I use my clothes dryer as a dresser.

This is not a recent development. It is a lot more convenient to do this than it was before since the dryer is actually inside our house now. Some of you may remember those irritating people who would leave their clothes in the coin operated dryers at Wymount (BYU's on-campus family housing) for days at a time. Nice to meet you. That was me.

People do not like people who treat public coin operated dryers as their own personal dressers. I know this because I would always find my clothes out of the dryers in baskets, on counters, etc. (I was fortunate that it was BYU, or much worse things probably would have happened to our clothes.)

Maybe this is karma for my (past) laziness and selfishness, because the other day I opened my dryer to find this:

Here is one of my favorite shirts - ruined - in addition to many others -

I loved this baby outift. Since ink looks worse than spit-up, it is ruined also.

UGH. We're sharing joint blame on this (Erik for leaving the pen in his shorts and me for not catching it). This truly is a travesty. I know that some might say this is a blessing in disguise because I'll need to buy new clothes, but those were my new clothes. I just went to Old Navy and spent a "whopping" $100 on stuff to wear this summer until I hopefully fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I have so few summer clothes that fit my post-pregnancy Chubby Bunny body as is, that I am too devastated to fully go through the dryer to assess the damage. I'm also afraid to use the dryer again because what if the blue ink rubs off on any future clothes I put in there?

Any magical tips on getting ink out of your clothes after they have already run through the dryer?


  1. Spray the spots with spray n wash/shout/etc. and then sprinkle with the powder oxiclean. Rub the oxiclean into the spots but try not to rub them around b/c it'll create more ink spots. For the white shirt you could leave it on there all day. For the colored clothes I'd leave on maybe an hour and then try washing in cold water. I've had ink spots that come out after multiple oxiclean soaks but sometimes it can fade colors so you have to be careful. This usually works great for whites and works sometimes for colored clothes. Maybe somebody has a surefire way to get it out so I'd hold off on my "method". If not, they're already ruined so what have you got to lose?

    For your dryer, just wash it out really good before using it again and I'd go over it with something like rubbing alcohol to make sure there's no residual ink on the sides of it.

    I'm sorry for your loss and 100% understand. Ruining clothes can be devastating. Hopefully these spots will come out.

    Sadly, this has happened to us on more than one occasion. You'd think I'd be better about checking pockets, but obviously I'm not. I keep hoping that if I do a crappy enough job on the laundry that Zach will take over - it's been 8 years and he still won't get the hint.

  2. I just googled "getting ink out of clothes" and saw this too:
    it appears that rubbing alcohol is a really good way to get ink out.

  3. I won first place in the county science fair for this in the 7th grade... try hairspray and blot it. Also, my mom, who is the expert stain removing whiz gave me this tiny spray bottle of stuff called Gonzo Stain Remover... it's been slowly taking a rust stain out of my carpet.

  4. Or 2 parts water, one part hydrogen peroxide.

  5. You have a lot of good suggestions here. That's a bummer that it happened to your new clothes - I had that happen to me with cherry Chapstick. Good Luck!

  6. I have used the hairspray method before and can say that it works most of the time (we have had several run ins with pens and driers...thanks Greg). It doesn't always work with really thick spots but then again It might work for you! Good luck!

  7. I decided to delurk in order to share the hairspray tip that's worked for me, then others beat me to it. But I was so resolved to say something that I figured I might as well. Thanks for writing...I love your blog!

  8. Well its a step closer.. you posted a picture of Charlies clothes. NOW I WANT A PICTURE OF CHARLIE AND LUKE! PLEEEAAAAAAASE!

  9. Clorox Clean Up spray might get the ink off the dryer. It's gotten dark food stains off my stove, and it's helped with mold and mildew stains in our bathtub. Just make sure it doesn't get on your clothes; it bleaches them.

  10. This always works for me as this has happened once to often. Take the stained clothes to the trash can, and throw them in. Let them sit for the required number of days until the garbage truck takes the trash. That's the only way to get rid of those stains. Hope this helps!

  11. Go to the Dollar store here in town and get the yellow liquid bottle of awesome. I have the problem with pens and gum in the dryer all the time and this works really well for me. make sure to get a painter mask too haha... it gets a little strong.

  12. Hi Erik and Cristin-

    Was just catching up with Patrick. He was telling me about how adorable Luke and Charlie are and how well you all are doing. I hope we can catch up in person soon.



  13. Mr Clean Magic Erasers and Clorox Ultimate Care Bleach are my best friends! The magic eraser will get anything off of any surface and you dont have to deal with fumes. The bleach is FANTASTIC it is safe to put on colors, but i would spot check it first. With whites you can put the bleach directly on and rub it in...i use a toothbrush and it works really really well and doesnt damage your clothes. Good luck!

  14. Do you remember those white trash kids that hung out in the laundry rooms at Wymount? We called them the Wymount gang or the mullet gang or something like that. Those kids were so rotten. They would switch people's clothes in the dryers, dump out people's detergents, etc. I lost so many shirts to those brats.

  15. Rubbing alcohol. But it takes a lot of blotting and patience, but it does work! GOod luck!



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