Skip to content
Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Ink Stains in Dryer

By Dr. Laundry July 29, 2009

Q. Four pens burst open all over the interior of my dryer. How can I get it clean to do laundry again?

A. Bummer of a problem! Usually in this type of situation one is concerned that the ink has been set into the drum surface/liner by the dryer heat. I would recommend trying to wipe the interior with a suitable solvent like GooGone to dissolve/solubilize the ink and transfer it to another surface like an old towel/rag. Try wiping it on the interior and use another towel/rag to encourage transfer. After completion, do several dryer runs using some old towels to help absorb any soluble ink and some of the solvent/odor. Start drying with air only (no heat), then slowly graduate to low levels, up to cotton cycle.

If this is not a strong enough solvent to remove it, you will need to kick it up a notch with acetone or something similar.

A major concern here is removing any absorbed or excess solvent from the dryer walls. Whatever has been absorbed into the liner can be volatilized when the dryer is used in the future. This may be a fire hazard, and so as much of this needs to be removed to prevent being absorbed into future dried clothes, and/or worse, if there is a short or spark in the dryer/vent area.