How to Remove Ink from a Dryer

A dryer.
What You'll Need
Clean towels
Generic vegetable shortening
Isopropyl alcohol
Goof off
Nail polish remover
Breck shampoo

It can quite often be very difficult to remove an ink stain from a dryer. However, there is hope for your appliance that won’t require the expensive services of a professional technician. There are a wide variety of chemicals and substances that will quite easily remove that ink from your dryer.

Step 1 - Preheat the Dryer

While this may sound like the first step in a recipe, the idea here is to use the heat from the dryer to help liquefy and loosen the ink from the dryer drum.

Step 2 - Start Easy and Non-Toxic

Find a regular bottle or container of generic vegetable shortening, which you probably already have in the kitchen. With the dryer still warm, moisten a clean towel with the shortening, and scrub vigorously. Use nothing abrasive, as this will scratch the surface of your dryer drum, which is coated with porcelain. If the ink sinks into the porcelain paint, it can make the ink next to impossible to remove.

Step 3 - Scrub, Then Scrub More

Removing ink from a dryer is a labor-intensive project. You’re going to need a few clean towels and plenty of elbow grease. As soon as your towel picks up enough ink to cause smearing, you need to flip it so you’re using a clean section of the towel again.

Step 4 - Repeat as Needed

If scrubbing with a vegetable oil-soaked towel isn’t getting all of the ink stains out of the dryer, you need to move and try one of the other recommended cleaning agents. For some brands of ink, nail polish remover works the best. Then again, some other brands of ink respond better to Isopropyl alcohol. Experiment to find which one works the best in your particular dryer.

Safety Tips

Keep in mind that you’re working with an appliance that generates large amounts of heat as well as with a flammable substance like alcohol or acetone. For this reason, it’s very important that you wring out your towel between soakings. If you allow the cleaning solvent to drip into the dryer, it may flare up when you restart the dryer.

If you have a gas-heated dryer, make sure that once you’re done removing the ink stain, you thoroughly rinse the dryer tub with a towel soaked with fresh water. Failing to perform this step can also cause a dryer fire. If you have a gas dryer, extinguish the pilot light (if so equipped), and turn off the gas supply prior to commencing the cleaning work to mitigate the chances of the flammable vapors being ignited.

If you follow the preceding instructions carefully, you will be able to easily and safely remove ink stains from your clothes dryer.