Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Get Crayon Out of Washed and Dried Clothes Cheaply



This blog doesn't usually diverge from food (does it ever diverge from food). I don't claim to be the least bit crafty. I definitely don't claim to be super neat or organized or put together. Fashion? (I like things with butterflies/birds on them; and braids.) So, yeah, me and my girls kind of have the same fashion sense.

But today I want to give you a different kind of recipe--one you will not eat. Why? Because last week my girls' clothes went through the laundry (washer and dryer) with an orange crayon in it. Which--in case you're one of the lucky uninitiated--meant that all their laundry--new school clothes and all--came out with splotches of orange crayon all over them. And I do mean all over. And I do mean splotches. And I do mean orange. I knelt by the laundry basket for several minutes just looking through it in despair. What good does it do to try to save money on food if you have to go out and buy all new pants for your six-year-old only a month after you went out and bought a bunch of new clothes for your six-year-old.

Now--not shockingly because I am a sort of lazy mother--I'd had this happen to me once before several years ago (green crayon on my son's clothes). Then I had used a different (and effective) internet recipe and most of that green had come out. But it had required lots of somewhat expensive "ingredients" (Tide--like, a cup of it, Borax, Oxyclean, and some other stuff). Also, when my sister had come to our house once bearing a load of laundry that had crayon all over it, this "recipe" hadn't worked for her. I don't know why, but it didn't.

So I went back online to look for a different "recipe." And I found one with just three ingredients (plus HOT water) that were cheap. And it worked really really well. The crayon came off of almost everything the first time. The stuff that still had a little on I ran again and it came off of all except one pair of polyester Tinkerbell jammies (who knows?)

I didn't actually think it would work (too easy right), so I didn't take any before pictures. I should have. Fortunately for me and my lazy, slightly sloppy-basemented self, I found this sock after I'd washed all the clothes (orange splotches plus orange-ish hue). Now look at its nice clean mate. Impressive, eh? And many of the clothes were much much worse than this sock (no, I don't unroll my kids' socks either when I do the wash; told you--lazy parent; unrolling is their job and they do it badly).



And truly the extra beautiful thing about not needing to re-wardrobe my children was that one load of this de-crayoning laundry cost only about $.10-.20 more than a normal load of laundry.

How to Get Crayon Out of Washed and Dried Clothes Cheaply
thanks to Diary of a Doctor's Wife
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Regular amount of laundry detergent for one load (I had some Tide coldwater, but any type should do--the original poster used All Free and Clear. I imagine even a cheaper laundry detergent would do as long as it's not super-cheap-watered-down-doesn't-clean-your-regular-laundry kind of stuff)
1/2 C vinegar
4-6 Tbsp dish soap (the kind you use to wash your dishes with by hand; I had Great Value)

Run the hot water in (you want it super hot, so turn up your water heater or add some boiling water or whatever, but lukewarm will not do). Add detergent, vinegar, and dish soap.

Put clothes in and shut lid so all that heat stays in.

Let sit for 15 minutes. Set a timer if you must because you don't want the water to get cold.

Run laundry.

Note: I did not have any crayon on my dryer (I think because I had a towel in there that seemed to wipe it off as it dried--that towel was covered in crayon and I really wish I'd taken a before and after of it, because after this recipe I could not see any orange). However, sometimes if a crayon gets in the dryer, the dryer gets crayon on it and that, my friends, is bad because it will then continue to color any clothes you put in there. Diary of a Doctor's Wife used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get her dryer clean after red crayon got all over it. So if you need to clean your dryer, this is probably a good method.

52 comments:

  1. That is almost exactly the same recipe for "stripping" cloth diapers (removing the detergent residue that can cause super stinky pee diapers) - weirdsies! Glad to know there's an easy, cheap cure. How is Emma?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason that's really weird to me--detergent pee smell and crayon. Maybe I should start washing all of my clothes with this combo. Emma's okay. She's mostly better today, just a little tired and mopey.

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    2. didnt work for me

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  2. Whoa! Reading out DIY blogs like this can really be a life-saver. It makes life simple and easy. Removing crayon stains is not that easy, but I think you can try ironing the crayon-stained article under a thin sheet of paper. This way, you can allow the paper to absorb the wax first so that you can have easy removal of the color.

    Brad Wike

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  3. ..brad...it is that easy!! :) I just had to do this w my clothes

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  4. What about if your washer doesn't have hot water hooked up to it? Do you just keep boiling water to put in until the washer is full?

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    Replies
    1. Um. I guess so. I admit that I haven't had to do that.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I ruined an extra large load yesterday which included my husbands only good jeans, work clothes and some of my sons clothes. I thought for sure they were garbage and I would need to go shopping. I have a new front load which does not have a soak option and the soap has to go in the dispenser but I just set it to a hot prewash and put all of the ingredients suggested in the regular whitest whites wash and prewash!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad you didn't have to replace everything.

