It’s discouraging (to say the least) when you remove a load of laundry from the washing machine only to discover new stains that weren’t previously there. After all, the purpose of a washing machine is to clean clothes, not make them worse. So, what’s causing your washing machine to stain your clothes, and how can you fix it?
There are several different ways in which a washing machine can stain clothes, one of which is an oil leak. Many modern-day washing machines contain oil to help lubricate the bearings and internal components. Normally, this oil remains confined to a separate compartment, but it’s not uncommon for some of it to leak into the drum. When this occurs, you may notice small dark-colored stains on some of your clothes after removing them from the washing machine. Since oil doesn’t wash away with water, stains typically remain after several washes.
Unfortunately, fixing a washing machine oil leak isn’t always an easy task. You must partially disassemble the unit to access the interior, at which point you can then look for oil trails leading to the source. If you are unsure on how to accomplish this task, contact a professional appliance repair company in your area.
A washing machine may also stain clothes and garments when there’s mold/mildew built up around the door gasket. This is particularly problematic with front-loading units, as water is constantly exposed to the seal around the front door. If you haven’t done so already, inspect the inside of your washing machine’s door, looking for signs of mold and mildew. You can usually clean this area by scrubbing it with a small dish brush or old toothbrush. After cleaning the gasket, it should no longer leave stains on your clothes – assuming this was the source of the problem.
A third possible reason why your washing machine is staining clothes is the presence of hard water. Certain chemicals, minerals and impurities in the water can leave noticeable stains on garments. Most municipal water systems have at least some impurities, which is perfectly normal. However, where there’s a significant concentration of hard water, it can have adverse effects when washing clothes, dishes, etc.
If you believe hard water is to blame for your stained garments, check with your local water company to request a test report. This should reveal the presence of any chemicals and impurities. Depending on the severity of the problem, your local water company may offer to clean up the water running to your home.