Monday, May 11, 2015

Boiling Sheets

It happened. The thing that all parents fear and have experienced at least once.

The dreaded crayon through the dryer. Ugh.

I was washing a load of sheets and at the last minute threw in a sweatshirt that needed washing. That sweatshirt had a broken orange crayon. ORANGE. With khaki colored sheets. FAIL. Sheets, really?

This is what they looked like. It was bad. I kind of wanted to cry.

I was traumatized.
I needed to sleep on it (literally and figuratively), but the next morning I woke up with a fire to fix my mistake. So I did some googling and got some ideas.

I knew I needed heat to melt the wax. There were too many bits all over to do the ironing method (and I HATE ironing) so I chose not to go with that. I also knew that I needed some strong soap to lift the wax. There were a few sites that recommended WD40, but I felt like it was just replacing the crayon with an equally damaging stain, and I didn't want to deal with the whole chemical aspect as well.

So I pulled out my large canning pot and filled it with water, a few squirts of dish soap, and a few tablespoons of borax and put it on medium heat. Once the water got hot, I tossed in the pillowcases. I let them simmer for about 30 minutes, vigorously agitating them and scrubbing them with a wooden spoon. After a while, I replaced the pillowcases with the fitted sheet. (Luckily the flat sheet escaped without any stains.) I did the same to the fitted sheet, but let it simmer for a little longer. I turned the heat off and let the pot cool for several hours. I poured the excess water out, but dumped the rest into the washing machine and washed them with other stuff just like normal. I let them hang out in the sun for a few hours, which I think helped a bit as well.

I didn't need to go to the gym that day after this.
I'm satisfied with the results. There are still faint orange stains where the crayon was, but we can live with it. I think I should have tried straight up lemon juice for the stains before tossing them into the wash, but its too late now that it has been through the dryer. I might try it anyway. I'm just glad I didn't have to toss 800 thread count sheets. Yeah chemical-free stain removal!

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