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What Causes Stains on Clothes After Washing

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By george wezniak

My Laundry Question

Often, especially on black clothes, we have what appear to be stains/marks after washing. We always separate the clothes and do the dark clothes separately---often, just the black, because of the "staining". We try using a lint roller to remove the marks, but that does not seem to work.

Share a Little Background Info

No stain on the clothes before the washing---only appear after they have been thru the wash. Not sure what is the cause. We do have a water softening system--could that be a problem? Not sure that there is any other pertinent info. Will appreciate any idea you might have as to the nature of the problem

Lessons Learned

  • haven't any idea what the problem is, so haven't learned a thing.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)


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

There are several things that can cause "staining" or streaks on dark clothing after washing and drying. If you use a powdered laundry detergent, it may not be dissolving completely in the washer especially if you use cold water. To solve the problem, fill a jar with hot water and add the powdered detergent, shake to dissolve and then add to washer. Always add your detergent first - liquid or powder - to the washer and then load your clothes. Never overstuff the washer. The clothes need room to move freely in the water.

If you have an automatic detergent or fabric softener dispenser, it may need cleaning because it is dropping "blobs" of product onto your clothes. Clean it out with some heated white distilled vinegar. Just keep pouring and flushing out the dispensers.

The stains may also be caused by fabric softener sheets or dryer bars. If the clothes are really packed in the dryer, they can stay in contact with the ingredients on the fabric softener sheets and bars too long and that causes stains.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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