Why Gum Shouldn’t Date Your Dryer: Friday’s “What the frak?” Moment

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………..

Gum inside your dryer: The two should never meet, much less date, get intimate, and expose innocent clothing to the aftermath.

Weekends for me equal work. CG is at home and I pull a “mommy disappearing act” for either one or both days. To him, it means he’s “stuck” with the kids. To me, it means I’m stuck with laundry, cleaning, errands, and the other hundred things much easier to accomplish without children.

Work weekends accomplish several things. They:

  1. Ensure we have clean clothes to wear the following week.
  2. Give me a small break from my kids so by Monday my patience is fully restored, I miss them, and I’m ready to roll with whatever they toss my way.
  3. Give CG a tiny taste of what stay at home parenthood is like, in hopes of fostering his understanding on why some days I beg for him to come home.
  4. Let me run errands to places my children would tear apart.

This is why I was elbow deep in piles of laundry last Sunday. I sorted, checked clothing for stains, tossed in a dark load containing the unstained items, and folded a mountain of clothes from the previous weekend – completely unaware a stealthy piece of spearmint gum stowed away to get hot and heavy with my dryer (most likely inside CG’s shirt pocket, because no pants were included with the clothing).

A load of kid clothes waited in the washer as I opened my dryer to pull out the completed first load.

The inside of my white dryer was green.

My iPod takes horrible photos, but to give you a hint: my dryer should be pure white, no scratches. All the spots and streaks are gum. The entire inside was smeared.


CG sat fifteen feet away. “What?”

“A piece of your gum snuck into the dryer! It is EVERYWHERE!”

I admit, this was bad form, accusing him (no matter how true it might be), as ultimately it is my responsibility to discover stowaways.

I was pissed. He was a target.

Sorry honey.

I quickly explained my overreaction, apologizing.

“You say I need to delegate. I need you to clean out the inside of the dryer. I have too much to do today.”

He obliged, realizing while I can cope with many things, gum smeared all over the entire inside of my dryer is not one of them.

First he tried peanut butter, but it was too messy.

He switched to vegetable oil with great success.

Finally, he used scrubbing bubble sink cleaner to clean up the oil.

Yeah, I didn’t see that coming.

My dryer was clean again, but it wreaked of cleaning supplies and spent the rest of the day airing out.

Needless to say, the laundry did not get done.

Why is this a true “what the frak?” moment?

The "Good" Clothes - after a playdate with gum inside my dryer.

Not only did gum sneak in without its traditional CG pants/shorts pocket method, but the gum somehow hit “the good” clothing:

  • The fitted tops versus the over-sized bulky ones.
  • The nice Polos in good condition versus the holy work around the house shirts.
  • The non-poop stained Tackler underwear.
  • My overpriced breathable moisture whisking away workout sock versus cheap regular ones.

What. The. Frak.

It’s like my dryer knew….

Sidenote: Does anyone know how to get dryered-on gum out of clothing in a way that doesn’t stain the clothing worse?


Did you have a “what the frak?” moment this week?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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17 Responses to Why Gum Shouldn’t Date Your Dryer: Friday’s “What the frak?” Moment

  1. Jessica says:

    I’ve had gum stuck in the dryer before. Terrible. I threw away the clothes and bought new ones.

  2. CG says:

    As I said before, there were no shirts with pockets. How gum got in there is still undetermined.

    Vegetable oil, however, does a great job of breaking up gum. Then you just need to get rid of the oil film, which is pretty easy.

  3. That. Sucks. Sorry, no tips.

  4. Shell says:

    Oh no! Vegetable oil really does work wonders, though, doesn’t it? It got the gorilla glue off my kids when they decided to glue themselves.

    Off the clothes though? Eek! I have no idea!

  5. Jessica Rau says:

    Gum and dryers – Kryptonite to my superman. BTDT, and I am truly sorry for you. My advice? Cut you losses and toss the gummy clothes. If you can afford some replacements it’s probably worth the money to save your time (and sanity).

  6. Pingback: This Week in Chaos-land… | Dances with Chaos

  7. Ironic Mom says:

    That’s a definite WTF moment. And I’m pretty sure the F in this case is stronger than Frak.

  8. This has happened to me so many times I can’t even tell you!
    I do the laundry.
    I DO NOT check pockets.
    My daughter is too young to put stuff in her pockets.
    Brian is forgetful.
    If there is gum, rocks, lighters, money, etc in my dryer its from him.
    When the gum was all over he cleaned it too. Then i just re-washed the clothes and hung them, i didn’t dry them just in case.
    Most of the time it came out.

  9. John says:

    If there is gum in my dryer, it’s me who put it there. Wait – no, the toddler has started throwing random stuff into whatever compartment he can find, so how he’d get gum would really be the question, but he’d be the easy person to blame.

    • My daughter is just tall enough she can reach the drawer we keep the gum in. If it isn’t totally flat, she will grab it with the tips of her fingers and chew the entire package.

      It isn’t pretty.

      This also applies for every object she can reach. And the edges of the counter tops.

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