How Does Vegetable Oil Work To Remove Ink Stains From Your Dryer?

Accidentally putting a pen through the laundry and ending up with ink coating the inside of your dryer is frustrating. You might be worried that the drum of your dryer is permanently stained or that the ink could end up on your clothes the next time you do laundry. Luckily, there's a natural way to get rid of ink stains from your dryer without having to deal with nasty chemicals. Vegetable oil will help pull those ink stains right off your dryer. Additionally, because this cooking oil doesn't have much of a smell, your dryer won't make your clothes reek of chemical cleaners when you're finished.

Because ink stains on hard surfaces are often effectively removed with oil-based solvents, vegetable oil is a good choice. The fats in the oil will help to dissolve and lift the ink from the inside of your dryer, leaving it as though a pen had never gone through the cycle.

How vegetable oil can remove pen ink

Though putting straight oil inside your dryer might seem like it would create more of a mess than just pen ink, vegetable oil has proved it can act as a natural, nontoxic solvent that's safer for the environment. A study published in 2017 explored how vegetable oils could replace chemical solvents or those that are harmful to the environment, such as petroleum, and stated that these oil-based solvents can dilute inks and work as cleansers. The conclusion of the study states: "Vegetable oils have been used as solvents for extraction, purification and formulation by ancient civilizations such as Egyptians and Phoenicians, Indians and Chinese, and even Mayas and Aztecs. ... Vegetable oils could be one of the solutions coming from the past and acting as a future of humanity as an ecologic and an economic alternative to petroleum and hazardous solvents, and turning to sustainability in the 21[st] century."

Because vegetable oil can act as a solvent, it should be able to pull pen ink from hard surfaces like the drum of your dryer without causing any damage. This provides a safe, natural stain removal method that is just as effective as chemical cleaners. 

Using vegetable oil to remove ink stains from your dryer

While it may seem unconventional, putting vegetable oil in your dryer is a good idea if it's already covered in pen ink. Before attempting to remove the stain, allow your dryer to run on low with nothing in it for up to five minutes. This should warm the surface of the drum, which will make getting the stain off easier. After the dryer has run, dampen a cloth with vegetable oil and rub it over the ink stains. Make sure to let the oil sit for a while to give it time to work because it can take longer than stronger manufactured solvents to remove ink stains. You can leave the oil on the stain for about half an hour if it's particularly stubborn.

After you've let your natural solvent sit on the ink, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe it away. When you move your rag over the oil, the ink should come up with it. If it doesn't all come off, repeat this process. Ensuring that no oil remains in your dryer after you've the ink is gone is crucial because it can then lead to greasy stains on your next load of laundry.