Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

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

June 4, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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April 17, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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August 6, 20090 found this helpful

Take one of the rag bag shirts and try "Bar Keepers Friend" on the spots and see if it comes out. I make a paste of the stuff and rub it on the stain. If you rinse it out and the stain is gone - it's rust. It's sold with the powered Comet and type of products. If it's rust then you have to start looking at the washer. Good luck!

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

This is caused most likely by fabric softener. I have a top loading Maytag and I noticed there is a buildup of black gunk in the fabric softener dispenser in the top of the agitator. It happens only when I used the hot water cycle. I ran a vinegar/baking soda solution through the machine and it appears to have cleared up. I was stymied for a year trying to find out where the black smudges were coming from on my white laundry, which is what I mainly wash with hot water.

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December 18, 20130 found this helpful

I can't believe someone else has the same problem. My husbands white t shirts and dress shirts come out with brown spots usually on the front or back of his shirts. You can't get them out. No one can explain why this is happening. I don't use softner in my washer. My washer is top load. I use Arm & Hammer, but that doesn't mean anything because previous name brand soaps do the same. It doesn't show on colored clothing...very perplexed. I haven't seen an answer yet...waiting!

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August 6, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I live in an apartment complex, and I use their laundry room for washing clothes. I have noticed that after washing and drying some of my clothes, there are "tea" colored spots on them. This has happened in other apartment building laundry facilities I have used also. Why is this happening? What can I do about getting them out? I've tried bleach, to no avail.

By elyag from Rochester, NY


Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

Are you sure that it is not the water? Sometimes when I wash whites it looks like a brownish color. The only other option would be that someone left something in the washer/ dryer. Good luck! (06/02/2009)


Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

I think it's rust. Look for tips on removing rust. (06/02/2009)


Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

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. (06/04/2009)

By Ausjulie

Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

I had that problem and it was a rust spot in the washer. It needed to be painted over. Tell the maintenance guy. Good luck. (06/05/2009)

By mulberry204

Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

I just wanted to make a comment about using public laundry rooms. You are better off doing a Clorox wash to remove germs, and then, in the same washer, do the rest of your washing. I read this somewhere. Sounds like a good idea. (06/05/2009)

By cookwie

Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

Agree with Ausjulie on the oil seal leaking; tell the maintenance person. Back in the days when we were apartment dwellers we ended up hauling our wash to an off site laundromat that had newer washers and dryers (since our building maintenance then overall wasn't great and we didn't see any improvement with the wash).

When we did the first loads in the newer laundromat, we were astonished by how much cleaner everything was. We'd been concentrating on those oil spots, but in reality everything had a dinginess to it.

I'd give everything a good shooting with the Oxyclean laundry spray (which seems to get almost everything out) and pre-treat the darkest spots with Dawn dish washing detergent. Try to get the wash done somewhere else if the building is iffy about maintaining the laundry room. (06/05/2009)

By PupperMom

Washer Leaving Brown Stains on Clothing

My washer does it all the time and it's not rust, it's red clay in the water lines. When we have a broken pipe that's when it happens. So what I do is I fill my washer up with Bleach water first before putting my white clothes in, or I will put my dark clothes in that way the rust or whatever it is in the lines will come out of the pipes. Also there is a rust remover you can use to get rid of the rust. Hope this helps. (06/05/2009)

By margaret spurlock

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