Removing Ink Stains from Dryers

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2017)

3

The other day I remember thinking that I would give my wife a wonderful surprise by having all the laundry done before she got home from work. That way she would be able to have her weekend off in peace and actually be able to relax and enjoy her time. Well, unfortunately this is not exactly what happened.

As I started to pull the laundry out of the dryer I noticed something a little odd. At first I thought that it was only that one white shirt, but I soon found that it was the entire load. Bright red ink stains from the pen that I had forgotten to take out of my shirt pocket! While I may not have been able to surprise my wife in the way that I planned, I was able to surprise her in a couple of different ways.

The first was that she was able to go on a mini-shopping spree to replace the ruined clothes. The second was that we did not have to replace our dryer, since I was able to get the ink out by using the methods described in a moment. Yes, I said the plural—believe me this isn't the first time I have forgotten to check my pockets. (One of these days, I will remember.)

The key to cleaning the dryer is to figure out the best solvent to use to break up the ink. The interior of most dryers is enamel- or porcelain-coated steel. This type of surface is not very porous, so the ink should not adhere too closely to it. It sticks to the surface because it has not only coated it but been "baked" in place by running the dryer. It will take a bit of elbow grease to remove it, but it will come off with the right solvent.

The harder portion of the dryer to clean is going to be anything that is plastic. Some dryers have little "arms" or "paddles" within the dryer drum that are used to move your clothing off of the drum as the dryer operates. These items are often made of plastic and can be more porous than the actual drum. Because of their porous nature, they often hold a stain more securely and will therefore need more cleaning attention.

To do your cleaning, choose one (or more) of the following. Each is a solvent and will help remove the majority of the ink:

  • Off! Believe it or not, but this bug spray doesn't only help keep bugs away; you can also use it to remove ink stains from your dryer. Simply spray some of the repellent directly on the stain, and wipe away using paper towels or a scrubby that you don't need anymore. You will be amazed at how quickly this works.
  • Magic Eraser. Mr. Clean has this wonderful little product called the Magic Eraser. This thing will remove just about every type of stain that there is. Once you have gotten the eraser wet, simply apply a little elbow grease (as needed) and scrub the stain away.
  • Rubbing alcohol. You are going to need to do a little scrubbing with this method. Using an old clean rag or scrubby, pour some rubbing alcohol onto the scrubby or rag and begin scrubbing the stain away. While you might need to use a little elbow grease and dedicate some time, this method does in fact work quite well.

After scrubbing with your solvent of choice, most of the ink should be removed. There is one more step you should do, however, to make sure you've gotten everything. Take some old white towels that you don't really need anymore and soak them in undiluted bleach. After soaking them, wring them out so that they are not dripping wet. Then run them through a complete drying cycle. The bleach helps remove any remaining stains as the towels tumble around in the dryer. Repeat this as many times as necessary until you believe all the stains are out. Finally, check your work by running a clean (but old) wet white towel through a cycle and see if it picks up any stains.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Bathroom Cleaners

Is there really anything more disgusting than a dirty bathroom? Help keep your bathroom sparkling clean by choosing the best ...

Discover More

Opening Wine Bottles Properly

About the only real problem that wine bottles present is getting them open. If not done correctly, not only is it ...

Discover More

Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are becoming more and more popular as the days go by. In fact, concrete countertops are well on their ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Drying Your Clothes

Drying clothes seems like it would be simple right? So why then do so many of us have issues when it comes to keeping our ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Dryer Lint

Although your dryer lint screen may look lint-free, it could be completely clogged. You have to have a lint filter that works ...

Discover More

Cleaning Felt Gaskets

While the machines that we use to help with our laundry are supposed to help make life a little easier, there are still going ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 2?

2017-01-02 13:12:31

Lisa

Next time this happens get some hairspray...it get the ink out of the clothes almost every time...and this has happened a lot at my home..lol...spray and scrub...good luck


2017-01-02 13:02:15

Pete Laberge

SOME inks may come off with WD40, or a varsol like paint thinner. If you have no rubbing alcohol, try methyl hydrate.

WD40 and paint thinner must be removed after you use them, tho. This calls for a little water with DAWN dish soap or PALMOLIVE dish soap. The old style unscented one, will do. Then dry thoroughly. Follow up with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, that you will rub on the surface.

After using alcohol or varsol or WD 40, ventilate well! You must let the stuff dry, AND then be exhausted from the dryer. The easiest way to exhaust, is to run the empty dryer for 5 mins on a cool setting.


2017-01-02 08:03:19

JJ

Should the alcohol be rinsed off after the ink is gone to ensure that its fumes don't catch fire when the dryer heats up? I know alcohol is highly flammable.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.