It has happened to all of us: we forget to check the pockets before we wash clothes. It happened to me with a crayon, and the waxy stuff came off pretty easily with just a little elbow grease.
This time it was an ink pen, tossed casually into Hubby's pant's pocket and forgotten over the course of his busy day.
And in my haste - between substitute teaching three days that week, making dinner, helping with homework, running boys to basketball practice, and 527 other things that had to get done - I hastily tossed laundry in the washer and dryer without examining it too carefully.
A rookie mistake made by a veteran house manager. It happens.
Only when I heard the clunk, clunk coming from the dryer did I know I missed something.
I opened the door to this:
Laundry doing was effectively shut down until I could get the ink stains out. And since my laundry pile usually looks like this:
I had to do something STAT! Naturally I took to Facebook and asked YOU how to fix this. Here's what you suggested:
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- nail polish remover with acetone
- hair spray
- Skin So Soft by Avon
- Soft Scrub
- rubbing alcohol
- Pine Sol
- Goo Gone
- Bug Spray
- Clorox Bleach
- Oxy Clean
- WD 40
- blue Dawn dish soap
I clearly had a challenge ahead of me, so I got started. Here's what I tried and the results:
- Towel soaked in Clorox Bleach: I read something that suggested soaking a towel in bleach and running the dryer with the towel in it. Did it work? Sort of. Since the ink had been sitting for a few days, running the dryer heated the ink and made it a little easier to wipe off with the bleach-soaked towel. It got most of the ink off the silver drum part of the dryer, but didn't really budge what was on the back white part of the dryer.
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Seemed like an easy option, so I was hopeful. Did it work? Yes and no. It took the ink marks right off the window of the dryer with just a little wiping. However, I had to scrub too hard on the inside of the dryer, and the Magic Eraser broke down too quickly with that vigorous of scrubbing.
- Oxy Clean Spray: It works on my sons' "boy stains," so I gave it a try. Did it work? Not really/maybe a little. I sprayed and wiped and sprayed and wiped, but I didn't see much difference.
- Soft Scrub: I love Soft Scrub. I use it a lot. Gentle and non-abrasive, I find it works well for most things. Did it work? Yes, pretty well, but not completely. With a little elbow grease, I managed to get most of the ink off the back white part of the dryer. However, there were bigger, more concentrated stains that were harder to remove.
- Pine Sol: Since the fumes were getting to me at this point, I decided to rinse the dryer with Pine Sol. Did it work? No, it didn't take any of the ink off; but it did make the inside of my dryer smell better.
- Rubbing Alcohol: I was really hesitant to use anything that was labeled as flammable, so I avoided rubbing alcohol, hair spray, and nail polish remover. However, at this point I was so tired and just wanted to be done, but I couldn't resolve myself to leaving any of the marks behind so I tried it. Did it work? Nope.
- Hair Spray: I only had an expensive brand. Did it work? Nada.
- Acetone: I really wanted to avoid using this, but I also really wanted to be done, too. Did it work? Yes, right away. With minimal effort, the acetone took the rest of the ink off the white part of my dryer.
I made sure to wash the inside of my dryer with a bit of blue Dawn dish soap and a wet towel. Then I wiped it with another wet clean towel and a dry towel to get all the different chemicals off before I started it again.
Results and recommendations: Even though the acetone worked immediately, I personally wouldn't use it on large areas of the dryer due to the smell and the risk of flammability. If this happens again, I will use the Soft Scrub first to get most of the ink off, then finish off the stubborn spots with acetone.
Caution! I was advised by many health professionals I know to NEVER use ammonia and bleach together as they are toxic. Many people end up in the ER due to using this combination.
I'm back to tackling the laundry pile and have seen no evidence of the ink. However, I still have a basket of inky laundry that I am working on. Hubby's pants went in the trash because they were too far gone. I'll let you know what, if anything, worked on the rest of it.
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