Washing Machine Staining Clothing

Trying to identify the cause of mysterious stains on laundered clothing can be frustrating, especially when they weren't there before washing. This is a guide about washing machine staining clothing.

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Question: Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

By Pat 1

I have a 2 year old Kenmore Oasis top load washer. Over the past year or so my husband's white tee shirts and shorts have been coming out of the wash with mysterious light brown stains, like oil stains. I don't use bleach on them, even though the label says I can use non-chlorine bleach. I wash them with Arm and Hammer liquid. I always put the soap into the dispenser.

I would think if the soap were the cause the stains would be blotchy. While there are a few blotches, there are also stains that appear as though the staining agent had been drizzled on the shirt. The stains will not wash out. Last week my husband put seven tee shirts, all less than a year old, in the rag bag because they were too stained to wear. I don't believe it is the water because we have a water softener.

By leep1 from Lake City, FL

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Best Answers

By julie 6 83 Flag

June 4, 2009

This has happened to me twice over the years and both times it was oil leaks from the washer and it needed servicing. It was the oil seal that needed replacing.

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By kiwigirl64 1 Flag

April 17, 2010

Yes, I too have been very confused as to what my husband does with his beautiful white singlets. They look like he has wiped his dusty car down with them. Turns out it is commonly known as "SCUD" which builds up inside you washing machine, usually because of using fabric softeners. I have tried all the treatments recommended, but alas, nothing really seems to work. The SCUD is way down in parts of the machine you cant get to and results in these brown stains on your white clothing. I am buying a new machine and never using fabric softener again!

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Question: Black T-shirt with Bleach-like Stain

I have a 2 year old top loader washing machine and lately I have noted that I get what appear to be bleach spots on clothing without using bleach. I use Omo powder and I pour it in the fill nozzle. Can you help please?

By Virginia

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Home and Garden Cleaning Clothing StainsJuly 12, 2013
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