Ink From a Dryer

This question was submitted by Tammy;
“A pen got into the dryer, how do I remove the ink?”

Conveniently one of the Forum experts had the same thing happen to him not very long ago.

Tools & Techniques:

  • Clean dry cleaning rags
  • Multi use solvent

1. First do NOT run the dryer anymore, heat absolutely sets ink stains.
2. Using a clean dry cleaning rag wipe as much ink off as possible. If you catch it before the heat has set, then you have a good chance of total removal.
3. In my case there was an extreme amount of ink and I wiped what I could. Next I got progressively more aggressive with my cleaning compounds. I started by using a large towel and poured a mixture of warm water and dish soap on the towel and placed it in the drum in an attempt to have some of the ink soak into the towel since there was so much ink. I had marginal success with that, but I was able to get some off and especially were there were large amounts of ink.
4. Then I used a multi-use solvent designed to break down gum, glue, ink etc. Caution: Solvents are flammable, be sure the dryer is cool, and there is very good ventilation when working.  Pouring the solvent on my clean dry white cleaning rags I slowly worked on my dryer drum, using numerous cleaning rags I was able to remove alot of the ink.
5. The problem I was having was ink under the agitators (usually plastic). The ink on the plastic came off well with the solvent, but ink had pooled under the agitators. I poured a general purpose cleaner along the edge and a fair bit of ink came out. I did not pour the solvent since I did not want to much flammable material to be used.
6. The key was I took my time and used alot of rags always pouring the solvent on them and removing as much ink as possible.
7. Now I had so much ink that I eventually used paint thinner to remove more ink. Now paint thinner is also very flammable so I used it with caution. I did not nor would I recommend running the dryer for at least 24 hours, waiting for all the vapor to dissipate first. This is why I did not pour the solvent directly into the drum.
8. Now all this took some time and effort and after it was all done I did not even get 100% of the ink removed only about 70% so I was a little frustrated. After about 24 hours I ran the dryer only on air fluff to be sure there was no vapor. And I washed and dried some work clothes to absorb any ink that may not have come off.
9. It has been a couple months now and it looks like a little more ink has come off but I have seen absolutely no ink on any clothes. To summarize be patient and realize that it probably will not be perfect and you will have to live with some ink stains on your dryer drum but overall it will have no impact on your dryers performance. I will NEVER again forget to remove my pens from my pocket (I hope…) this was one tough job. Good Luck

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