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i need help. Every once in a while (more lately) when I do a colored load of wash clothes will come out with what looks to be a bleach stain on them. I have already lost a few shirts and some nice pants and I cant figure out whats doing it. I very rarely use bleach and I know I didnt spill it. I seperate the clothes and follow the lables. I am sick of losing nice clothes. It will only happen to one or two things a load and not every time I do wash. Anyone have any ideas what it could be?? Thanks for the help,
Missy in PA
This same thing has happened to me. But alas I found out what was causing it. Fabric softener, that you would pour into a dispensor cup ontop of the agaitoter. (WOW what a spellor). If just one drop goes into the wash cycle, it finds you nicest clothes. And then you already know what happens.
Once I stopped fabic softening this way and went to the sheets. No problems, so if this is what you are doing, My advice is get the sheet, not the liquid. And it worked for me.
What type of detergent are you using? Are you pouring it over the already loaded washer? The same thing was happening to my sons clothes and we found it was the liquid detergent "working" before the washer had filled with water, even a worse problem when the detergent contains "brightners or bleach." It was causing bleached stains and streaks. We now put the detergent in first and rinse down the tub with a cup or two or water BEFORE we load the clothes in. Problem solved.
Yeah, I learned the hard way to always add the soap to the water before putting clothes in. You have to dilute a lot of these laundry detergents before they make contact with your clothes. Especially if you are a bargain hunter and change detergents from time to time when you find a deal.
I had problems with liquid detergent staining clothing and powdered detergent sticking to clothing and not getting rinsed off. Sometimes when you dry clothing without seeing the stuck-on powdered detergent it will set a stain or discoloration on clothing. At best those clothes need to be re-washed. So, I always let the water run for a while, add the soap, then add the clothes and I haven't had a problem since.
The fabric softener may also be the problem.
One thing I have been doing for years has saved my clothes and made my washer work better and longer.
Once a week pour 2 cups of household vinegar over your adjitator to clean off all the resedue left by soaps and powdered bleach. Run some old white towels through a short wash without soap. They will come out whiter and cleaner then before but your machine will be clean also. It is a good idea to run vinegar through once and a while by it's self.
I always put the detergent in first when I do wash. I pour it (powder) right where the water hits when it fills. Start the water. Then I go get the hamper and start to put in the clothes. By then there are a couple of inches of water in the tub and deterg. is mostly dissoved.
I had noticed some grime on the agitator but it did not wipe off easily. Today, I used the magic eraser and it worked like a charm.
This is happening to us too, but never with our old Kenmore machine. We moved and bought a GE from Sam's Club. I think what's happening is that most bleachable loads are smaller than dark clothing loads so, when you add soap and bleach to the tub to do a small whites load, the fill stream splashes concentrated bleach/soap drops higher up on the tub and/or agitator sides than the eventual water level reaches during the whites cycle. These concentrated droplets of bleach solution remain there for your next dark load which is usually bigger, so you pile in the clothes, they contact the bleach droplet and voila-a white spot!
don't use deoderant that is a clear stick. I had some and it got a white "bleach looking"stain on one of my good light blue tee shirts. I know it was the deoderant because the stain was only under the arms. I retested it by putting the deoderant all over the shirt and rewashed it. Sure enough, there was white marks everywhere I put the deoderant.
i had a lovely pair of khaki combat trousers which have been ruined by bleach. there are a few purple drops all down the front of them as a result of the bleach in the mop bucket. i am devestated as i loved them. any tips as to how i could go about repairing these combats. they are my favourite. karen xoxo
I keep getting bleach stains on all of my clothes, I no longer use bleach and have washed the washing machine. Please Help?
Emma from Tas, Australia
Can someone help a dumb bachelor? I only use bleach when doing whites in a separate load. I notice periodically a small white bleach stain on an item in later loads of shirts and pants. This obviously ruins the item, and is driving me crazy. This has been happening for years, which leads me to believe I'm doing something wrong. And I don't think it's just me, because I'm starting to notice it on others clothes as well. Can someone help. Thanks.
Larry from Clearwater, FL
I live in a dorm at school, none of the kids are supposed to use bleach, but of course they do. I've been the lucky person to put clothes in after they are done and have had 3 very nice shirts with bleach stains. How can i prevent this? I don't have the time/money to run just a load before I put my clothes in. Any suggestions?