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  7. I can't believe this worked! It seemed too good to be true. But, I thought I ruined all of my husbands work pants with a blue crayon yesterday , i tried this today and it worked! Thank you

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  8. I use vinegar with my detergent with every load that I wash, especially dish towels that hold the old grease odor. Your clothes get squarely clean!

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  9. Can you do this with a front loader? I don't know how I'd fill with hot water and then open the door...

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you can as long as the water is HOT. Just put the clothes in like you normally would with HOT water.

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  10. Thank You!!!! You saved my daughter's new coat. After playing in snow, her coat, hat, scarf & son's coat were thrown in dryer. Her coat was COVERED (75%) in melted crayons (that were in her pocket) along with other items. Followed directions & coat looks beautiful, only scant amount remains on hood & these were red, brown & orange crayons. Thanks again!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yay! There's nothing that makes you feel sick like thinking you've ruined a new coat.

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  11. Replies
    1. Would it work if you only have apple cider vinegar?

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    2. Someone said yes the apple cider works just as fine.

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  12. I guess I"m an anomaly because this didn't work for me. Had bright orange red crayon on a beloved waffle cotton sweater and it didn't budge or fade at all. Bummer.

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    Replies
    1. Oh no. That is a bummer. Was the water really hot?

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    2. This didn't work for me either and my hot water tank is on full blast and my detergent is Gain !!

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  13. Tried didn't work willing to try again....

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    Replies
    1. Arg. I hope it works when you try again. I'd also encourage you to be sure the water is HOT.

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  14. Would this work with all clothing (like darks and lights)?

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  15. Has anyone tried with a HE front loader? I'm scared of putting the dish detergent in it.

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    Replies
    1. I'm doing it RIGHT NOW in my front loader. I set mine on sanitary for 1:55 super hot. Mine doesn't let me soak in super hot only warm. I'm 30 minutes into it and so far so good. I wish I took a before picture. Fingers crossed.

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    2. 90% came out. Just a few faded stubborn blue dots but not too much to not wear the clothes. I ran the cycle twice for a total of 4 hours.

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    3. Yay! I'm so glad it worked. And now I can tell people it does with a front loader.

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  16. Thank you!!! I have a front loader European machine which does not have a "soak" feature and when you pause the load it drains the water assuming you want to add more laundry! So I was a bit nervous if this would work for me or not, but the orange crayon which had ruined an entire load of dark pants and skirts (I spose it would have been good for Halloween??) came totally clean thanks to your tip! I cannot thank you enough!

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  17. I just tried this with a dreaded orange crayon in my front loader. I used apple cider vinegar, Dawn dish soap, Tide pods, and a scoop of Oxy Clean. It's better, but not gone. Two runs through the washer and I called it quits. My front loader gave me an error message of too many suds (most likely from the Dawn).

    Overall, I would say this was not successful for me.

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  18. I am scared to use hot water because I have all different color clothes with different color marks all over. Won't all the colors run together?

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    Replies
    1. I guess it's a case of nothing left to lose. Cold water will not remove the waxy crayon. You have to use hot. I haven't had a problem with colors running from the clothes, and the crayon colors won't run together because they get washed out.

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  19. Worked GREAT! Thank you so much! I used a TON of hot water though b/c I have an HE washer- boiled 4 XL cooking pots on the stove and dumped them in. I let them sit for like 20m too. Maybe for those who are still having trouble, try adding more boiling water and let them sit a bit longer?

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm happy every time I hear this worked for someone.

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  20. I used your method to get red crayon off of sheets, comforter, blankets and a mattress cover. I took 1 cup of Tide detergent, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 4 tbsp of dawn dishdetergent. Let it soak in the hot washmachine water for 15 minutes and ran the cycle. All the crayon was gone. For the white mattress cover it took a bit more soaking and a half cup of oxiclean added to the water. Let it soak for another 20min and ran the rest of the cycle. Stains gone! Thanks for your DIY posts!!!

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  21. My only caveat to the recipe is Dish Soap can wreak havoc on your washing machine and void it's warranty.

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    Replies
    1. Really. Interesting. What does it do? I admit I don't use it regularly--just for little crayon disasters and what not. But do you know what it does?

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    2. It's the suds. HE washers require low sudsing detergents, and yes, it can void your warranty. I am not sure about the science behind it ruining the washer (though now I'm curious).

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  22. I dont think my washer has a soak option.how can i tell if i have that option? My hot water does not stay hot for long. Could i boil water and let them soak in the bath tub? All my daughters clothes seem to be ruined with green and orange crayon at this point.

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    Replies
    1. I don't usually use my soak option. i just put the water in with the detergent, etc. Then I add the clothes, turn it off, and close the lid. (I've heard that some washers will drain if you turn them off; hopefully yours isn't one of them). Then i let it sit. I hope that helps.

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  23. I just washed and dried my daughters new fall clothes with a black crayon.... Out of all the colors it has to be the darkest one! I'm in the process right now and am praying this works!!! I even burned my leg with boiling water as I was caring it down to the basement! Wish me luck!!

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  24. It took ALL the brown crayon out of my son's school clothes yippy. Happy mama here.

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  25. This doesn't bubble too much does it?

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