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I’d like to think that I am a reasonably intelligent woman. I have many foibles. I make many mistakes, but I try to learn from the experience, and so as to (hopefully) not repeat them. Much. I like to solve problems. Most days, logic and deductive reasoning are my friends. Except when they are not. Today is one of those days.

Have you ever had a week where you know, logically, that since you have about 6000 things on your self-imposed “to-do” list, you should be moving at a break-neck pace in order to get anything accomplished? But, you really, really, REALLY just don’t feel like it? That is my week. I have been moving in a kind of self regulated slow motion. For example, I spent most of yesterday watching the baby show off his new speed-crawling skills, giggling and proud when he reached his goal. That face is just priceless. My third son was just as enamored with the baby’s show of new skills, and he took great pleasure in “moving” the baby’s target of choice to make him crawl still farther. They were cracking each other up all day long.

Unfortunately for me, the to-do list doesn’t magically do itself when I feel this way. (Gotta work on that.) Anyone with multiple children will tell you that the laundry will start a mutiny and take over the house, if you don’t keep it in check throughout the week. So it was with waves of immense guilt coupled with the fact that everyone would be wearing their last clean pair of underwear today, that I quickly sorted the 57 loads of laundry that have accumulated this week, and threw a load in the washer before bed last night.  I was quite proud of myself to remember to put the load in the dryer in the midst of the morning chaos of getting everyone off to school today. That pride was clearly misplaced, as this is what I discovered when I opened the dryer:

No, it’s not blood. It’s a melted red crayon on my lint trap. Red. I would like to say that the melted crayon was neatly contained to the lint trap. I would also like  to say that a cleaning crew is coming in to rescue my house this week, and that someone named Helga is coming over to give me a much needed massage and a pedicure. None of which is the case. Every article of clothing in this load of laundry is speckled with red wax flecks. RED! A huge mess, and multiple additions to the to-do list. Like I needed more on there this week. Did I mention that it was red?

I would like to tell you that this is the first crayon that I have successfully washed and proceeded to melt in the dryer. But I’d be lying. And I’m not going to lie to you. This is the third crayon that I have melted. The first one was red, too. Clearly, red crayons are sinister and stealth-like.  The second was green. Green crayons are sneaky. There was a rogue blue crayon once, but I caught that one after a thorough washing.  We aren’t even going to talk about the hundreds of rocks, pencils, legos, and cars that have been washed and taken a spin in the dryer. The super-balls and yo-yo’s? Don’t even go there. You might be asking why then, with my vast experience of washing extraneous objects and melting crayons all over a load of laundry, do I not check the pockets of my little cherubs jeans before washing them? Why? Apparently, my learning curve is flat.

Thank goodness for ehow.com! You’d think I’d have the instructions memorized by now, but I look them up every time. Just a little game I play with myself. It works. For the most part. Here’s what you do if you’re like me and continually melt crayons in your dryer:

You’ll Need:

  • WD-40
  • old toothbrush
  • Tub or place to soak clothes
  1. Chisel away the clumps of crayon. A magic eraser will work on the inside of the dryer most of the time, if you don’t have one, or this doesn’t work. Get a white soft rag and lightly spray with WD-40. Use the rag to scrub off the crayon marks. Once all markings are off, wipe down the dryer drum with soapy warm water to get excess WD-40 and the smell out.
  2. Take all clothes with crayon markings to a place where you can soak them, a bathtub is perfect. Go through the clothes and spray crayon markings with WD-40, it does stink, but it works. Let the clothes soak for an hour or more.
  3. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub the crayon markings off the clothes. If they are tough markings, add more WD-40 and let soak longer.
  4. To further remove crayon add HOT water to the tub and let soak till water is warm to the touch, where you are able to handle and scrub the markings off.
  5. Once you’ve gotten most of the marking out, wash in washing machine in hot water with detergent and white vinegar. If you have a pre-wash setting, pre-wash/soak clothes with the vinegar. Vinegar will take out most of the smell of the WD-40.

You may need to wash the clothes once more to get out the smell, but crayon markings should be gone! Until the next time. If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that there will be a next time.

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