Worst thing you've accidentally put in the washing machine

Inspired by this thread.

You know the feeling - that sinking feeling of opening up the washing machine (or dryer) and seeing bits of paper, or melted plastic, or exploded ink, or cell phone parts, in with the clothing. What’s your worst story?

I have two. One was when I accidentally laundered my tickets to see the Columbus Symphony doing Holiday at the Pops. After half an hour of panic, it occurred to me to just call the box office and see if they could replace them, and luckily they could.

The other was when I missed one of MrWhatsit’s ink pens in his front shirt pocket, and wound up with an entire load of clothing festively painted in splatters of bright blue. That one necessitated the purchase of two replacement uniform shirts and a whole bunch of new socks.

This weekend I accidentally ran a cough drop through the washer and dryer. Now all of my jeans smell like honey, eucalyptus and menthol.

I washed my passport. Two weeks before I had to go back to England to defend my doctoral dissertation (I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly).

A tube of blood-red M.A.C. lipstick. sigh Their lipstick really does stay on.

not me. my middle kid. A purple sparkly crayon.:mad:

I’ve washed a cellphone. That was probably be the worst.

Also, while at boot camp, people in my company used to leave those cheap ball point pens in their breast pocket and then send off their uniforms for washing along with everyone else’s in those commercial washing machines.

Several of us would get back items covered and ruined by pen ink. The source was almost always traceable.

My boyfriend will wear nothing but cargo pants and actually used the cargo areas…If I’m lazy, I won’t always check the pockets or will miss one of the 382747832 pockets his pants have. I’ve washed scratch tickets and lens cloths before. The sucky thing about the scratch tickets was that they broke apart into a zillion pieces that would show up al dried and fluffy in the dryer for an additional 5 or so loads.

When I was about 7, I washed a whole pack of gum. I had left the gum in my pants pocket; my mom (who has always refused to check pockets for some reason) put them in the wash with the rest of the family’s laundry. I don’t recall it actually ruining anything; I think it all clumped together in one spot.

I accidentally left a new red t-shirt in the washer and then did a load of my partner’s white shirts in hot water right after that. It turned them all pink.

I’ve got 4 kids. At the time they were all (IIRC) under 10, and they were running around my parents house like usual during a visit, being…boisterous. It was getting on in the late afternoon when one of the other friends who was over started searching the house for something.

Us: What are you looking for?

Him: My gun. Anyone seen it?


Us: Um…no. Is it loaded?

Him: Yep.


Time to round up the kids, make sure no one’s packin’, and keep an eye on them til we find it…

By now, you’re all thinking “Are you sure you’re in the right thread, Jim?”

Yup - we found it when the washer went to spin cycle. He’d somehow dumped the gun into the washer with a bunch of dirty laundry without realizing it.

Ahh, good times…

I almost hate to ask this, but did you find it the easy way, or the hard way?

I’ve washed my wallet numerous times. One of the most annoying was when I didn’t realize my monthly bus pass was still in my pocket when it got put in the washer, on the first week of the month. All I found was a few bits of paper and the 2 zone sticker that goes on it.

Sorry, the easy way. While it was quite loud and thumpy, there was a distinct lack of carnage. Thankfully.

Twice. Fortunately those things are pretty robust; it’s still readable. And in fact, both were related to the cargo pants problem SharkB8 mentions: I always wear cargo pants for travelling, because the cargo pocket is so convenient for things like ID, itinerary, tickets, etc., but since I don’t usually wear cargo pants, I sometimes forget to empty those pockets.

Crayons but what was worse was I didn’t notice them until they went through the dryer.

What a mess.

Ha! :smiley:

My stepson wears those cargo pants too, and no matter how I try, I can never empty all the pockets. Worst thing of his that I washed was a zip drive.

Not the washer, but once after skiing the morning in the rain I tossed my shell in the dryer so I could go back out after lunch, forgetting that there was a Chapstik in the inner pocket. It came out all gooey.

In boot camp we used to wash our uniforms all together, in two loads. It never failed, once a week one of us would forget their tube of lip balm in their pocket and everything would come out blotchy.

Sucked the next morning on inspection.

I have washed my ID numerous times, it’s pretty resilient.

My wife pretty much always does the laundry, but one time when my kids were young, she was out somewhere and I decided to be nice and do a load. Their brand new snowsuits had gotten dirty, so I tossed them in with a couple of their nicer overalls outfits.

Earlier that week one of the kids’ classes had melted crayons into dinosaur crayons, two of which were in one snowsuit pocket. I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of hours I spent in the laundry room trying to scrub green and purple streaks out of clothes. Good thing I happened to put all of their nicest/most expensive clothes in a single load.

Yeah - I made an impression on my wife indeed!

Awwww, I inspired someone. :smiley:

A tale from the oilpatch: When they were drilling for oil on a friend’s ranch, a rookie on one of the derricks asked how he could get the oil out of his clothes. Someone suggested that he wash the clothes in drip–a liquid, mostly benzine, that comes out separate from the gas and oil and is easy to drain out of the piping. Instead of getting a tub and soaking the clothes, our hero took the drip down to the town’s laundromat. He supposedly took the roof off of the building when the washing started the wash cycle.