How to Fix Dye Stains in the Dryer

Dear Home-Ec 101,
I’ve noticed inside the drum of my dryer that there are blue and gray streaks, they look like they are from jeans. How do I get rid of these stains in my clothes dryer?
Blue in Bluffton

Heather says

The simplest thing you can do is to close the dryer door and not worry about it. The stains or more accurately dye transfer aren’t going to damage your other clothing and if your company is coming over to inspect the inside of your clothes dryer, you need new friends.

However, if these stains truly bother you, get two damp cloths and get ready to spend some time on your knees working with your favorite laundry detergent and some elbow grease. It doesn’t matter if the detergent is liquid or powder, you’ll just want to make sure it can be rubbed into the stain. If you’re working with powdered detergent, make a paste out of it. Apply it to the stain and rub vigorously until the stain is gone. Once the stains have all been removed, wipe the inside of the drum thoroughly with the other damp cloth to remove any detergent residue which can leave marks on your clothing. If this does not work, contact your manufacturer for further suggestions.


Now, this is very, very important. If you have a gas clothes dryer, you must solemnly swear to not even think about getting creative and use any potentially flammable cleaners as a shortcut. If you do this, close the door and walk away, the fumes from the cleaner could ignite causing an explosion. Then you will have a much bigger mess on your hands and you’ll also have to deal with things like insurance agents and maybe EMTs. Not. Cool.

If you have an electric dryer, it is still never a wise idea to ever use a flammable (or inflammable, remember they mean the same thing) cleaning agent in the drum of your dryer. Why? Your dryer gets hot, hot + flammable things = fire. The fire can go right through the vent of your dryer which probably has bits of dry lint which is also incredibly flammable and you have a recipe for a house fire.

To reiterate, your options are:

  1. Close the door and don’t let it worry you.
  2. Scrub the heck out of the stains with laundry detergent and then wipe the drum clean with plain water.

Your option is never to try to take a shortcut and use a cleaning agent that might be flammable.


How to remove denim stains from the dryer

Yes, I know that’s a washer she’s looking into, but stock photos are sometimes a real pain in the rear to search and I didn’t feel like posing in front of my dryer. 

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