Solutions for Dingy Clothing

May 30, 2011

I have a Bosch front loader (about 5 years) and recently most of my whites and light colored shirts are coming out dingy and with stains under the arms. I have tried using less detergent, more detergent, pre-wash solutions, baking soda paste, just about everything and they still come out with the stains. Is there a filter or something in this thing? The manual doesn't say anything about it. I do have three dogs that shed a lot and I wash their bedding in it. Possibly something is clogged? Help!


By RKS from Grants Pass, OR


June 1, 20110 found this helpful

I am just learning about front load washers, so I'm not sure this will help, but have you tried really hot water and bleach, or blueing liquid, or vinegar?

I've just remarried (at 54, and after 13 years divorced) and my husband has a front loader-everything white or light comes out dingy at my house, too, so I'm trying to figure out how to use the blueing, I guess where I'd put fabric softener.

It works on top-load machines, but I don't know yet if it will work for a front loader.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 1, 20110 found this helpful

I do not use a front loader or have under arm stains but I have discovered if I take a bucket a put in 2 gallons of hot water and a cup of Lemon ammonia and soak my dingy items in it and throw them in the washer and the bucket of ammonia water then let it run through it cycle with laundry detergent amazing how clean they are, 1 thing I do is check the rinse water or if it's still quite dirty I throw in more laundry detergent and reset it to as a new load in other words 2 watch cycles and 1 rinsing that usually does the trick.
But what ever you do, do not add bleach.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 2, 20110 found this helpful

Are you using homemade laundry detergent or store bought? Homemade always seems to leave whites a little dingy. If you are using homemade soap, buy detergent and use only on your whites.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 2, 20112 found this helpful

How to Use Bluing For Dingy White Clothes

Bluing is an "old-fashioned" product that helps make whites appear to be whiter. Manufacturers use it in the finishing process of white goods because a blue tint makes white appear brighter. Unfortunately, the bluing wears off after repeated washings. The good news is you can add it back by using liquid bluing. It can be used for white clothes or on blue jeans that you wish to darken.

Here's how:
Always dilute bluing (it is concentrated) in cold water before adding to the washer. Never pour it directly into the machine because it can cause spotting. To whiten whites, if adding to the wash water, use 1/4 teaspoon diluted in one quart of water. Add the solution to the wash water. If adding only to the rinse cycle, use 1/8 teaspoon in a quart of water. Do not use an automatic dispenser for bluing.

For blue jeans, more can be used, up to 1 teaspoon, in the diluted solution depending upon how dark you want your jeans to be. Bluing can be used with detergent but should not be used with bleach, fabric softener or any other laundry product.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
June 5, 20111 found this helpful

I had a front loader for years and loved it. The causes of some problems may be
1. Putting too many clothes in at a time. I had a friend with a top loader and wondered why her clothes were grey only to watch her cram it full of clothes. It is like taking something really dirty and trying to wash it in 1 cup of water...
2. You may have a build up of detergent. To check it wash a load of clothes with nothing in the water and check the window for suds.
3. I always use a second rinse and vinegar in the rinse cycle.
4. If you get too many suds generously pour vinegar in to cut the suds. Then rinse again. I never had problems with dingy clothes especially because I use a double rinse and vinegar

Reply Was this helpful? 1
September 13, 20160 found this helpful

If the rinse water in your machine is dirty-something is very wrong with your machine. I laundered farm clothes and mechanic's clothes and kid clothes for years, and never ever saw dirty rinse water. Anyone else have this problem?
And I use bleach always for whites, and never had a problem. Dingy usually means cheap detergent, or something home made-sorry, not an advocate of bad detergent. It shows.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 13, 20160 found this helpful

It's tempting to stuff your big tub front loader with all those grubby clothes, and I guarantee they will come out not so clean. If you don't care, say old work coveralls or coats, ok, but for all the rest-just do normal size loads, and good detergent and additives. For really dingy clothes, maybe an overnight soak in a bucket with Oxyclean or ? might help. Then a good bleaching. Still dingy? wash with Iron out, but do be very careful and don't breath this stuff. THEN find some bluing, use a bit, diluted in water.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

11 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 10, 2009

I moved and the washer I am using is leaving my colored clothes dingy, I can't get them clean. I read to use Iron Out on whites. Can you also use it on colored clothes? What would be best for soaking my colored clothes? They are mostly my 4 year old daughter's clothes.

