Washing Machine Leaves Stains On Clothes: 8 Ways To Fix It

Your laundry cleanliness is something you can’t compromise. The feeling of finding stains on freshly washed clothes is undoubtedly frustrating.

It is unacceptable to stuff the machine with stained clothes only to replace them with freshly made ones.

In some washing machine models, users complain about greasy residue. However, this is different from other models.

These machines started fine; the wash cycle ended with random stains on different pieces. This issue has complaints from black marks to stubborn rust stains.

If you suffer from this issue, we are here for you. We’ll cover why your washing machine leaves stains on clothes.

Also, we’ll break down possible fixes for these frustrating mystery stains. So read on!

Why Does Your Washing Machine Leaves Stains On Clothes?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Various reasons lead to the formation of stains on clothing. You may be overfilling the drum with excess loads of laundry.

Also, the wash drum might be filthy and left without proper cleaning for a long time.

Additionally, a damaged drive belt or drum bearings might cause this issue. Also, there could be a malfunction in the entire gasket.

Without further ado, let’s get to the details of all the main culprits:

1. Overloading the Machine

When your washing machine is overfilled, this directly affects the quality of cleaning on many levels. First of all, the drum won’t be able to spin efficiently, and the laundry detergent will also be distributed ineffectively.

This will not only make the clothes unclean but also creates whole new stains. Your clothes will come out of the washer with fresh stains of detergent residue.

2. Filthy Drum

Many users think the washer drum remains clean as it is continuously exposed to water and detergent. However, it is home to different types of bacteria and soap scum.

Moreover, any forgotten food particles on your washed clothes will stick to the soapy buildup. Eventually, food, bacteria, and soap buildup will find their way to your clothes, forming greasy spots on the fabric surface.

3. Blocked Water Pump Filter

In any washing machine, the water pump rotates the water throughout the cycle. The pump contains a filter that prevents debris and dirt particles from flowing with the pumped water.

When this filter is clogged, all the unclean water will flow back into the drum. Such a thing will make different kinds of stains stick to your clothes.

4. Overfilling the Drawer with Laundry Detergent

Adequate levels of detergent will give you the desired level of cleanliness. However, too much of it will lead to the opposite result. This applies to both powder and liquid detergents.

Too many of these products will lead to a buildup of undissolved detergent spots. These spots do not rinse properly during the cleaning cycle. So, it is no surprise when your clothes end up with random whitish patches from the detergent.

5. Excessive Use of Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners are undoubtedly essential for giving your laundry a pleasant odor. However, chemical fabric softeners stain clothes when used excessively. A liquid fabric softener must be distributed and rinsed out correctly to give the expected result.

6. Mold Buildup Inside the Door Seal

You may never think that a dirty door seal can affect the cleanliness of your clothes. But have you noticed how often clothes rub against the door during cleaning? This happens almost the whole time. If the rubber door seal is full of mold buildup, your clothes will be marked with unpleasant black streaks. This issue is a lot more common in front-load washers.

7. Bad Drive Belt

A drive belt is responsible for spinning the washer drum. When it malfunctions for any reason, the drum will remain still. Such a scenario allows for concentrating the commercial detergent and other chemical additives on a specific load part. This way, you will find different patches on your clothes.

8. Malfunctioning Bearings

Bearings allow the washer drum to spin smoothly and quickly. However, they may wear out over time and frequent use. Bearings are built to last for nearly a decade. Sometimes, overloading the machine and other forms of machine misuse will shorten their lifespan.

How to Fix a Washing Machine Leaving Stains on Clothes?

Given the variety of causes for the stains on your just-cleaned garments, you can feel perplexed. However, the good news is that you can fix most causes without a professional plumber. The tricky part lies in proper diagnosing of the cause.

1. Avoid Overfilling the Washer Drum

Addressing this issue is simple and can be easily handled. If you are certain the washing machine drum is overloaded, stop the washing cycle and unload it. You can ensure meeting the proper limit of filling the machine by a simple test.

All it takes is to place your hand between the laundry pieces and the drum wall. If your hand smoothly fits there, the unloading effort worked out.

2. Clean the Drum

Every couple of washes cleaning the drum becomes a mandatory task. Otherwise, it will emit bad smells that will stick to the clothes. Also, the clothes will no longer become clean. Fortunately, cleaning the drum is an easy DIY task.

You must start an empty wash cycle without detergent to clean the drum successfully. You will pour a cup or two of vinegar and 3 teaspoons of baking soda inside the drum.

This should get the steel drum squeaky clean by the end of the cycle.

Afterward, you should dry the drum, drainage holes, and the door seal. You can use a microfiber towel for this purpose.

Related Article: What to do when your washing machine drum is loose

3. Clean the Filter

The water pump filter can get clogged with any buildup, such as lint, dirt, and even coins. So, ensure that this filter is clean and has no stuck particles. You will find this filter depending on the model and type of your washer.

Usually, it is at the bottom of its front exterior. It is located behind a trap door. Also, you might find it in the top lip of the drum.

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning this filter four or five times a year. Typically, you should clean this filter every two or three months.

4. Use Detergent Adequately

This may be difficult to adjust if unfamiliar with your washer model. Typically, you will want to add the right level of detergent to ensure proper cleaning.

Too little detergent won’t clean; too much powder or liquid will form patches and detergent stains on the fabric.

To correctly settle this matter, you should always read the instructions on the detergent pack. The correct levels vary depending on the type of detergent.

Also, the amount of wash load determines the right levels of detergent. Generally, it is nearly two tablespoons of detergent for each load.

5. Decrease the Amount of Water Softener

The only way to eliminate fabric softener stains is to use the right levels of this additive. Again, you can assess the wash load and add the product accordingly. Also, you can find some references on the softener pack.

6. Clean the Door Seal

When this component fails to dry fast, there is a higher chance for mold to form and spread. So, it is recommended to dry it manually after each wash. Also, keep the door of your front loader wide open for some time to ensure optimum dryness.

More importantly, you should thoroughly clean the seal with vinegar. You must get a new seal if this does not fix the problem.

7. Replace the Broken Belt

A damaged drive belt is not fixed in any way. So, there is no other option for your drum to spin than installing a new drive belt.

8. Replace the Ball Bearings

Damaged bearings prevent the drum from rotating. They are also responsible for forming rust and black stains. These bearings will not wear out in silence. In addition to the unusual stains, the bearings will emit squeaky noise to indicate the presence of a severe issue.

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