January 5, 2012

Laundry Tip: Getting Melted Crayon out of Clothes

It is important for kids to learn practical life skills. I believe teaching these skills this is one of my main responsibilities as a mother. So, I have been teaching my 7 year-old how to do his own laundry. First I taught him how to sort. Then I taught him to check pockets. Next, I taught him how to add the soap and fill the machine with water. 

Thinking he had mastered all these steps, I asked him to get the hamper out of his room and put in a load of laundry. As he was dragging the hamper across the floor, I reminded him to check the pockets. So imagine my surprise/horror when I pulled the clothes out of the dryer, only to find them all spattered with an array of waxy colors. I counted 13 crayons, lucky, right?

After I yelled at calmly admonished my son for failing to check the pockets, I set to work looking for solutions to remove the crayon. Most of the suggestions recommended using WD-40. This seemed greasy and smelly, so I continued searching until I found this blog post on Pinterest. Sometimes I think I find better/more relevant info on Pinterest when compared to Google. Anyway, I used her "recipe" except I was unable to find the mule team Borax at the store. So I added an extra 1/2 cup of Oxiclean. And guess what?
The crayon came out of the clothes! I was utterly shocked and amazed!! Every single item in the wash was covered in crayon and they all came out clean. These pictures are not the greatest, but it gives you an idea. Here is my revised recipe:

  • 2 max amounts (line 3) of concentrated Tide (I used All Free& Clear)
  • 1 1/2 cups Oxiclean
  • 1 cup Shout liquid
  • 1 cup white vinegar
Select longest wash cycle and hot water. Fill washer, add ingredients, allow to dissolve. Add soiled clothing. Let soak in hot water and solution for one hour. Start the cycle. Check each article before transferring to dryer. If not clean wash again. Everything in my entire load came clean!
To clean the dryer, run it for about 5 or 10 minutes, then wipe it down with a clean wet towel and Lysol. The heat melts the crayon making it easy to remove. Just make sure to run a load of rags before you run good clothes so that you're sure you got all the crayon. 
Oh, and when I pushed the clothes down into the water, my wedding ring came out shinier than ever!
We will be diligently checking all pockets from now on!

January 2, 2012

Cooking with Kids: Measuring Tip and Uses for a Wet Erase Marker

I love to cook or bake with my children. It's a great way to spend time together and teach them something as well. Of course, it requires a dose of patience because they love to do everything all by themselves and don't necessarily do things exactly right. 

This is simple, but a great tip for measuring wet ingredients when cooking with children. I have also used this tip when making jam to help me measure out the fruit because I find that the red berries make the red measuring lines of my glass measuring cups quite difficult to read.

You need a glass measuring cup and a wet erase marker (the kind used on overhead projectors) or a dry erase marker works as well.

Draw a line on the measuring cup at the required amount. I like to make the line nice and long to make it easier for my kids to see. 

Stand back and let the kid pour. This makes them feel so successful and confident.

Just about done pouring. He's taking his time and being very careful. Can you guess what we are having for lunch? (see the white packet on the bottom left of the photo)

Inspecting his work. Looks good! 
Now pour it in the pot (or mixing bowl, whichever the case may be).

When you are done, the line washes off easily!

My son in these pictures (age 4) attends a Montessori preschool. They do a lot of pouring in school. He's gotten quite good at it. A great skill to have!

Other handy uses for the wet erase (overhead) markers
-Save on water in the bathtub. Draw a line inside the tub to indicate the appropriate water level and instruct them to turn off the water once it reaches the line. My little guy loves to fill a tub to the top if he can get away with it.
-Rainy day fun. Use them to draw on windows. Kids will need supervision so they don't draw on the moldings around the windows. Teach window washing skills afterwards.
-Target practice. Draw a target on a window for nerf dart guns. Endless fun for my 2 boys!
-Carving pumpkins. Before you begin carving, use the marker to draw the face. If you make a mistake it wipes off and when you are done carving it wipes off easily.

Can you think of any other uses? I'd love to hear some more ideas.