Kevin from Philly, PA
it's worth the money (what a $1 or $2) to run a load ahead of you rather than ruining shirts that cost what -- at least $40 total (ok I guessed at the amount but you get the idea).
Use the extra 20 minutes to study :)
Do your whites in the machine first. If there is any residual bleach in the machine it won't hurt anything. Then you can feel safe washing darker clothes the next load.
Thanks! My girlfriend set her jeans down on my laundry for a sec and it had bleach on it! I had distracted her with something else and she went back to find 5 bleach spots on her designer jeans! So we are gonna order those Marvy Fabric Pens and everything is ok! Thanks!
to prevent bleach stains is simple... dont use bleach. there are many effective non-bleach alternatives out there without the risk of permanently ruining clothes
I am getting bleach stains randomly on clothes in the washer when no bleach was used. Please post other possible solutions you may know of. I've tried with no success. It drives me crazy! I do all my daughter's laundry and have used bleach so I guess I'm going to never use that dispenser again. It is a front loading machine. I was thinking I would pour very hot water down the bleach dispenser a couple of times, then run the machine empty with detergent. What do you think? The other things, I can try?
By Sherry Berard
I recently began having a problem where two of my jackets. They have developed mystery bleach spots! The first was a trench coat with spots on the back, waistband, and by the pocket. The second was a field jacket that had stains on the pocket, collar, and on the back. This was a bizarre incident- the stains appeared over an hour when I wore it in the rain while wearing a backpack.
Two things of note, the aforementioned backpack is one that I only wore with these two jackets, as it would cause pilling on my other coats. Second, my short, shoulder length hair is dyed a dark brown color. (I feel this is worth mentioning because the towel I spilled hair dye on when coloring my hair has stains that have faded from dark brown to bleached.
Though this occurred over a couple of weeks of everyday use, I'm thinking these stains have something to do with something in the backpack transferring into the jackets when it rains? I know this sounds odd, but I'm at a loss for what else it could be. Anyways, any thoughts on what is causing this strange problem and how to prevent it from happening again would be appreciated!
I have a new light blue sleeveless t-shirt. I pulled it out of the wash and now has white dots and white streak on it. It seems nothing is taking it out. What is this? How did it happen? Can I do anything to fix it? Thank you.
It's been quite a while since I've posted here, so I'm back for more of your good advice. This isn't the first time I've had this problem and I gotta tell you I'm getting tired of ruining my clothes. This time I have a brand new GE stackable washer/dryer combo, but it happened on my past Kenmore also. I do a load of whites with a little pre-diluted (1:3) Chlorox liquid bleach, but any brand will do it. The next load after that is colored and I specifically wipe off all areas where previous bleach was poured in.
Results of this load: Tiny bleach spots, but not on every item in the tub, just 1 or 2. It's making me wish I drank again! Anyway, this 70 year old bachelor is fuming. I'm sure it's me doing something wrong. I hope I'm not told to do an empty load after the whites to remove any bleach remnants. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.
My daughter has a problem with her laundry. She randomly gets bleach stains on her wash. She has stopped using any bleach and fabric softener and it still happens. Does anyone have any ideas what might cause it. It doesn't seem that the machine would hold bleach for months. Very strange.
Thanks for your help,
Sally from South Berwick, ME
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My daughter has a problem with her laundry. She randomly gets bleach stains on her wash. She has stopped using any bleach and fabric softener and it still happens. Does anyone have any ideas what might cause it? It doesn't seem that the machine would hold bleach for months. Very strange.
Thanks for your help,
Sally from South Berwick, ME
Had this trouble with several of my face cloths. Dark colors ended up with light blotches on them. Turns out it was from skin cream with a hydrogen peroxide type of chemical in it. Put the facecloth in the hamper once and apparently it even transferred onto a blouse as it ended up with a lighter blotch on it, too. (03/20/2006)
Is she cleaning with anything containing bleach? One time I cleaned my stove with Soft Scrub and it had bleach in it, and when I threw it in with my clothes it bleached them.
A lot of items have chemicals in them that can bleach clothing, maybe she can watch what chemicals she uses (if any) and pin-
point the problem.
