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Bleach Stains from my Washer are Driving Me Nuts!

i need help. Every once in a while (more lately) when I do a colored load of wash clothes will come out with what looks to be a bleach stain on them. I have already lost a few shirts and some nice pants and I cant figure out whats doing it. I very rarely use bleach and I know I didnt spill it. I seperate the clothes and follow the lables. I am sick of losing nice clothes. It will only happen to one or two things a load and not every time I do wash. Anyone have any ideas what it could be?? Thanks for the help,


Missy in PA

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May 26, 20040 found this helpful


This same thing has happened to me. But alas I found out what was causing it. Fabric softener, that you would pour into a dispensor cup ontop of the agaitoter. (WOW what a spellor). If just one drop goes into the wash cycle, it finds you nicest clothes. And then you already know what happens.

Once I stopped fabic softening this way and went to the sheets. No problems, so if this is what you are doing, My advice is get the sheet, not the liquid. And it worked for me.


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May 26, 20040 found this helpful

What type of detergent are you using? Are you pouring it over the already loaded washer? The same thing was happening to my sons clothes and we found it was the liquid detergent "working" before the washer had filled with water, even a worse problem when the detergent contains "brightners or bleach." It was causing bleached stains and streaks. We now put the detergent in first and rinse down the tub with a cup or two or water BEFORE we load the clothes in. Problem solved.

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May 26, 20040 found this helpful

Yeah, I learned the hard way to always add the soap to the water before putting clothes in. You have to dilute a lot of these laundry detergents before they make contact with your clothes. Especially if you are a bargain hunter and change detergents from time to time when you find a deal.

I had problems with liquid detergent staining clothing and powdered detergent sticking to clothing and not getting rinsed off. Sometimes when you dry clothing without seeing the stuck-on powdered detergent it will set a stain or discoloration on clothing. At best those clothes need to be re-washed. So, I always let the water run for a while, add the soap, then add the clothes and I haven't had a problem since.

The fabric softener may also be the problem.

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May 27, 20040 found this helpful

One thing I have been doing for years has saved my clothes and made my washer work better and longer.

Once a week pour 2 cups of household vinegar over your adjitator to clean off all the resedue left by soaps and powdered bleach. Run some old white towels through a short wash without soap. They will come out whiter and cleaner then before but your machine will be clean also. It is a good idea to run vinegar through once and a while by it's self. If I get a real build up I use a entire gallon.

To prevent problems in the future- dissolve your detergent in an old cut off bleach bottle. Rinse one out. Fill half full with warm or hot water, depending on what you are washing and stir after pouring detergent in. let stand while you fill the drum with clothes and water. Don't add soapy liquid until the washer is almost full. Even adding detergent first doesn't always work. Try it

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May 28, 20040 found this helpful

I always put the detergent in first when I do wash. I pour it (powder) right where the water hits when it fills. Start the water. Then I go get the hamper and start to put in the clothes. By then there are a couple of inches of water in the tub and deterg. is mostly dissoved.

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May 28, 20040 found this helpful

I had noticed some grime on the agitator but it did not wipe off easily. Today, I used the magic eraser and it worked like a charm. All that grime is gone. I then filled the washing machine and let it go one cycle to wash away the dirt.

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May 29, 20040 found this helpful

This is happening to us too, but never with our old Kenmore machine. We moved and bought a GE from Sam's Club. I think what's happening is that most bleachable loads are smaller than dark clothing loads so, when you add soap and bleach to the tub to do a small whites load, the fill stream splashes concentrated bleach/soap drops higher up on the tub and/or agitator sides than the eventual water level reaches during the whites cycle. These concentrated droplets of bleach solution remain there for your next dark load which is usually bigger, so you pile in the clothes, they contact the bleach droplet and voila-a white spot!

Two solutions for this:

1. Make your whites load the last of the day so the tub dries out completely-dry bleach won't enter the fabric like liquid does, and

2. Let the tub fill with water about half way before GENTLY pouring the bleach in. Pour it in on the front side of the tub opposite the water stream. Then, let the agitator do a couple of rotations to mix before adding the whites. No more bleach stains on the dark stuff.

The Kenmore had a bleach-add cup on the top of the tub area that let the bleach in on the outside of the perforated tub so we never had the problem until now. Hope this helps!

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July 9, 20050 found this helpful

don't use deoderant that is a clear stick. I had some and it got a white "bleach looking"stain on one of my good light blue tee shirts. I know it was the deoderant because the stain was only under the arms. I retested it by putting the deoderant all over the shirt and rewashed it. Sure enough, there was white marks everywhere I put the deoderant.

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November 20, 20050 found this helpful

i had a lovely pair of khaki combat trousers which have been ruined by bleach. there are a few purple drops all down the front of them as a result of the bleach in the mop bucket. i am devestated as i loved them. any tips as to how i could go about repairing these combats. they are my favourite. karen xoxo

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March 2, 20100 found this helpful

I was noticing I was getting bleach stains on the right sleeve of all my long sleeve shirts and t-shirts until I realized every time I reached in the washer to retrive something I was rubbing my arm against the bleach dispenser. Now I place a piece of clothing over the area to retrive or place something in the washer. This protectes my arm.

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks everyone for the good hints. I found that I was getting white stains or residue on clothes from the detergent even when I use liquid detergent and diluted it in a jug of water and poured it on the clothes before starting the washer. Using only cold water might be the culprit, although I diluted detergent in hot or warm water first. So annoying to find when hanging clothes on the line and I had to rewash them.

Sometimes I didn't notice the marks until they were dry as I mostly hang them inside out (to avoid fading) and discovered this when putting them away. A little rubbing removed some, but not all. NOW, thank goodness, I have discovered that if I put the undiluted detergent in a large spare plastic cap from a bottle of detergent or softener and place it on top of the clothes close to where the water fills from and turn on the washer, it dissolves the liquid and I rarely get residue stains on clothes. Original we had a plastic ball with an opening until it broke up, and now we just use any large cap that has no sharp edges to harm clothes when agitating.

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