Woman looking frustrated at clothes out of the dryer.

Want to know how to get ink out of your dryer? Run your dryer empty on high for 15 minutes to soften the ink, and then wipe with an old towel. Unplug your dryer and use a dish soap mixture, fabric stain remover, or a vinegar and warm water solution. WD-40 is also a great degreaser.

Opening your dryer and finding that a rogue writing utensil has gotten ink or melted crayon all over your warm, fluffy clothes and the inside of your dryer is both alarming and frustrating. First, take a deep breath and give yourself (or your crayon-loving kid) a break. You can fix this and be able to freely use your dryer again soon.

Learn how to get ink out of a dryer quickly and easily with these simple steps. There are a variety of different ways to clean your dryer properly and safely, but the important thing is to get started right away so you can get back to your regular laundry schedule as soon as possible.

How To Prep Your Dryer Before Cleaning Ink

One of the most important things you can do when figuring out how to get ink out of a dryer is to start cleaning as soon as you notice the stains. The longer the stain sits, the more likely it is to set in. It’s also important to remove the stain safely by ensuring you unplug your dryer and wear gloves.

Here are some things you can try initially to remove ink from your dryer.

  1. Before unplugging, run the empty dryer on the hot setting for at least 15 minutes. This warms and softens the ink, making it easier to wipe off.

  2. Unplug the dryer to prevent electrical shock.

  3. While the inside of the dryer is still hot, use an old towel to see if you can remove the ink. If this doesn’t work, go to the next step.

7 Ways To Get Ink Out of Your Dryer

These methods are the easiest and safest ways to remove ink and other messes from a dryer. Start at the top and continue down the list until you reach the step that works.
 Wiping the drum of a dryer with a cloth

1. Try Dish Soap

If a simple wipe-down doesn’t work, you can first try using dish soap to remove the stain. This is a great option if you hope to avoid using harsh cleaning products. First, unplug your dryer.

Then, mix a few squirts of dish soap with some warm water. Dampen a towel with the liquid or use a spray bottle to apply the liquid to the ink-stained area. Wipe the area with the old towel to remove the liquid (and hopefully the stains as well!).

2. Apply Fabric Stain Remover

A fabric stain remover is another great option for getting ink out of both your dryer and your fabrics. First, before spraying any liquid in your dryer, make sure it is unplugged. Spray the stains with a fabric stain remover, let it sit for about 30 seconds, then wipe with an old towel. Make sure to get all the stain remover out of the dryer drum before running it again.

3. Clean With Vinegar and Hot Water

Vinegar and hot water work particularly well on stains that aren’t dry yet. First, before spraying any liquid in your dryer, make sure it is unplugged. Using a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water, spray the inside of your dryer and allow it to sit for about a minute.

Scrub the stains using a damp towel. It may take several minutes and some elbow grease, but the stains should start to disappear. Once finished, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the vinegar solution off.

4. Scrub With a Melamine Sponge

If using an old towel isn’t cutting it, try using a melamine sponge. Melamine foam is the generic name for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The melamine material works wonders for cleaning tough stains due to its slightly abrasive but soft texture.

Gently scrub the area with warm water using the melamine sponge to remove the ink or crayon stains. You can also try using your soapy water or a vinegar and water solution with the sponge.

5. Treat With Bleach

If the above steps fail to remove the stain, you might be tempted to use a stronger household cleaner, such as bleach, to get the job done. However, bleach is a corrosive chemical, so always use it with caution.

If you decide to go this route, soak some old white towels with diluted bleach and run them through a full cycle in the dryer. Once the full cycle is complete, the inside of your dryer should be dry, but check just to make sure. If it is dry, use a clean white towel dampened with water to completely clean the inside of the dryer drum (to remove any bleach residue) — otherwise, the next load of laundry may stain.

6. Make a Detergent Paste

If the ink still won’t come out, make a cleaning paste with powdered laundry detergent and water. Spread it over the ink stains, let it sit for a minute, and wipe it off using small circular motions. If this doesn’t work, consider calling an appliance professional for advice.

7. Spray WD-40

If you have tried all of the steps above without success, then it might be time to try a less conventional option. If all else has failed, you can try spraying some WD-40 or a degreaser on a microfiber cloth. It’s important to spray the degreaser onto a cloth and not directly into the dryer, as degreasers like WD-40 are highly flammable directly out of the can.

Next, wipe the ink or crayon stains until they lift off. Finally, wipe down the dryer drum thoroughly with dish soap and a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.

Dryer Cleaning Products To Avoid

Now that you know how to remove an ink or crayon stain from the inside of your dryer, here are some cleaning products you should never use on the inside of your dryer. They are highly flammable in liquid and aerosol form:

  • Acetone (e.g., nail polish remover)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hair spray
  • Other products that are labeled “flammable.”

Additionally, always follow these safety guidelines:

  • Always unplug your dryer before cleaning it.
  • Avoid spraying aerosol products like WD-40 directly into the dryer. Don’t use these products at all if your dryer is gas-powered.
  • Always wipe your dryer drum thoroughly so the leftover cleaning product doesn’t stain the next load of laundry.

Products to avoid in the dryer.FAQ About Removing Stains From a Dryer

Knowing how to get ink out of a dryer can be tricky. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cleaning a dryer.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol in the Dryer?

Although many websites recommend rubbing alcohol as a way to clean out a dryer, we don’t recommend it. Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, even when used with a cloth, and therefore isn’t safe to use in a dryer.

Is Goo Gone Safe in the Dryer?

No, Goo Gone is not safe to use in a dryer. The commonly used household cleaner for sticky messes is another solution many sites suggest for cleaning a dryer, but it is also highly flammable and dangerous.

How Do You Get Ink Stains Out of Clothes?

You can get ink stains out of clothes using a variety of methods. What you use will depend on the item's fabric and wash instructions, so always check your item tag first to see what you can and cannot use to clean it. Some options include stain remover, hydrogen peroxide, diluted detergent, dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda.

When To Call in the Professionals

Your dryer is an essential appliance. If you can’t use it for a period of time, it can really disrupt your entire household routine. Although knowing how to get ink out of a dryer is not complicated, you may not have the time or patience to do it yourself.

This is where your local Mr. Appliance can help. We have the experience and expertise to resolve your issue and ensure your appliance is operating efficiently, so you don’t have to worry. We can also set you up with an appliance maintenance schedule to keep your appliances running smoothly all year long.

To get started or to learn more, schedule an appointment online or call us today.