The other day, the unthinkable happened. I was minding my own business, efficiently going through my 2nd of 3 loads of laundry when I pulled out my newly clean and dry load from the dryer. I noticed some odd looking marks on my daughter socks. Was that ink? What IS that? As I pulled more and more clothes out of the dryer, my heart started racing. It was EVERYWHERE. Then, I gazed into my dryer. Oh the HORROR!

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Still at a loss for exactly what the substance was that now coated the interior of my year- old dryer, I ran a finger over the marks, hoping it would come off. No! Was this permanent? And once again, what is it!?

I pulled out my phone to furiously ask (blame) my husband if he’d left a pen in a pocket. He called asking if I’d ruined the laundry, to which I replied, “I hope not.” This is what the mayhem looked like:

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I scratched at the spots and to my surprise, some of it came off under my nails. Good, I thought, I’ll just rewash them! While pulling everything out of the dryer, I had found a black piece of something. Was it rubber? Had my daughter picked it up and stuffed it in a pocket? My husband asked if it was a crayon, but I assured him- never. And besides, ours are “washable.”

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I threw everything straight in the washer and went to work on cleaning my dryer. This is where the tutorial comes in, mamas.

I unplugged my dryer and then grabbed some rubbing alcohol and a white cloth. I dabbed the cloth into some alcohol and gradually start wiping at the black marks (still not knowing what they were) and they came off! Hallelujah! I kept rotating the spots on the cloth so that I wouldn’t end up smearing what I had already cleaned off. After about 20 minutes, I got as much as I could, resigning myself that there would just be stains. Before throwing in more clean laundry, only to be ruined, I tossed a white towel in and ran it for a few minutes to see if any more stains would rub off. Nope! Mission accomplished.

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Not bad huh? After my clothes were done being rewashed, I pulled them out hoping for magic to have happened. About half of my laundry recovered pretty well, but the other half still had some major spots. I soaked and scratched off as much as possible then just started throwing some of the unsaved items away. Too much work! Then, lo and behold as I was putting away the last of the clothes, I found this:

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Yes, you guessed it: it was a crayon. And what other color would it be than black? No other color besides black would cause such havoc! Once I figured it out, I ran to my computer to google “crayons and dryer” and discovered that soaking and scrubbing with dish soap will actually help remove crayon stains off clothes. I grabbed my worse offenders and poured dish soap on the bad stains. After a few minutes of soaking, I took a toothbrush and scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed. Not everything came off, but I was able to save my daughters brand new pajamas and dress (of course they were in that load!) and I was a happy mom.

Let this be a lesson to you: if you let your kids help with laundry, keep an eye on them! I’m pretty sure my daughter tossed the crayon into the dryer while she was “helping” me put wet laundry in. Additionally, you can bet I’ll be doing a crayon inventory before doing the laundry next time!

Karly Wood

Karly Wood

Editor at HomeLife Media
I'm a born and bred Southern California native and currently the editor of LifeAsMama.com . I get to share my life with my husband of 12 years and our beautiful, 4-year old daughter. In my free time you'll catch me cheering for the Dodgers, cooking, baking, reading, crafting and probably watching a little HGTV!