Do you have well water? Maybe some harsh stormy weather? Do you live in an area that has red clay? You might want to test your water with a kit. (01/13/2005)
We have something called "iron bacteria" in our water (district water not private well). If I use liquid chlorine bleach it reacts with the iron bacteria and turns my whites beige, sometimes ORANGE! I now use a non-chlorine bleach. Maybe you have a similar situation with your water. The packets of product put out by Rit dye to whiten "dingy" whites did help get my things "white" again. Hope this helps! (01/13/2005)
"Heavy" water or water that is rich in minerals can cause dinginess. Also, using too much bleach can lead to a yellowing or dinging of clothing. (01/13/2005)
We had problems with red water in the city where i live and they gave us some kind of powder to get it out. Check with the city, as this seemed to be a well kept secret for us. (01/14/2005)
I had this same problem and when I started to learn to be Frugal I noticed that many of the lists I joined said to use Borax in the wash as it was inexpensive and did a great job. Well let me tell you I would never ever be without borax again. All my whites are WHITE and I do not use bleach. 20 mule team borax is in a green box in the grocery isle. Wal mart price this week for a good sized box was $2.67. Hope this helps. By the way it also makes a good hand cleaner and is what they use at the garage where my husband works as a mechanic. (01/15/2005)
By Lisa Pfusch
I think my mom told me once that if you use bleach and it doesn't get rinsed out completely, it can leave a yellow stain. Maybe the "tons" of bleach you are using is not getting rinsed out completely. (01/15/2005)
You may be using too much bleach which can actually cause yellowing. Your water may have mineral deposits, etc., that contribute. Wash your clothes in as warm water with your usual detergent but add 1 cup borax (I use 20 Mule Team Borax sold at KMart and Kroger). Follow up with 1 cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle. I also have had extremely good luck with using Simple Green (available at Home Depot). I've used it on every fabric except silk and dry clean only. You will be amazed at the stains it removes. (It's especially good for baby stains and those unidentifabale husband working outside stains.) It may take a few times for the yellowing to go away, but it should eventually.
Also, have your washer checked if it continues. I don't know why or how, but older washers sometimes have rust deposits that come in with the water. I do know that it usually means the washer has to be replaced. (01/15/2005)
It's probably not your fault. If you are on a water system the pipes may need to be flushed occasionally. Our township fire department schedules flushing the system numerous time thru out the year, where they come and open the fire hydrants in the area to flush the rust and mineral deposits from the system. Contact your water supplier and see if they do this, maybe they do, but need to do it more often, and if not than a complaint may get them to do it. Good Luck (01/15/2005)
By Ruth Justice
If you are using hot water, your hot water tank may need flushed out. (01/16/2005)
Most detergents require warmer water to yield best results. Also, I have a new washer and still get the rust stains so it isn't the washer that causes the problem. It's the water source or something in the pipes as others have suggested.
I often use a product called "Yellow Out". You can get it at Wal-Mart next to the Mr. Plumber-type stuff. I have used it mostly on whites and it will work on some colors. It also gets rid of rust stains.
I have also found the using the "oxygen" stain removers makes this problem worse. Bleach is o.k. but don't use it on every load. Over time it will cause yellowing if you have a hard water problem. (06/19/2005)
By USE WARM WATER!
I added some baking soda to a load of whites and man did they come out bright and white. I used my normal amount of detergent and just shook in some baking soda. I didn't measure it. I had heard the Borax was good and bought a box. Just haven't tried it yet but am planning to. The big box at Wal-Mart was probably 3 bucks or less. I use bleach but do feel that over time it is hard on clothes and they wear out sooner. (02/09/2006)
At Walmart, they sell Iron-Out. We use it since we are on a well, and you can tell the difference, not just with the clothes but also the washer drum. You can also use this if your tub and area around it also turns orange. Just use ventilation, as this is some strong stuff. (02/10/2006)
As an owner of a laundry service I can tell you that your problem is most likely the bleach. Discontinue it for a bit and only use the borax and vinegar suggestions until your clothes are white again. They may at the point of no return though. (02/11/2006)
I have to agree with the "Iron out" solution. I started using it and even my oldest white undershirts look new again. Lowes and Tractor Supply carries it in the section that they keep Drano and liquid Plumber. It is well worth the price and a bottle lasts a long time. (01/23/2007)
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