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How I survived a most colorful laundry disaster

by Traci Schumacher on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 8:51am

So I've been a mom for more than nine years, and I've now experienced my first time washing and drying crayons with the laundry. Let's just say it's not a good thing to do. It is something to avoid if at all possible.

My first-grader left six crayons in the pocket of his dress pants after church on Sunday. He forgot about them and tossed the pants into the hamper. I failed to check the pockets and away they went into the wash.

When I transferred the load of laundry – mostly dressy clothes and school uniforms - from the washer to the dryer I noticed a few small scraps of paper (crayon wrappers) but thought nothing of it really. Maybe it was a sticker from someone's shirt... not a big deal.

It turns out red is the biggest trouble-maker. Imagine my surprise when I opened the dryer to my nice, clean laundry streaked with red crayon. Lots of red crayon. I didn't notice the other colors on the clothes, though there were rainbow specks and streaks on the inside of the dryer itself.

Once I got over that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I was thankful for the Internet. My husband found a remedy online for this very situation... “How to Remove Crayon From Clothes Already Dried in a Dryer.” Wow... there was hope!

I mixed up the magic solution and, after four hot-water washings, including letting the clothes soak overnight, most of the crayon was gone. And the clothes were very, very clean.

Of course, while the clothes were washing over and over, I was cleaning the crayon out of the dryer, which itself involved Internet research, a toothbrush, and Comet cleanser. Words cannot express how relieved I was when the clothes were finished, the dryer was clean, and our laundry world was back to normal.

To ensure this does not happen again, I discussed with my son the importance of removing objects from his pockets. And I reminded myself to check the pockets always!

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