Good luck! (03/21/2006)
My daughter had this problem (still does). I figure it's the face creams or perfumes she uses. The stains are mostly up around the neck area on shirts, and on pillow cases, and the tops of her sheets. (03/21/2006)
Occasionally this has happened to me. I have found that this blotching can occur when laundry soap goes directly on the clothing versus putting the water and soap in before any clothing. Also, some detergents have a "whitener" in them that can cause blotches when put directly on the clothing. (03/22/2006)
This sometimes happens with my daughter's tees, I'm beginning to think it could be from one of her many hair styling products. (03/22/2006)
I am the daughter! So I stopped using fabric softener and switched to All Free, no dyes or perfumes. Also I started wearing gloves when I clean. I am happy to report that no stains for 3 months or more! (04/03/2007)
I heard from my neighbor the other day that some newer washers that have a dispenser for the bleach. Some of them do not completely empty out so they can be dripping bleach onto the next loads. If you use a bleach dispenser or have this type of washer, it's a possibility. Run only water through your bleach dispenser for a load or two and see if it makes a difference. (06/10/2007)
So I only use All Free and Clear, no fabric softener and I clean in one outfit. I am happy to report that almost 6 months have gone by and no more random bleach stains, Woo hoo! (07/23/2007)
We too had the same mystery. Finally I realized it was not only our son's acne wash, but also the Scrubbie Bubbles used to clean tubs and our jacuzzi. Now I leave a special laundry container for these items and the problem has gone bye bye! (12/11/2007)
I have this very same problem. It's sending me mad. It started first with our towels, my husband and I had nice brown towels, and they all started to get random orangey bleach marks. Then, it was the hand towels, face towels and even my pillowcase and the top of my sheets. I have since noticed some spots on our carpet in our bedroom (in front of our mirror) and on some of our clothing. I went and stayed at my mum's house one night and she rang me up the next day to tell me that I had bleached her towels too!
Having read what everyone has posted, I am convinced it has something to do with me using Clearasil cream and/or a few face washes. I thought maybe it was Johnson's Holiday skin, but other people I know use it and they don't have any problems. I too don't use bleach products around the house and hadn't really started using any new products, except for Clearasil. I think this could be it for me. The Clearasil is going in the bin. It's wrecked too many of our nice towel sets. (02/18/2008)
I think it could also be from toothpaste. When you wipe your mouth of toothpaste on the towel and then it sits there until you clean the towel. (02/23/2008)
Had the same exact problem and just figured out for sure what it is. The cleaning spray I use in my apartment has bleach in it. So, I could have been getting the spray directly on my clothes while cleaning and secondly (definitely more likely) is after I clean I throw the rag I used into the hamper with my clothes! As a test I just sprayed some of the cleaner onto an old black sock, sure enough, it was instantly covered with the orange stain. I feel like a complete idiot now, but at least I know how to put an end to this. (02/28/2008)
I always use the same creams, detergents, etc., but my husband found a large bleach-like stain on my tan pillowcase the other morning. The only thing that has changed is that I had inpatient surgery and was medicated. That night I experienced night sweats partially due to a heating pad I was using. My thoughts were leaning more towards the ingredients in the body/shampoo wash that the hospital provided. (03/15/2008)
While having lunch with a coworker she mentioned that her dermatologist told her to keep the prescription face cream away from color clothes like towels and pillow cases. I have been having that problem the the towels in the girls' bathroom only. Now I know. There is Proactiv in there and prescription cream. (06/27/2008)
My goodness. Finally, after years of random, bleached out spots on towels. I Googled the problem, generally it is liquid soaps of any kind. I recently visited a friend's home and found the towel I had used the night before after washing my face was "bleached" out in spots. Since the towel wasn't washed in my home, we looked at what I had used. Simple liquid soap we all buy for the convenience and use in lieu of bar soap. To test our theory we put it on a new towel and washed it. Produced the white bleach spots. I have gotten rid of all liquid soaps and with them went the problem. (07/17/2008)
Same problem here! I'm almost positive my last episode of bleached towels came from my hand soap "Method" located in the bathroom. Don't wash your hands with that stuff and dry your hands on a nice towel. That's the only thing that it could be. (08/11/2008)
So here it is, and I can say this with certainty:
For years I have gotten those random bleach stains. After finding this post, I did some experiments. Here's the findings:
Laundry Detergent: Yes, this can cause the stains. If you have a detergent with "color safe bleach" or a "whitener", be sure to shake the liquid before using, as you can get a concentration of the whitener in a cap of soap. You can also add the clothes AFTER you fill the washer with water and detergent, to dilute the soap issue. If you use powder detergent, I highly recommend the latter.
