Getting Crayon Stains Out of a Clothes Dryer

What to do?? The first thing I did when my dryer turned a waxy green was track down the 3 ft 4 inch little boy who I thought was the culprit. I imagined he stuck the crayon in his pocket and reprimanded him. Later I found it was actually the 6 ft. 1 inch husband. He claims to his defense that he swiped it off the floor before our crawling, everything goes in the mouth-stage daughter grabbed it. He thought he found a solution to the problem but was a little short-sighted. Instead, the problem just began.

Sure, I will take partial blame….it was I who didn’t notice the tiny crayon in a pocket and allowed it to be transferred into the dryer to literally melt all over everything. They shouldn’t call it Crayola, they should call it Green Lava.

The Culprit: a 2 inch green crayon.

The Damage: 10 items of clothing and a dryer with green stains…. A solid week of laundry gridlock. Los Angeles or New York hasn’t seen this many things backed up during rush hour.

What Was Ruined?

Husband (no he wasn’t ruined, but nearly)

  • 3 new work shirts (that usually get hung to dry)
  • Pair of jeans


  • 2 pairs of pajama pants
  • Underwear
  • Shirt


  • 2 pairs of pajamas

I didn’t know where to start; with the clothes or dryer? Well, seeing that the dryer could not be used until it was thoroughly cleaned out, I started there. Thanks to Facebook, where I posted my plea for help, I found the start to my answers. One friend directed me to Crayola’s website which ever so kindly tells you how to get stains out from their product line. This tool is very helpful for all of the different stains we deal with in life. Their answer for the dryer included using WD-40 as a main component. Even though I try to use the most natural products to clean with, I considered doing this, thinking this was my only option. Let’s face it, I was desperate. The wd-40 even made it’s way right next to the dryer and stared at me while I assessed the damage. Feeling nervous about putting a flammable solution into my dryer to clean it with prevented me from doing this. They did say not to spray it on directly and to wipe off completely, etc. but personally I didn’t want to do this. I also didn’t want my dryer and clothes to have a WD-40 smell to them.

So, I went to trusty ole’ Dr. Google, knowing that I am not the first one on earth this has happened to. After spending too much time researching I finally came up with a plan. Toothpaste! What?? Yes, toothpaste. Don’t ask me how, but it actually worked pretty well. I took what several people said and combined them to make my own method. In case this happens to you, which I really don’t wish this upon you, here was my plan to getting crayon stains out of the clothes dryer. It worked!

Steps to Getting Crayon Stain Out of a Clothes Dryer

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Get a tube of toothpaste (doesn’t matter what kind) I used Tom’s of Maine antiplaque toothpaste with propolis and Myrrh. It smells MUCH better than WD-40.
  3. Turn on dryer for 10- 15 minutes to heat up.
  4. Smear toothpaste on all of the crayoned areas. Look in all of the crevices. I literally had half of my body in the dryer. I am sure I was a sight to see.
  5. Turn on the dryer for 15 more minutes.
  6. Immediately start wiping the toothpaste covered areas with a damp white rag. This way you can see that it is working.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until the crayon is gone.
  8. Finish by taking a clean rag. Dip the rag in a mixture of dishsoap and water. Wipe down entire drum of the dryer including the door and all crevices.
  9. Test the dryer by drying a load of washed rags (different ones) to see if your hard work paid off.
  10. Take another deep breath.

My personal advice is to do this when you don’t have kids around. I was doing this with one crawling nearby getting into everything (including the toilet brush and banging on the toilet seat as a drum!). Not fun!

Check those pockets! An extra minute could have saved me from the 3 or so hours, which panned across a few days; cleaning my dryer. On the flip side, my dryer is sparkling clean! Now, onto tackling the stained clothes.

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2 Comments on “Getting Crayon Stains Out of a Clothes Dryer

  1. I was in pain just reading the title of this post. I remember going through this once with a red crayon. It was HORRIBLE! So bad that to this day I’m super anal about checking pockets. Ahh the adventures of motherhood. 😉

  2. Let me know how the clothes turn out. I’ll have to admit this has happened before and I didn’t manage to save anything! My kids have lots of play clothes now haha!

    …. A solid week of laundry gridlock. Los Angeles or New York hasn’t seen this many things backed up during rush hour.

    From one dork to another… You’re hilarious!

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