Cass from KS


February 10, 20090 found this helpful

My daughter HATES to do laundry! I used to do it for her so
my grand kids had clean fresh clothes! Then I decided to let her
do her own, I had my own to do. Then she taught the kids to
do their own. But that's all they did not hers (I don't blame them)
Her clothes looks dingy cause they stay dirty too long. She
used to say that doing laundry was like going shopping,cause
she saw clothes she hadn't seen for so long. How lazy is that!
I should be ashamed to type that, but I guess it makes me too mad to be ashamed! Grrrr at her!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 11, 20090 found this helpful

I need to add, my reason isn't because I waited too long to do laundry. I recently was inspecting my washer to make sure it was running right, I noticed that during the wash cycle it isn't rotating the clothing. It shakes as if it is so I didn't know it wasn't working properly. So now that I know it the washer, once I replace my washer. How do I get the ding out of the colored clothes?? I tried soaking the whites in lemon, and I also tried the cascade trick. Neither worked.

Any help would be great..

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 12, 20090 found this helpful

Since your problem is a washer that is not working properly, I would just try washing as usual when you get a new washer or have this one fixed. It may be that they come clean with a good wash cycle.

If not, try one of the many things suggested until you find one that works. I would start with the baking soda, maybe Borax if that didn't work. good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 5, 20160 found this helpful

I would try some Clorox 2, it's safe for colored clothes. I'd also put a little white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Not enough to make the clothes smell like a pickle, just a half cup or so. It helps get all the soap out, brightens a bit, and does help a little with static. I think too much fabric softener builds up in the washer. Borax is good for whites but I wouldn't use it for colors. Hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

April 23, 2010

I washed a yellow t-shirt in cold water with dark colors. It is now looking a little dingy. I was wondering if there is a way to get it back to it's original brighter color.

By Doug from Pompano Beach, FL


April 23, 20100 found this helpful

I buy a generic brand of Oxi-Clean at the dollar stores. Soak your shirt in a solution of water and Oxi-Clean for several hours and it should remove the dingy color. Then wash the shirt again with regular detergent.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 23, 20100 found this helpful

And in future, wash the shirt with only light colors. If this whole oxi-clean soaking business is too much for you, you could just try washing the shirt with the light colors for the next couple of times. It may be that the dinginess will wash out in regular detergent.

I always wash my yellows and pale pinks with the white load.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 24, 20100 found this helpful

Clorox all fabric bleach is another good alternative. Dry in the sun. Should be good as new. Make sure you don't use the regular clorox bleach. Use the one that is safe for colors.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

September 10, 2016

How to do I get the greyness out of my coloured towels. I have soaked them I bleach and nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any ideas of what I can use?

Read More Answers

I have some off-white hand towels that while they are still in great shape, have gotten dingy looking over time. I was ready to throw them out because even straight bleach (as well as other cleaners) didn't seem to make them look clean again.

However, I decided to try a combination of Soft Scrub with bleach, Clorox bleach pen, and Vivid. I put all three products on the problem area and used a little scrubber brush to work it into the fabric, I let the towel sit overnight and then washed it.

On the worst towel, I had to do this several times but it now looks like new! I love the towels and now I don't have to buy new ones to replace them.

By Carol from Iowa


January 25, 20100 found this helpful

Oxyclean is all I use on my dish towels and they are bright white all the time. Even the blue and green ones are bright. Just make sure you use really good hot water and then I let them soak for a while then through in the detergent and the rest of the towels. They all come out beautiful.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

July 27, 2013

I noticed after several years our towels and wash cloths are more than dingy. I've washed in hot and cold water, no change. I guess after electric dyer the stains are set in.

Is there a remedy for this?

By Lee M. from Magnolia, AR

Answer this Question

June 14, 2013

I have a man's suit jacket that is now a dingy white (with rhinestones on the collar), and I am wondering what the best approach to whitening it is?

By Heather W.

Answer this Question

June 29, 2012

Everything, white sweaters, blouses, etc. becomes dingy.This happens even though I wash whites only loads. What can I do to whiten them again?

By Phyllis from Newark, NJ

Answer this Question

July 13, 2018

This is a page about hard water leaving laundry dingy and gray. The minerals in hard water can be tough on your clothes. If you are finding that hard water is ruining the color of your clothing, try some of these tips.

Woman holding a hamper with dirty laundry.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 25, 2010

I recently bought beige towels and wash cloths for my main bathroom. My problem is; after just a few uses and washings the wash cloths are becoming VERY dingy.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 10, 2009
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
Comment Was this helpful? Yes

April 15, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Home and Garden Cleaning LaundryDecember 18, 2012
Mother's Day Ideas!
Pest Control
Father's Day Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2021-04-30 17:18:08 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2021 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.