Monday, June 18, 2007

How to Drive Your Mama Crazy (Laundry Edition)

Going out to eat in restaurants with kids, especially after a day of requesting good behavior from them, can be a challenge. Going to fun restaurants, places that welcome tots, have a kid's menu and are loud enough so that nobody will notice if your little ones are being noisy makes it a whole lot easier.

So, our choice for our father's day feast was a loud, messy and fun joint which also happened to pass out crayons for the kids to color with until the food was served.

Don't you just love free crayons to keep the kids happily coloring away while the grown-ups drink beer . . . er, visit with each other?

I used to.

Until this happened:

Behold, my green dryer.

Today I did yesterday's laundry, including the pants that Wyatt wore to the restaurant last night.

Call me lazy, but I have asked my children (and my husband after a rather nasty ball-point pen washing incident) countless times to empty their pockets before putting their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. Now, I don't mind if they leave money, in their pockets (I have a secret place where I stash all of that), but I do mind things like rocks and bubblegum.

Now, I can add crayons to that list.

The entire load of laundry ended up looking like the shirt above.

When I opened up the dryer (yes, the crayon-colored clothes made it all the way to the dryer) I thought it was a funny hue, but I chalked it up to the fact that it is fairly new and I had just dried a load full of blue jeans. Then, after I'd taken all the clothes out and noticed that it was GREEN inside, not blue, it came to me.

Damn crayons.

After much time researching "how to remove crayon stains from clothing" on the internet, I learned 2 things. One, that WD40 is not only miracle spray for squeaky bicycle tires and car parts, but also an excellent stain remover (although you may need to wash the clothes a few times to get rid of the funky smell). And, two, that my laundry room will never, ever be without a box of Borax (20 mule strength) and Clorox 2 (why hadn't anyone told me about this miracle in a bottle before?).

My dryer, on the other hand, was cleaned first with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which was starting to remove the enamel so I quit using it) and then something called "Beast" that Brett brought home from work (which is so incredibly toxic and horrible that I had to wear gloves while using it), followed by a rub down with, yet again the weirdest of all cleaners, WD40. It looks 100% better.

I'm thinking that WD40 stock will rise.

And, I will be more careful checking those pockets from now on.


Kate said...

Oh my goodness what a MESS! How fabulous that WD40 can tackle such mayhem. I felt so bad for your whole load of clothes and the dryer when I read this.

I, too, beg them all to empty their pockets but mostly they don't. I have had nuts and bolts, lots of coins (and I also secretly stash them away!) and bits and pieces of paper in there. Tissues are my arch enemy!


Woman with kids said...

Really? WD40? I'm impressed. We've had a few loads come out multicolored after a crayon attack... good to know.

scarlett said...

I have had this exact same experience only in red instead of green. I have given up asking my 3 kids to empty out their pockets, I'm lucky if hubby remembers, so I now have to check and recheck each pocket...I think my kids have caused me to become OCD over laundry!

Nice blog,

Mommy off the Record said...

Oh no! I hate opening the washer to find these types of things have happened.

I am horrible at checking pockets and every once in a while, we ruin a load too. Grrr. I feel your pain.

Becky said...

i never knew that! i'm so gonna buy wd 40!

Oh, The Joys said...

Oh, gosh - what a mess! How do you even clean it out?

creative-type dad said...

I'm never buying crayons again!!

Well, maybe until we visit a loud restaurant again...

carrie said...

OTJ - You clean out the dryer drum with "Beast", the super-secret, power cleaner and then WD40. After, you wipe as much of the excess you can, with a damp cloth and then tumble a load of old towels or rags to remove all of the residue.

See, I learned a lot! :)