Yesterday, I opened up a dryer full of adult clothes (my husband's work shirts, pants, some of my shorts, a skirt I made, yadda) and discovered that they were all splattered in RED. After I praised God for my children not being in the house when I made this discovery (I may have gone on a sailor-styled cursing rant), I tried not to panic. And, also, cry. It took me until I had everything out of the dryer before I discovered a flattened piece of red generic crayon paper.
I did what any other modern mom would do, and left that pile of clothes on the floor and ran to Google. I saw so many different things. I laughed at every single one that said, "Use an iron and paper bags," because I was dealing with an ENTIRE load of laundry. Covered. In red. Addressing all those stains with an iron would take a month. And my sanity.
So, after combining a few ideas from several different blog posts (and also what Crayola said to do about it—even though this crayon was an impostor), I came up with this concoction.
- 1 cup of Borax (I used 20 Mule Team—is there any other kind?)
- 2 full scoops (to the top line) of Oxyclean
- ¼ cup of Dawn dish detergent
- 1 full cap (to the top line) of Tide laundry detergent
I dumped all those ingredients into the bottom of the washing machine. I threw all those clothes back in there.
I turned on the water at my utility sink (next to my washer and dryer) to full blast hot and waited until it got hot. Then, I filled up the washing machine. My washing machine is a new, old-school top loader, and I was able to finagle it so that it would sit and soak after it filled. If I didn't have this, I was probably going to have to plug up the utility sink to do it in there.
I let that sit overnight. Then, this morning, I ran the load through the full cycle (in the same water), and when I went to pull it out of the wash, it was as if it didn't even happen.
I did see that a sport bra had a faint pink area on the inside, and a pair of my husband's shorts had a faint pink spot on the rear (but there were stains and holes in that sucker already, anyway). If I had tried again with those (to treat them), I'm sure it would have come out. I didn't even care at that point, and I knew those spots wouldn't cause more damage. So, I carried on.
Also, the dryer didn't have any solid chunks in it, but it was a faint pink color. I used a Magic Eraser on the drum, and then, I got an already-ruined towel wet and ran it in there on hot afterwards. That took care of it.
That's it! Don't cry. It'll be okay.