Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dryer Disaster


It's one of my favorite chores. Crazy, I know. There's something extremely satisfying about empty hampers, the clean smell, and drawers full of clean clothes. But let me tell you how a satisfying chore can turn disastrous when two little people are involved.

I had worked Monday and Tuesday nights making Wednesday morning (at 7:30 after working 12 hours) the only available time to hit the grocery store. I figured I was better off anyway as Thursday was Thanksgiving and the later it got, the crazier the stores would be. Flew threw the store with my list, drove home to put the groceries away, threw some laundry in the washer and laid down for a quick rest before picking the kids up and finishing the cleaning before my parents arrived. Sitting down to dinner I remembered that I needed to remove the clothes in the dryer for the ones in the washer. I ran upstairs and began pulling clean clothes from the dryer. I pulled out a pair of Joe's work slacks and thought "hmmm... how strange... what did he get all over his pants. Looks like several tiny rust spots. Well, that's what he gets for wearing them in the garage. How sad..."

I put them in a heap on the floor, planning to eventually toss them. It was the second item of clothing that clued me in to a much bigger problem. I pulled out a pair of MY pants. A very beloved, worn, elastic-waist pair of brown cargo pants. Pants I bought on clearance for crazy cheap, wear at least once a week and even begged my mom to sew the drawstring back into when it snapped from not untying it when pulling them up and down. Yup... those had "rust" on them too. How bizarre...

And with the third item of clothing a small, empty, cylindrical piece of paper dropped to the ground. One with the words "Crayola" and "Burnt Orange" typed neatly on it. I dropped the pants and started to cry (remember that I'm on very little sleep at this point and my emotional state is unbalanced... don't judge...) I ran downstairs to deliver the news to Joe. He didn't look nearly as upset as I felt and I needed to feel justified. So I began shouting like a madwoman as he cleared the dinner dishes and escorted me upstairs to assess the damage. His mind was on the dryer... what kind of damage does a crayon do to such a marvelous machine? While mine was on the FULL load of dark clothes that were surely beyond salvaging.

He began a two-pile process. One for undamaged pieces and the other for irreparable pieces. One by one we pulled them out. When he got to my sweater I nearly passed out. MY SWEATER??! A lovely deep v-neck purple and lavender striped favorite purchased over 6 years ago. NOT MY SWEATER!! The tears returned. "Honey, it's just clothes" he said, thinking those words would soothe me.

"But those can't be replaced!! I'll never find a sweater like that again!"

The rest of the clothes were a blur. A favorite workout tank, kids shirts, the culprit pants/pockets, socks, a couple pairs of underwear. I was still mourning the sweater and cargo pants. The task of figuring out just where to go from there was too much on my weary brain. Fortunately for Joe, his task of cleaning out the dryer was made easy by the strong (and noxious) cleaning powers of Goof Off. Not to be confused with Goo Gone (the orange oil based product that removes unwanted stickiness.) This stuff has some powerful chemicals that, when sprayed onto a cloth, wiped the crayon clean. And let me tell you, while my clothes looked horrid, the inside of the dryer obviously got the brunt of the damage.

I left the clothes for later. I needed time to process the damage and mourn the probable complete loss of two all- time favorite items of clothing. They stayed in a heap until Sunday. I approached the pile with mild hope. "Start small" I thought, and began scrubbing at tiny spots with a toothbrush and cleaner. Seeing as how I wasn't making much progress I decided to also spray the spots with Oxi-Clean stain spray. How much more damage could I do? I would likely be throwing the whole load out. I tossed in the stain-treated sweater and cargo pants and a pair of Joe's jeans for good measure.

Hours later, in what can only be called a laundry miracle, I pulled a magically clean sweater and pants from the washer and almost cried tears of joy. Of course Joe didn't seem nearly as pleased (these were just clothes after all.) And it wasn't until much later that I realized I could have pulled the whole thing off as an excuse for a shopping spree (what husband could say no to a wife who just lost her favorite sweater?)

But for now I will thank God and the makers of Oxi-Clean for diverting a major Crayola/Kenmore crisis.

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