Acne medication: Absolutely the highest risk, however I think there should be an addendum to this statement (mention it below): Almost all the acne cleansers that are "not" salicylic acid will cause the problem. Proactiv and Clean and Clear are notorious. The experiment I did to test the theory was as follows:
I used Clean and Clear in the shower, then made certain (on an older towel) to dry my face only in one particular area of the towel. Sure enough, that area proved to have stains upon drying. To further test this, I asked a roommate to use his acne product under the same circumstances (area of towel), and the results, not surprisingly were the same (his Proactiv actually seemed to make the stains worse).
Now, what about that addendum I mentioned earlier? Be wary of antibacterial agents in your soaps. Hand soaps with many antibacterial agents seem to cause the same result. Same experiment as above was done to come to this conclusion. My example comes, like a previous person mentioned, from the "Method" brand foaming hand soap from Target.
I feel that the producers of these products should be held liable for the damages caused, as no warnings, written nor implied, are ever given.
I hope this helps people avoid the problem. Do what you can in your own mode of living to accommodate these issues. In talking to my doctor, he actually said that the whole "antibacterial" agents in hand soap are a sham. Soap, in it's most basic form is anti-bacterial by nature. I have switched my handsoap to a nice smelling diluted mixture of dish soap (Palmolive is great on the hands) and water. It's worked great, and no more stained hand towels. I switched acne cleansers to ones which use salicylic acid as the active ingredient, and I always dilute my laundry detergent now, in addition to agitating the bottle to make certain any whitening and brightening agents are mixed well before use. Since those implementations, no problems. (10/12/2008)
The one common denominator is the fabrics, which I think is the problem. Whether towels or clothing, it never used to be a problem, so what is different now? I think it's the overseas manufacturing processes and dyes. My aunt died 2 years ago and I got a beautiful set of rose colored decorated towel, washcloth, and handtowels. I use the same products on my skin that I use on my Ralph Lauren towels from Kohl's and the color stays true with no spots on the old set, while the newer ones are ruined. The towels, while put away and not previously used, were made in the USA in 1987, while the Lauren and others I've had with similar spots were made in India and other overseas countries. I've always had oily skin and used benzoyl peroxide, astringents, and Retin-A for years also, liquid hand soaps and whitening toothpaste. It's only been in the last several years the problem has shown up. The same is true for pillowcases, old versus new. I've also had problems with sunscreen I use on my neck turning my collars yellow. I think the alcohol in that and colognes is the reason. These things never used to happen to me. I really think it's all the overseas, cheap labor products. (08/11/2009)
My sister who is the authority for all my questions said it's certain dyes that react to acidic oily skin, that bleach it that pinky orange color, seen mostly on blues, browns, and khaki. I once stood in acid rain in London in a khaki top and the raindrops turned my top into orange polka dots. Now I know there is nothing that can be done if the dyes are not set by a process which is why your old towels are fine and the new ones made overseas aren't. They obviously don't use the needed process anymore. My blues ones are all ruined and my green ones are fine. Anyone know if something can be added to the first washing that would set these dyes properly so it wouldn't happen later? (06/01/2010)
I have to agree with the folks that concluded the dyes in newer towels (almost invariably made overseas) are inherently unstable. I experimented with brand new hand towels that had never been washed, and was able to produce the bleach stain problem within a couple of days. It never happens on the towels I bought 15 to 20 years ago (yes, I still have some of those.) :-)
I don't use any medications containing benzoyl peroxide. I do use daily sun screens, and I think the sunscreen left on my hands may be the culprit, as I've seen the same problem with sunscreen bleaching some of my less expensive (made overseas) cotton tops.
Bottom line: the dyes used in towels are no longer stable. I may give up and simply start buying white towels. Discouraging. (06/26/2010)