The Purple Crayon Disaster

Posted by Hometalk | Dec 08, 2009
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On Monday morning, there was a horrible disaster waiting for me in the dryer. The disaster was purple streaked clothing caused by melted purple crayon. It was all over the dryer walls, but even worse, it was all over our clothes. It was even more painful than the green crayon in my son's pant pocket that melted all over my newborn daughter's clothes almost 4 years ago. Since that horrible day, I make sure to check all the pockets of every single item of clothing before tossing into the washing machine. However, this time around, the crayon must have been scooped up along with clothes on the floor.

I wouldn't have been so upset about this, after all, I had already once successfully removed green crayon from an entire load of pink pajamas. Except this time, the purple was so thick that I didn't think I had a chance at saving the clothes. As you may have read in a previous blog post, my husband and I have cut down on the amount of clothing that we purchase for the kids. It was most of the kids' pants and shirts that was in this load.

Even worse, a new pair of my son's khaki dress pants were now purple-khaki's - not exactly what a cool nine year old boy wants to wear. Plus, two or his four shirts were covered in purple streaks. And that was just part of the damage. A few of my shirts were damaged, too.

Luckily for me, I knew exactly how to deal with this. But, unluckily for me, I was on my way out the door to work. The purple streaks would have to wait nearly eight hours for me to deal with. All day, I kept having these images of the stains setting in deeper and deeper into the clothes. While I don't think this is actually possible, I tortured myself with these thoughts for about half the day, until my husband came home from work sick. Of course, I felt badly for him being sick and all, but on the other hand, this meant that he could throw the purple clothes in the machine and start the soaking process (read more below for how to soak)! We only had a few tablespoons of baking soda in the house, so he added it into the hot water.

It is now Tuesday morning, a bit more than 24 hours after the horrible discovery and I am happy to report that I was able to remove all the wax! Here is my recipe for how to remove crayon:

1. Soak the clothes in hot water with a cup of baking soda for at least 4 hours.

2. Cover the thicker stains with baking soda and then scrub with a toothbrush.

3. Empty the water from the washing machine and fill again with hot water, a cup of baking soda and a piece of a heavy duty laundry detergent bar. (I used Fels-Naptha heavy duty laundry bar soap). Cut off about of a cup of soap from the bar and dilute it in boiling water for a few minutes. Then, add it in with the clothes and water in the machine. Run the washing machine through a heavy soiled cycle. When the load is finished, most of the stains should be faint.

4. Soak the clothes again, this time overnight. Make sure to add another cup of baking soda and cup of diluted laundry bar soap.

5. In the morning, run the washing machine again through a heavy soiled cycle.

6. Inspect the clothes. If the stains are still noticeable, then repeat step 4, which should do the trick at finally removing the stains.

I am so relieved that this ordeal only lasted for a day. You can only imagine the shock and disbelief I felt when I opened the dryer. I am just crossing my fingers that this will be my final post forever about melted crayon on clothing.

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