Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Get Crayon Out of the Dryer: The Winner of the Blue Ribbon Blog Contest

Merry Christmas to everyone!  First things first, I want to announce the winner of the Blue Ribbon Blog Contest for the Winter 2011.  Competition was pretty fierce and I was impressed again by how many people participated and the quality of the posts that were sent in.  The criteria called for posts that really shared something helpful and informative and I selected the winner...She is Melanie from Adventures in Frugalness  She taught me about getting crayon out of the dryer and that is something EVERY mom will need to know at some point, so I suggest we all pin this on Pinterest!!  The runner-up is Tessa from The Diary of a Working Mother.   Her post is about feeding her little guy and it's something I hope every parent will read at some point because it really makes you think.  I look forward to the next contest in the Spring.  Until then, Happy Blogging Everyone!!

Melanie's Bio
Hey there everyone. 

I am so happy to be featured here at A Mommy With A Selective Memory, and honored to be the recipient of her awesome Blue Ribbon Blog Award.

My name is Melanie. 

I am the co-creator or 4 rambunctious boys, a SAHM (to those aforementioned boys), a long-winded author of way too many of which is named Adventures in Frugalness (he he he), and a plethora of many other things.

I started Testosterone Overload, just over four years ago, as a way to keep in touch with family and post pictures of my boys (only 3 then).  Besides the addition of one more XY, Testosterone Overload has definitely evolved from where it started.

I've learned through the years that in order to keep up with my "brood of manliness" I have to A. keep the pantry shelves stocked at all times (I "coupon"...well, sometimes) B. know how to repair anything (especially clothing) with, and sometimes without, duct tape and C. find ways to save money on just about every other aspect of "in-home engineering" you can think of, in order to keep a roof over our heads. 

I have lovingly dub these money (and/or life) saving ideas, my "Adventures in Frugalness".  It just so happens that the post I submitted for the MWASM's Blue Ribbon Blog Contest just happened to be one of them.  It may not have saved me money...or saved my life...but hopefully, because of my research, it can do both for you (if you ever find yourself in a similar situation).

So, without further ado...

Melanie's winning blog post

HOW TO: GET MELTED CRAYON OUT OF CLOTHES First of all...let me say that if you are searching out this topic because you have a similar problem...I am sorry.  Very sorry. Now...where to begin.  Well...if you recall, last week I was having a peaceful, stress-less morning until I opened up the dryer and found black crayon melted all over an entire extra large load of laundry (see Help!  I need you....Crayon vs Dryer).  JUST GREAT! A part of me...a very LARGE part of me...wanted to just condemn the clothing and chuck 'em.  But...unfortunately, the more logical and frugal side of me won out.  I decided to try and clean them.  (Boo!) It's not like I have all the time and money in the world.  I needed something quick and cheap but also wanted to give you, my readers, a true test of options.  So with that in mind, I tried a few different methods (adapted from this blog, and my own intellect), modifying them as I saw fit, and am here to give you my recommendations/solutions.  For cleaning the dryer drum- I put a few rags in the dryer and turned it on for a few minutes to warm the wax back up.  I then sprayed it with Pro-Tek (a non-toxic all purpose cleaner--safe for fabric) and wiped every inch of the drum clean ( recommends using opinion...see below).  I then placed a few clean white rags in the drum and ran it again for a few minutes to test for cleanliness.  It worked.  Everything came out clean.  Also recommended...drying a load of dark clothing (if your crayon was dark) before anything else...."just in case".  After the rags I dried a load of old sheets and towels.  Worked for me.  Whatever you do...just make sure the drum in clean.  You don't want MORE crayon in fabric on your hands.  I'm confident that almost any cleaner would work for this step.  At least any cleaner with any sort of degreasing abilities. For the clothes- I tried a lot of different cleaners and methods.  Here's what I recommend. #1 Fill washer tub with HOT water.  Add 1 to 1-1/2 cup(s) "Homemade Laundry Detergent" concentrate (or whatever detergent you have on hand) and a capful of Clorox 2.  Add clothes.  Wash on REGULAR (not casual or delicate) for 3-5 minutes to distribute the soap/color safe bleach throughout.  Then stop the washer and let the clothes sit for 20-60 minutes before continuing the wash cycle.  Be sure to use the longest wash cycle your machine has (mine is called Super Plus and runs about 12 minutes long).  Rinse on WARM. I found that by doing this I was able to eliminate at least 60 % of the stains right away.  Sweet!....the less scrubbing the better, right? NOTE:  DO NOT PLACE CLOTHING THAT IS STILL STAINED IN THE DRYER TO DRY!!!!!!  Hang them to dry if you are not going to work on them right away. #2 Let the scrubbing begin. I said,  I tried a LOT of products. 
First, I tried this... 
Pro-Tek (a non-toxic all purpose cleaner--safe for laundry) and Clorox 2
Stain Devils-for pen and crayon and Clorox 2
My "homemade laundry soap" concentrate and Clorox 2
and...eventually....I did try this...for the sake of research's suggested  concoction
Wanna know what worked best and was the cheapest?  The "Homemade Laundry Detergent" coupled with the Clorox 2.  TRUE STORY! The Pro-Tek and the Stain Devils (specifically made for pen and crayon) worked okay.  I had to spend just as much time scrubbing the clothing as with the laundry soap (maybe even a tad bit longer).  The WD-40....ugh!...did not work any better than anything else I tried.  I was very hesitant to use it (even though it came recommended by several different sources) but did so anyway...for the sake of research.  It added another step to the whole spray and scrub process because after using it you then have to scrub the WD-40 OUT of the fabric with dish soap.  And what did I end up with?  More stains...from the oily lubricant.  So...I can easily say that I personally would not recommend using WD-40.  It was, by far, the most expensive, as well as the most labor intensive process I tried.  That's my take.  Do with it what you will. So here's what I suggest for remaining stains (after laundering as instructed above): Take a small amount of  Homemade Laundry Detergent" concentrate and work it into the fabric using your knuckles, fingernails, a soft scrub brush (not a stiff one...I tried it...not so good on the fabric), or by rubbing the fabric together.  Continue scrubbing until stain is completely gone or significantly lighter. Re-launder according to directions above.  If stains still remain (I only had two shirts that didn't come completely clean and the stains were very very light)....REMEMBER NOT TO DRY CLOTHES IN THE DRYER...and repeat scrubbing and laundering instructions above until clean. Remember this light blue shirt that was BY FAR the worst of the bunch and I was ready to just throw away?
pictures of clothes with crayons from the dryer
WELL...look at it now.
There are still a few very faint stains.  I will probably have to put it through the scrub/laundering process one more time before it is fit to wear but a VAST improvement I must say.  
It was Roberto's favorite work shirt.  He almost cried when he first saw it (he he he) but now he is just as hopeful as I am that he will be able to wear it again very soon.  
I hope this helps...and please take the advise given me by my mother.  Work on it thing at a time...maybe only one article a day.  Don't let it overwhelm you.  All is not lost. Happy Laundering y'all!

