Fix it: Tips on drying bedsheets, setting up LCD TVs and cleaning crayon from clothes.
Q: Is there a way to put bedsheets in the dryer so that they don’t come out in one large bundle?
A: Here are some tips when putting bedsheets in the dryer:
• Don’t overload.
• Shake out wet bedding before placing it inside.
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• Add a dry bath towel to the load.
• Add dryer balls, which resemble the plastic, porcupine-like toys for pets. Dryer balls are said to lift and separate laundry in the dryer to prevent balling and wrinkling. Bed Bath and Beyond sells them for $15. A cheaper option is to add a few new, clean tennis balls to the load.
Heat isn’t an issue with LCD TV
Q: We purchased an LCD flat-panel TV and want to build a cabinet with doors to close when the set is not in use. We were told that this type of TV generates so much heat that if you put it behind closed doors, it will significantly shorten the life of the set. If the TV is turned off, does it still have that much heat?
A: Your advisers must have been referring to plasma TVs. LCD TVs don’t produce a lot of heat. Most newer computer screens are LCDs. Touch one and see that it isn’t overly warm. You shouldn’t worry about putting an LCD in a cabinet behind closed doors any more than you would a picture-tube TV.
But plasma-TV technology involves heating a gas, which produces a lot of heat and makes it warm to the touch, even after operation. Most plasma TVs are mounted on the wall or a stand, where air circulates, so the heat is no problem. If you have a plasma TV, check the manual or contact the manufacturer to see if it’s safe to put your model behind doors in a cabinet.
Cleaning crayon mess
Q: My son left crayons in his pocket, which went through the washer and dryer cycles. They melted onto and into an entire load of laundry. Is there any way to remove the marks and blotches from the laundered articles?
A: Treat the stains on the clothing. Then don’t forget to clean the dryer drum, or you’ll have another batch of clothes to clean.
• WD-40 lubricant.
• Liquid dishwashing detergent.
• Laundry detergent.
• Bleach for colored clothing.
• Paper towels.
Here’s what you do, including tips from Crayola:
• Place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels, spray with WD-40 and let it stand for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over, and spray the other side.
• Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work it into the stained area, replacing towels as it absorbs the stain.
• Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric and with laundry detergent and bleach for about 12 minutes (use the heavy-soil setting if there is no minute timer on the machine) and rinse in warm water. This will take out the wax, but not always all the color. If that’s the case, treat the stain with Spot Shot, OxiClean or a similar stain remover.
• Clean the drum of your dryer to remove any remaining wax residue. Spray a soft cloth with WD-40 and wipe the drum. Run a load of dry rags through the cycle to ensure that the drum is clean.
Fixit by Karen Youso is an occasional feature. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, no personal replies.