Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laundry Woes

I'm not very good at doing laundry.  I shrink things, wash everything together, don't check pockets and generally do it wrong.  So it really comes as no surprise that last week I pulled a load out of the dryer to discover all the clothes were covered in what appeared to be crayon.  Yes, it was crayon, I found the remains of the wrapper paper when I shook out one of my husbands now multi-colored shirts.

I wasn't surprised, but I was upset.  There aren't many clothing articles I care so very much about, but Peter's dear little Kee-Ka organics leggings were in that load.  I had bought them as Christmas gifts for him this year and just love to see his chubby little legs in them!  And now they appeared to be ruined.

Of course I immediately took to the internet to see what could be done.  There were suggestions on heating the crayon out (which would take hours on what amounted to a full large load of laundry).  Suggestions on specialized cleaning products.  More suggestions on using WD-40! A friend of mine sent her crayon-encrusted clothes to a dry cleaner, but I wasn't quite that desperate...yet.

I let the ruined laundry sit in the dining room for a week, hoping against hope that the issue would resolve itself.  Of course it didn't, and today I finally decided to do something about it.

I've made laundry detergent before so I had a few things that might do the trick.  I figured I may as well try some things I had on hand before heading to the store and hunting down potentially toxic crayon-removers.   Turns out, it worked quite well!  Here's what I did.  (Full disclosure:  I have a top loader, if that makes a difference).

Removing Crayon from Dried Clothes

1 scoop Borax laundry treatment (about 1/4 C)

1 scoop Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (1/4 C)

1 squirt Dawn Dish Soap

I washed the clothes on the Warm/Warm and set it at the highest water setting for the longest cleaning setting.

And guess what?  It came out.  Every bit.  On most of the clothes, it was gone after the first washing.  On a few polo shirts, it took a second go 'round.  But it came out.  And pretty easily at that.


  1. I will keep this info handy, cause, you just never know right?

    Laundry is a necessary evil for me, so many other things I would rather be doing, but it has to be done.

  2. Lydia,
    I am so happy the cleaning was easy and painless and you were able to recover your clothing! What a blessing!!

  3. Yes! I am just thrilled I didn't have to buy an expensive cleaner or use something very toxic. I got the idea of using dawn since I know people used to use it to strip cloth diapers. It is a grease cutter so I thought it may help with the wax. I'm just so happy it worked!


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