Tessa's Bio

Tessa is a full-time working (outside-the-home) mother who is learning to integrate "work" and "life" into one seamless operation.  She is the mother to Roland, her 21 month old son, married to her high-school sweetheart and is a Program Manager for an IT corporation. Her blog is titled 'The Diary of a Working Mother' and is focused on challenges of working, raising a little one, some lessons learned along her journey of life (The Picky Eater!) and a few recipes.  

Tessa's Post

Until today, I was thoroughly confused as to how Roland could be a good eater throughout the day, and yet such a picky eater at dinner time.  Dinner time is not pleasant.  At all.  At least, not pleasant 80% of the time.   And thus, I often wonder if we're putting our kiddo to bed hungry...
He loves a wide variety of food including avocados, greek yogurt (referred to as "Yo-Yo"), salmon patties and asparagus (yeah, I know...not the typical foods you would think a 1.5 year old would like). We sat down for dinner tonight hopeful that the left over beef braciole would be a hit, but were not surprised when he pushed it away and said "Noooooo".  
As I was preparing his lunch/snacks for tomorrow, I calculated the calories in his favorite daily sandwich - the PB&J.  340 calories between 1tbsp of jelly, 2tbsp of peanut butter and the bread!  I started to wonder how many calories he consumes throughout the day.   By the time we reach 4:00 PM, he consumes nearly 1100 calories!  I did some research on the internet at found out that he should be consuming 1000 calories in a day. (Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Appendix 6) Perhaps he's just not hungry for dinner, and we were interpreting his lack of hunger as a picky 1.5 year old! 
That makes sense.  The fact that he eats a wide variety of foods throughout the day and doesn't appear to be interested at dinner supports my new found hypothesis.  It could also explain why Roland gets up so early in the morning (5:30 am after a 7:30 pm bedtime); it could be that he's hungry! I plan to test my hypothesis throughout the week and will report back next Sunday to see if my new theory holds. 
(I am by no means a calorie counter (in fact, if asked today, couldn't even tell you how many calories I should be consuming); I do know how important it is for Roland to get the proper nutrition so that he can grow mentally and physically.)
Best Blogger Tips
  • Share On Facebook
  • Digg This Post
  • Stumble This Post
  • Tweet This Post
  • Save Tis Post To Delicious
  • Float This Post
  • Share On Reddit
  • Bookmark On Technorati
Blog Gadgets


  1. Love these ideas! I can tell you fingernail polish remover does not remove fingernail polish from carpet, WD-40 scares me a little, Gorilla glue really sticks permanently, and it is best to run to the rescue fast if a child (or dog) pees on the carpet. Immediately put lots of hot water on the carpet, scrub, and repeat, repeat, repeat. I can also vouch that diluted vinegar really does absorb odors. What other suggestions does anyone have for spills, leaks, mistakes?

  2. This is awesome Tessa. You think I would be a seasoned mom and have some idea of why my kids NEVER eat dinner. What a helpful insight. Thanks for sharing it. Be sure and report back on your findings. I'm very interested! :)

    Thanks again for the award.

  3. Yes, I am searching to get crayon out of not one, but two loads of laundry (look before you put the next load in). But it looks like Melanie has made her blog private. Alas. I really would love her recipe for homemade laundry soap. Do you know how I might get in touch with her or at least get her recipe?

    My email is

    Thanks so much! Lauralee

  4. Did you know that you can shorten your long links with OUO and get dollars from every visitor to your short urls.