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Dryer Leaving Oily Spots on Clothing


I am having issues with my dryer leaving what looks like oil spots on a lot of my clothes that will not wash out. I have tried to eliminate all possibilities, cheap detergent, dryer sheets, even filling the washer with water and detergent before adding clothes. It doesn't happen to all my clothes, but enough. Is there anybody that has experienced this type of issue, and if so, how did you resolve it. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Bryson from Nashville, TN



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By tracy (Guest Post) 11/14/2007 Flag

Call a repair man your motor in the dryer could be causing it, or leaving lip stick or pens in your pockets.

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By mcw 80 1,752 11/14/2007 Flag

There might be some oil leaking from the motor through the vent in the back of the dryer into the rotating drum. This is just a thought that came to me.

Come to think of it, I believe the motor is on the bottom. Could some oil be leaking in from a drive shaft that turns the drum?

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By Janene 1 30 11/16/2007 Flag

Are you sure it is from your dryer? I have had that before and found out it was because the transmission from the washing machine had gone out and was losing the oil in the drum, splattering all of my clothes. It was more noticeable on my whites.
I hope this isn't the case but it might be a possibility. Good Luck.

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By Patricia Blegen 13 11/16/2007 Flag

Do you use liquid fabric softner? It can leave spots - I've always been able to get them out by rewashing.

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By Sherry 72 83 11/17/2007 Flag

Sounds like your washer or dryer is leaking oil. You will probably have to call a repair man for this one.

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By kathy watson (Guest Post) 11/17/2007 Flag

Happens to me too! I notice the spots on dark blue or black t-shirts mostly. I really can't believe that my washer and dryer are leaking oil because my old machines did it too. New machines, same oily spots!! I thought this only happened to me. At least we know we aren't crazy!!

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By sue (Guest Post) 11/19/2007 Flag

I had the same problem. I have a brand new wash and dryer. I just thought it was my old one. I think it is from liquid fabric softener. When I rewashed the clothing it came out. I now only use dryer sheets for my darks and haven't had any problems.

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By Linda 1 82 11/22/2007 Flag

A couple of my friends and I, too, had this problem
at one time. We all found that by either changing
liquid fabric softener or diluting it, or adding it by
hand when the rinse cycle was swishing around,
and not in the dispenser helped.
Rewashing the items removed them for me.

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By nickie (Guest Post) 04/02/2008 Flag

I have been having this same problem for months now, I don't use liquid fabric softner, I have had both machines serviced, it seems to only happen to mine and my 18 month old's dark clothes. Ah! I've tried washing and drying inside out, nothing seems to work! I'm starting to think it is something in my water! Sorry I can't help, can anyone else?

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By Karen (Guest Post) 09/17/2008 Flag

I don't use liquid fabric softner or dryer sheets but do use laundry soap WITH softner, could this be the cause?

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By (Guest Post) 10/01/2008 Flag

I am reading my own complaint exactly. We are now in the process of dealing with the actual water coming into our home. We replaced water softner/hot water tank and now after having my washer/dryer serviced 4-5 times bought new ones and my first load had same issues. Mostly on darker cottons(shirts). We have been told it could possibly be mangenise(not sure of spelling) in the water so we are currently getting tested now. Hope this helps.

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By Carol (Guest Post) 12/01/2008 Flag

It is so good to see others with the same problem. My friend and I are ready to send the clothes to CSI to get an answer! We too bought a new washer and dryer......same spots. I recently thought I had this sovled by using powder laundry detergent and dryer sheets. But, alas, spots yesterday. We thought it may be the water too but my friend has well water and we have city. There has to be an answer out there somewhere.

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By leslie (Guest Post) 12/09/2008 Flag

I had the same thing hapen to me, my parents thought I was crazy. I bought new clothes and took them to the laundry mat to wash them and brought them home to dry and got the same spots on clothes that were not washed in my home washing mechine that I had origianlly thought was the problem now I know its the dryer. I too changed from liquid detergent to powders etc. trying to figure the problem out.

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By paleocon 1 06/03/2009 Flag

A solution and explanation that have worked for me:

I have had the same problem a number of times-- oil stains on dark clothes coming straight out of dryer; I assumed machine oil from the dryer, but the posts here suggesting fabric softener got me on the right track. I have a hand-me-down top-load Frigidaire washer and new Whirlpool Dryer. I never use fabric softener, but the prior owner may have because there is waxy buildup around and in the dispenser cup. On close examination (brushing fresh stains lightly with water and also feeling the stains' texture-- especially on smooth, thin cotton), I discovered that, surprisingly, the stains feel like wax at room temp.

I took out the dispenser cup completely and re- washed immediately with hot water. It worked!, and I am talking on a thoroughly stained batch of blue and black cotton t-shirts, summer dresses and polos. I have looked at other forums, and machine oil is apparently a possibility, but for me it looks like it was waxy residue from the dispenser (softener or maybe even something else) that doesn't dissolve in my usual cold wash, gets on the clothes in tiny amounts, and then goes in the hot dryer to cause those usually round, dark stains.

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By Steve 1 1 03/04/2011 Flag

So whatever happened? I am having the same problem...
Little background
Last few years I have replaced my soft water unit
Changed my detergent...liquid to powder and brand several times.
Stopped using fabric softer in both my washer and dryer.
Had maintenance work and cleaned both units inside and out.
Finally got so frustrated went out and bought a new traditional washer and dryer, as I thought maybe soap was dripping down some how with my front load washer.
Guess what? I am still getting the spots!
I have never used fabric softener in my new washer and dryer. And I have again used both liquid and powder and switched brands

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By Lilian 106 05/07/2011 Flag

The only thing everybody has in common , they use a washing machine soap.
Perhaps ALL soaps have one problem incredient in common and that is why so many different scenarios cause the same problem.

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By catspaw 1 07/31/2011 Flag

I'm glad to know others are having spotting problems. I get the roundish grease-like stains on clean clothes that come out of the drier. Hard to tell if it's happening in the washer because, of course, the clothes are wet. But I have used Spray n Wash Stain Stick for years on all our stains and it works well on these mysterious spots too. It's just a pain rewashing 2 or 3 shirts from every load.

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By klbrazina 1 10/01/2012 Flag

I just want to point out that several people who have posted comments about this issue have mentioned that they have had the washer repaired and are STILL getting the spots. So to those others who keep suggesting that its an issue with the motor, or transmission leaking oil, please pay attention to the comments before making suggestions. Obviously this common particular laundry stain is not coming from a leak. Another clue - most people say that the stains are only on the front of the clothing. What would make more sense is the hypothesis that it is a chemical reaction from things that get on the front of our clothing during the day, which are invisible to the naked eye, reacting with the soap and water in the washer. The reaction becomes evident after the clothes are dried.

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By dsntwin 1 04/05/2013 Flag

As a NYC apartment dweller I have been using commercial washers and dryers forever, but lately I too have been noticing these oily type blotches on clothing. By the process of elimination, (line- drying) was ale to point to the culprit, the dryer. Somehow when they're maintained, I don't believe they (commercial establishment) do a thorough maintenance job. Somehow, I do believe that oil is seeping into the dryer tub and not an issue with fabric softener. Humble deduction only.

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