Washing Clothes in Well Water

I live on a farm, which is on well water for washing. I find my clothes are not soft and are not comfortable to wear. Also I have an odd orange stain on my clothes. Is there anyone in Ontario, that is on a farm and experiencing this? Do you have a solution? Detergent or soaps that are better? Any help, would be appreciated.


By Sheila from Ontario, Canada

February 7, 20110 found this helpful

You must have a lot of iron in your water. How about using Iron Out? This is only for whites though.

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

It is iron in the water. Can you save rain water for washing?

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

We have well water. We do run a water softener. I wash everything in cold water to reduce the stain on the clothes. I never buy expensive clothes, because they never last or look new for long. At least we save on the water bill, right?

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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

Don't leave them sit in the washer too long. When I have this smell, I either hang them outside in the sun and fresh air to dry, or rewash them adding vinegar to the load.

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Anonymous Flag
February 8, 20110 found this helpful

You definitely have a lot of iron in your water! If you use a cup of distilled vinegar in the final rinse cycle it will break down the iron (and other minerals at that) and soften your clothes too. :-)

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February 9, 20111 found this helpful

My parents were on well water with the same problem. My mom found not using liquid bleach kept the whites whiter and there is a person in the Ottawa area that sells attachments to reduce iron in the water. Not sure of his name maybe google it. Also washing in cold water helps as it does not set stains.

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February 11, 20110 found this helpful

When employed at a laundromat one customer would come every few weeks to undo what her well water had done to her clothes. She'd dump in Liquid Plummer which got rid of the orange color. She'd apparently done this for years and swore by it.

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March 7, 20110 found this helpful

Try using 1 or 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and if needed also add 1/2 cup baking soda this should help.

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July 28, 20160 found this helpful

Borax a half a cup each laundry load

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September 13, 20160 found this helpful

We have well water, with a higher than usual iron content. We have no water softener. My clothes are always soft and normal, but about once every 3 months, I run my whites with Iron-Out, be so careful if you do, as the fumes are toxic. Maybe you are using too much detergent, and do you use a dryer sheet, or a wadded up piece of tin foil in the dryer? Try a smaller load. Try a cup of white vinegar instead of fabric softener-I actually never ever use liquid fabric softener.

That said, a strange thing happened this summer, Jim needed a bucket of soapy water and bleach to scrub a sidewalk-and I poured in some tide, and a cup of cheap bleach, not Clorox--which promptly turned orange in the bucket! So maybe you are getting a chemical reaction-experiment a bit. Maybe it's your laundry products, and not your nice, healthy well water. Good luck!

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Washing Clothes
Washing Clothes in Well Water
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