashing detergent on the Goo Gone spots, rinsed well, and set aside for a rewash.

I also laid out the shirt. Same process with the Goo Gone, but these crayon stains were dark – black or blue. After 5 minutes the stains were not budging. At all.

Step Four – WD-40 + Dawn

I applied the WD-40 in the same way I had the Goo Gone, with a pad of paper towels underneath the fabric. I set the timer for 5 minutes and sat, hoping against hope that this would work.

Note the importance of the pad of paper towels. The WD-40 melts the crayon out of the shirt, so you don’t want it running to another section of clothing and restaining everything!

Interesting note: red crayon on a red shirt appears as a white stain. Hmmm…

Verdict: When the timer went off I grabbed a white paper towel and rubbed – GREEN! The offending crayon was green. The stain slowly started to lift from the shirt. There is hope yet! I followed with dishwashing detergent that seemed to remove the rest of the stain.

Final Step – Rewash, Again

After fully treating the stains on the shirt with both the WD-40 and dish soap (rinse well!) I threw both items in on a small load setting with detergent and Oxy Clean and hot water.

Final Verdict: Success! Yes! The majority of the stains are completely gone from the shirt after washing. There is one stubborn spot that has hung on on the chest, but I have hopes that with some additional oxy treatment that one will lighten or disappear completely. If not, the shirt will be reduced to being worn under a sweater or for just around the house. As much of a bummer it is to potentially lose this shirt, I am grateful that I was able to save the rest of the load with minimal effort.

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