1. Home

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Modular and Manufactured Homes

What Causes Yellow Stains on Laundry

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By xx11

My Laundry Question


Ive been having problems over the last year or so with small yellow spots on my laundry... Its ruined countless shirts, blouses, bedding...any ideas?

Share a Little Background Info

Ive looked into rust in my washer....I have a new one now but the problem still persists....

Ive checked the water in the iron....but it happens on clothes that i dont even iron.

Ive looked at moths or flies getting in the wardrobe..the clothes have spots before they are put away.

Lessons Learned

  • After speaking to other mums and looking at forums on the internet, the only common factor i can find is the wash powder..Bold 2 in 1...anyone else have a better answer?

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

Don't these little things drive you crazy? I'm afraid you'll need to be a detective to find the cause of the yellow stains. You've looked at several things but here are some more:

  • Take a flashlight and look carefully in your washer and dryer to see if you find a rust spot or something loose that is rusty. Also check door seals and clean them if needed.
  • Check your clothesline or folding dryer rack for rusty areas.
  • The stains may be caused by sunscreen, cosmetics with sun protection, acne medicines, vitamins or medical creams. If these are used with a wash cloth and then the wash cloth comes in contact with clothes, the stains can be transferred.
  • Does your clothes hamper have any rusty areas.
  • Do you hang your clothes outside to dry? Pollen stains can be powerful.
  • Do you store your clothes in a direct sunlight area? Yellowing can happen to stains that are exposed to sunlight.
  • Do you use chlorine bleach? Overbleaching can cause yellow stains.
  • Is your water heater rusty? Do you have high iron content in your water?

    I don't think your detergent is causing the problem but only you can be the detective! Use an oxygen-based bleach to soak the stained areas UNLESS you determine that the problem is your water/water heater. If so, you'll need to buy bottled water to prevent the stains from happening again.

    Good luck!

    Be a part of the Laundry Community

  • Sign Up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter
  • Visit the Laundry Forum
  • Surf Mary’s Laundry Blog
  • Follow Mary's Laundry Tips on Facebook
  • Follow @AboutLaundry on Twitter
  • ©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.