How to Get Ink Out of a Dryer

Next time you forget a pen in a pocket while drying clothes, turn to these solutions for cleaning up the inky mess.

It's easy to forget an ink pen in a pocket and mistakenly toss the whole lot into the wash. Even if the pen happens to survive the washer, it usually leaves a mark on the dryer. When a burst pen explodes, you might be able to undo damage to clothing, but ink can leave stains on the dryer drum and paddles that are seemingly impossible to remove. Although most major appliance care instructions have no tips on the topic, there are numerous ways to get ink out of a dryer.

person wiping down dryer with blue cloth to remove ink
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Before You Start

Safety comes first when cleaning electronic appliances, so remember to unplug the dryer, avoid toxic and flammable substances, and use protective gloves and gear before trying these methods to remove stubborn stains.

To start, remove any clothes from the dryer and start treating any stains on the garments. Once you've treated the ink stains on clothes, move onto the dryer. According to Don's Appliances, start with a 1:1 warm water and bleach mixture to wipe away ink stains. If that doesn't work, here are additional options to try.

Grab Dish Soap

Don't underestimate the power of everyday dish soap to get rid of ink stains in a dryer. It is easily available and already in most homes, which makes it the first choice. Remove dry ink stains by mixing warm water with dish soap. Use a clean towel to wipe the drum and paddles with the solution. Don't give up if it takes a couple of minutes. The cleansing agents in the dish soap might take some time to break down the stains. Keep scrubbing and ink stains will start fading. Finish by wiping away any suds with a clean, damp towel.

Try Vinegar and Hot Water

If the stains are fresh and the ink is still wet, create a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar. Use a damp (but not wet) towel or sponge to wipe the stained surface. Prepare to scrub for a few minutes. The ink stains should gradually fade away. Once the stain is gone, wipe the dryer with a clean, damp cloth to wash away the smell of vinegar.

Try a Melamine Sponge

If nothing else works, try a melamine sponge, such as a Magic Eraser. Use gloves when using this tool, as it's abrasive. Dampen the Magic Eraser with warm water, wringing out any additional water. Gently scrub the stain to remove. Vacuum or wipe up any residue left behind from the sponge.

Clean the Dryer Exterior

Once you've removed stains from the dryer's drum, don't forget to spot-check the appliance's exterior. Scrub away lingering ink with a soapy sponge or Magic Eraser, before wiping away any residue with a clean, damp towel.

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