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Mystery Blue Stains on Laundry

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My Laundry Question

Why does blue stains appear on orange clothing after washing? Had a couple of incidents of this on different kinds of fabric, both on new and older clothing.

Share a Little Background Info

Just washed item on normal cycle and it came out with blue stains all over. Washed both in cold and warm water with the same effect. Also happened with old and new clothing of different kinds of fabric. Have also tried to hand wash orange clothing, but it still stains. I have been wondering if it could not have something to do with the colouring process of orange clothing? Quite a problem for me because I love to wear orange.

Lessons Learned

  • Have already changed detergents with no effect.

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

I don't think it is a problem with orange clothes; they just seem to show the blue stains more clearly than your other garments. Blue stains can come from several sources - detergent, fabric softener, dye transfer from other clothes or acid water. I have a feeling your problem may be your water source.

If you have acid water (high levels of carbon dioxide) from your water source and copper pipes in your home, the corrosive action of the water is causing mineral deposits on your clothes. You should have your water tested and this can be corrected with filters and chemical treatment. You should also use detergents that have no dye to prevent any reaction between the minerals in your water and the blue dye in the formula.

To remove the stains, you will need to get water from another source - distilled water - and mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach) and the water following the package directions. Submerge your garments and allow them to soak overnight. Check the stained areas and if they are gone, rinse the clothing in distilled water and dry as usual. If the garments still have stains, mix a new solution and repeat the process.

Good luck!

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