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What Causes Mystery Grease Spots on Clothes

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Beth

My Laundry Question

I have grease spots on my laundry and I don't use dryer sheets or fabric softener because I am allergic. My roommate does use dryer sheets, no liquid softener, but I wipe out the dryer every time I use it. Any suggestions?

Also, when I go to the laundromat, for some odd reason all the stains come out and I am sure people use fabric softener and sheets there. I don't want to keep wasting money going to the laundromat when I pay to have a washer & dryer @ home.

There is no dispenser for fabric softener in the washer and I clean out the lint trap in the dryer with vinegar and Dawn dish washing liquid before each use.

Share a Little Background Info

The make and model of the washer dryer is a cheap Hotpoint brand. It is top loading and looks pretty old. I have even tried cleaning out the washer itself with bleach. Even after soaking the clothes, they end up with stains after each wash. My jeans don't seem to have stains, but many of my tee-shirts and tank tops do. I haven't tried Tide Stain Boost yet.

Lessons Learned

  • I have tried soaking in baking soda and vinegar overnight and then once gain with ammonia. No luck. And since they are colors I tried color safe bleach, but no luck

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

Cotton and Lycra.

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

My first suggestion is to do a thorough cleaning of both the washer and the dryer. Fill the washer with HOT water and add 1 cup distilled white vinegar. Allow the solution to soak for 30 minutes and then run through a complete cycle.

It is not your dryer lint trap that could be causing the problem with the fabric softener sheets. It is the build-up of dryer sheet ingredients on the inside of the drum. Clean the inside of the dryer with a solution of warm water and vinegar.

Does your roommate have these problems? If not, are you adding the laundry detergent to the washer first before you load the clothes? Don't overload the washer so that the clothes have plenty of room to move and the detergent has a chance to disperse.

To remove the stains, follow these tips.

Good luck!

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