Skip to content
Drop in on Dr. Laundry

Dr Laundry Blog

My daughter had a crayon in her jacket when I washed and dried it. Well our clothes had pink crayon on it when I removed them from the dryer. I sprayed with Oxy Clean Max and then put them in the washer on sanitize hoping the crayon would come out. IT DID! But, now I have clothes that are not pink, but they have a pink tint. Help!

By Dr. Laundry January 25, 2016

Q: My daughter had a crayon in her jacket when I washed and dried it. Well our clothes had pink crayon on it when I removed them from the dryer. I sprayed with Oxy Clean Max and then put them in the washer on sanitize hoping the crayon would come out. IT DID! But, now I have clothes that are not pink, but they have a pink tint. HELP!!   A This sounds like quite a problem.  Usually the best way to deal with wax stains like melted crayons is to get as much wax off the fabric before trying any chemical treatments.  If you ever have this problem in the future you may want to give the following a try:  
  1. Scrape away as much of the wax as possible with a dull knife.
  2. Cut open a brown paper grocery (light weight) or lunch bag.  Be sure the bag does NOT have any wax coating on it!
  3. Place the bag over the wax spot, and then gently press with a dry iron on its lowest setting.  You should see dark brown splotches appear on the bag as the wax is absorbed.
  4. Reposition a fresh part of the bag over the wax spot and gently press again with the iron.  Repeat until no more wax absorbs onto the bag.
  If at this point you still have any color left on the fabric (but no more was absorbing onto the bag) then you would (finally!) pretreat the stain.  What you use depends on the item.  For white, bleachable fabrics (avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex) use Clorox Bleach Pen Gel.  This product contains the same sodium hypochlorite bleach active as our Regular-Bleach, but at a lower concentration that is safe to apply directly to bleach-safe white fabrics.  After applying the gel, wash the item immediately in the hottest water recommended on the item care label using detergent and ½ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.  If the item has color (or includes spandex) then pretreat with Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster.  Wait 5-10 minutes, then wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and more Clorox2®.  Finally, you would let the item air dry and then check for success. It is always important to keep items (even a lot of them) out of a hot dryer when you are working on getting a stain out.   I am guessing that your “sanitize” cycle is very hot, maybe even with the water heated in the clothes washer, and it has a pretty long run time.  Combine that with the pretreater that dissolved the stain a little, and the crayon could have melted a little and spread uniformly throughout the wash water.  Some of this would drain out at the end of the wash cycle, but not all of it.  When the washer filled with cooler water for the 1st rinse, the remaining wax would have re-solidified, giving you the light pink tint on everything.  Hopefully a hot water wash cycle using detergent and ½ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach will get the pink tint out of as many items as possible.  To see what can be bleached first check the care label for fiber content—avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex.  Next you can quickly and easily check items with color for colorfastness to bleach.  Start by mixing 1+1/2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach with ¼ cup water.  Apply a drop of the test solution to a hidden part of each item, being sure to test all colors.  Wait one minute, and then rinse and blot dry.  No color change means the item can be safely bleached.  For items that don’t pass the bleachability test (or white items that contain spandex) wash them in hot water using detergent and Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster.   Most wax stains typically rest on the surface of the fabric—that’s why the paper bag and iron technique is so effective as a first step in wax stain removal.  Crayons that melt in the dryer are more problematic because they tend to penetrate the fabric more thanks to the heat of the dryer, but they paper bag and iron method is still very effective prior to pretreating.  I hope this helps, and I hope you are successful.  Good luck and let me know how it turns out.   –Dr. Laundry