Orangeish-Pink Coloring on Washed Clothing

Why do some of my clothes - but only a few of them - have an orangeish pink cast to them after being washed and dried? It seems to only affect part of the garment as well.

Bonzettes from Los Angeles

February 4, 20080 found this helpful

Do you have well water or a rural water supply? It might be iron bacteria. I have a well and it became contaminated with iron bacteria, it's harmless, but it turns light color clothes, sides of the tub, etc. slowly orange. Hope that helps.

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February 7, 20080 found this helpful

Here's another possibility. Red dye is know to be the least "fast"- that is, it is prone to bleeding. Some fabrics when washed with a pink/red/orange item will absord this bleed-off dye; other fabrics may be less likely to grab onto this excess color. The answer for me in the past has been to wash reds with darks, and to wash (or at least rinse) new items separately to get them to release the excess dye before exposing the item to the "general wash."

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February 8, 20080 found this helpful

I worked in the water treatment/softening business for over a decade. I would also guess that it is iron deposits in the water. Some get this problem from time to time, others all the time. I would try "Iron Out". Look for it or call first to your local hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or online. It's a powder and depending on the size of the container, it will run between $8 to $16. It will last a very long time because you use it by the teaspoon. If I were you, I would add some to an empty wash load and let it clean your washing machine from time to time. The next time you wash your orange pink cast clothes, add a small amount to that water as well. There should be some directions on the back of the bottle that will tell you how to add it to your wash machine, your wash, and even how to make a paste to remove a specific stain on a surface or a piece of clothing.

A more permanent fix, but much more expensive, (about $900 to $1,000) would be to add an iron filter inline before your water softener system. If you don't have a water softener, or never had your water tested, take a sample of about a cup of your regular tap water (run tap for 1 minute first before getting sample). Put your water sample directly in a clean container (one that you don't mind not getting back), and take it into Sears (they will test for free). Tell them you would like it tested for hardness and specifically for a suspected iron problem. I didn't work for Sears, but I know they have great systems at great prices which I had problems competing with. I know who manufacturers their systems for them and they are one of the top two best out there, if not the best. If I needed a softener, I would go to Sears first myself now.

By the way, in my opinion, most people find having a water softener in addition to the iron filter works the best. I personally wouldn't do one without the other. They work somewhat hand and hand. Good Luck!

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