next time, i’m pattin’ him down

last evening i did a load of dutch’s dark clothes and when i say his dark clothes, i mean pretty much all of them. all of his jeans and pants he wears during the week, all of his cool tops, and some dark colored pj’s too. i went to get his clothes out of the dryer and [enter dramatic music here] his clothes were all [enter even MORE dramatic music here]


what the heck?? i was totally stumped. his clothes looked as if he had been tagged by barney. each piece was marked with this purple stuff. i frantically began pulling each piece out bit by bit hoping that at least one thing hadn’t been ruined and then i came across the culprit…a freakin’ purple crayon.

well, isn’t that just lovely?

so i took the crayon out, put another load of clothes (his white stuff) in the dryer and then re-washed the dark stuff in warm water ’cause i figured crayons are waxy and the warm water would loosen the stuff up, right? so the load finished and voila!! most of the purple stuff is gone, but not all of it so i decided not to put the stuff in the dryer again because i didn’t want the remaining crayon on the clothing to melt and create a mess again. i hung the dark stuff up to dry.

then i take the whites out of the dryer and what the heck?? it’s all purple again!! there was another piece of purple crayon the dryer that i had somehow missed!

oh great.

well, at least this was just his undershirts and socks. so off to wash this stuff again! the drama of it all.

i went online this morning to search on such madness because i figured surely i’m not the only mama in the world who has had crayons in the dryer and here’s some advice that i found on getting the stains out of the clothing and off of your dryer drum, you know, just in case you have this little problem one day too.

crayola suggests doing the following in order to get crayon out of your dryer:

To remove crayon stains from a dryer drum, spray a soft cloth with WD-40 and wipe the drum. Next, remove any WD-40 residue by washing the dryer drum with warm soapy water. Then run a load of dry rags through a regular drying cycle.

Please bear in mind, all the stain removal suggestions we offer have been tested in our laboratory, but we are unable to guarantee the results. We recommend you test our suggestion in an inconspicuous area first.

i thought this was pretty darn nice of crayola to add this little note on their site, but should also know that if you have a gas dryer you should the door open to dry out for a day before running. i found that little tidbit on

and to get the mess out of your clothing, offers this:

  1. Place the stained clothes on a white cloth or a few white paper towels.
  2. Spray WD-40 or apply a product such as Goo Gone onto the stain. Let this stand for a few minutes.
  3. Turn the clothing over and apply WD-40 or Goo Gone to the other side of the stain; again, let this stand for a few minutes.
  4. Take some dishwashing detergent and work this into the stain on both sides.
  5. Wash in hot water with a detergent containing color-safe bleach, such as Cheer with Bleach. Or use a regular detergent and add color-safe bleach.
  6. Check the clothing before drying to ensure that the crayon stain is gone. If not, then repeat washing.

to avoid creating this whole big ol’ mess next time, i’ve decided to just pat dutch down each evening that he comes home from daycare to make sure he hasn’t stashed some little secrets in his pockets that will later be revealed in my dryer.


7 thoughts on “next time, i’m pattin’ him down

  1. wow… this has never happened to me but I did have my clothes go through a DRYER with a black sharpie. I was horrified… And the dryer, of all things. As I sat crying, my friend told me about the miracle of ZOUT. And it is a miracle. It has taken out EVERY adult and kid stain I have ever introduced it to.

  2. AHHH no! I hate that…. crayons must be deadly.

    We did a load of whites here that ended up a miserable looking grey – turns out a pair of black socks (unwashed ones) had been stuck inside a pair of light coloured pants… and now all of our nice clean white underwear are GREY!

  3. OMG what a nightmare. I give you credit for going through all that, because I probably would have let my toddler go around in purple clothes until he outgrew them.

    I don’t have crayon problems anymore, but what I do have is my husband leaving Kleenex in his pockets. Like, stuffed way down inside a pocket where you don’t feel it when you’re loading the washer, and it doesn’t fully expose itself till it’s in the dryer. I’ve had a wad of Kleenex ruin a dryer load of dark clothes … the whole thing disintegrates into almost-invisible molecules that embed themselves into the fabric and bake. The end result is a load of clothes that look like they were dipped in dust or chalk. The end result is kind of artsy, though, as if your clothes are mixed-media, or altered art. I tell people it’s way-hipper than they’re capable of comprehending.

  4. oh no! not the crayons! I havent had it happen to me before (well because I dont have a kid), but I do know plenty of people it has happened to before… so take comfort, you’re not alone. I’ve done the tissue thing to myself before though, and its so aggravating to get out!

  5. i have recently had the pleasure of experiencing this beautiful TRAUMA…my girls returned home from a week long stay with their aunt…as soon as they unpacked i insisted that they separated the clothes so that i could play with my brand new maytag washer and dryer…i never thought twice about checking their pockets…they are 6 and 8…i assumed that they were over the whole hiding stuff in your pocket phase…I WAS SO WRONG!!!i opened my dryer to find red and green markings and melted crayon all over the place…thanks for posting this article…because i had no clue where to even begin…

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