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rachel_shepard81

Cause of this white residue all over my clothing?

rachel_shepard81
4 years ago

I've lived in my apartment building for 4 years and have struggled with this issue the whole time. When using the community washers on each floor (I've tried multiple floors) a white, pasty residue is left on all my clothes. I only notice it on my blacks but considering 90% of my wardrobe is black...this is a problem. It doesn't damage my clothes at all and I can wipe it off with water but I don't think it's something I should have to deal with every single time I do my laundry. I often just skip it all together until I'm completely out of socks and underwear because every time I do laundry I have to spend upwards of 40 minutes in the laundry room with a sock on my hand and a cup of warm water just rubbing off the residue. If I don't do this then it will look like I have stains on my clothes once dry. It looks awful!

I've brought this issue up with our management multiple times even going so far as to submit a maintenance request to have the filters on the washers cleaned. I've never received any responses to my emails or maintenance requests so I'm getting really frustrated.

Is there something that can be done to prevent this?
I've always assumed that it was powder laundry detergent build-up in the machines and have secretly hated anyone who uses powder detergent. But I'm not even sure if this is the cause. I've tried using vinegar as per instructions for detergent buildup but that did not help.
I'm at a loss. Can anyone help?


Comments (22)

  • hcbm
    4 years ago

    This has been discussed ad nauseam on this thread. It seems to be the use of certain body butters and oils and not cleaning it all off the clothing. Best washing practice should help, hot water and top of the line detergent. Using commercial machines can be an issue because you can't do a soak in hot water or get longer wash times. In addition, sometimes the machines dumb down the hot to tepid due to new government requirements. Good luck in solving an annoying problem.

  • functionthenlook
    4 years ago

    Are you using powdered detergent and cold water. It looks like detergent residue. I had this problem before. The water is too cold for the detergent to dissolve the powder. Try switching to liquid detergent. My machine has two cold settings one is tap cold and the other mixes a little warm water into it so it isn't too cold. Check to see if the machine has this option.

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  • homepro01
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Do you have a laundromat nearby that you can take a load to? The reason I suggest a laundromat is that you can use the front loaders at higher temperatures than probably the washers in your apartment building? I would try a warm wash with a detergent for black clothes and no softener. You may want to try a warm water wash with no detergent. Do you have hard water in your area? There could be a multitude of factors causing these deposits on your clothes. If this is the body butter situation, it can also be remedied by better laundry practices. I use pure Shea butter daily and none of my black clothes look like this.

    Good luck!

  • hcbm
    4 years ago

    Be careful about laundromats and water temp. Check the water, I have a laundromat near my 2nd home and it says it has hot water but it only has ice cold. I bought my own machine and cart back to my main home anything that is too large (think quilts) and use a laundromat near by that has hot water.

  • rachel_shepard81
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Okay, first, I don't use any body butters or oils on my body so it's definitely not that. Also, no I don't use powder detergent (hence mentioning my hatred toward those who do). I do use cold water however. I use cold water and liquid detergent. I don't want my blacks to fade so that's why I use cold as well as Woolite Dark. I think I've had this same issue when using warm water though I will try it again next time and I see if it makes a difference.
    I previously thought it might have been the scent beads that I use but I tried a whole load with just detergent and water and it still had the same white residue so I assumed it wasn't something I was doing but some buildup in the machines.

    Obviously, at the end of the day I could just take my blacks to a laundromat but there are none in downtown where I live and I don't drive so I was hoping this was a problem that I could fix.

  • sparky823
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Try adding white vinegar to the rinse. Supposed to remove residue and keep colors bright. Worth a try. Plus it doesn't smell after they dry.

  • functionthenlook
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I think this is going to be a process of elimination to find the problem. Did you try running a load without any detergent or additives to see if it happens? Is it a regular machine or HE washer.

  • mdln
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Also experiencing residue on black pants. Have a HE top loader, use both powder & hot cycles, and liquid & cold cycles, depending on the laundry.

    Recently washed a pair of black pants 4 times in "power wash" cycles to get rid of it. The successful cycle was warm water, with no additives except a bit of fabric softener, after doing a "clean washer cycle" with the machine empty.

    If it continues, black pants will go to dry cleaners. :-(

  • sparky823
    4 years ago

    Fabric softener. I have had it happen years ago and is worse with neutral drain machines. Had a Kenmore during this time and during rinse with the softener you will see bubbles floating during agitation. Then during drain the bubbles settle down on clothes, then spin and stick. It can even look like lint stuck on. Some may not agree but I know for a fact that was my problem. Try without fabric softener and see if there is a difference

  • bargainhunter
    4 years ago
    To me this looks like you have used too much detergent for the size of the load. Have you tried putting the affected items through the ‘rinse/spin’ option only?
  • Venkatesh Iyengar
    2 years ago

    Hi, I know this is a 2 year old thread, but I recently stumbled upon it after suffering for 2 months and searching all over for solutions to what is happening to my clothes. I have the exact identical problem as above. I use liquid detergent, hot water and no fabric softener, and I have tried with small load and less detergent as well. Unfortunately my machine does not allow me to set the amount of water it takes (it is a high efficiency thingy). I was wondering if the author of this thread found a solution to their problem? Or if someone else has any suggestions? I haven't tried using vinegar, and will do that ....

  • rezek
    last year

    I'm with you Venkatesh! exact same comments. about to try to do this with no detergent whatsoever and see what happens. that will be a telltale sign if my kenmore, high effeciency that doesn't allow me to start it with water and liquid detergent first so that they mix and "THEN" add the clothes, comes out with anything on my dark clothes. at that point i will know it's the just the darn kenmore. can you even get a old school washing machine that allows you to start water with detergent, then add clothes later?

  • dadoes
    last year

    Yes.

  • carol cahak
    9 months ago

    I have a brand new lG washer and I tried everything, I use warm water, liquid soap and use only one tablespoon of soap. All my black clothes have white streaks on them, tried an extra rinse turned my black clothes inside out, had a repair man here and he couldn't fix it, so now I told them I would think about taking legal action. I bought this new washer to save some money but if I have to do three or four rinses my water bill will be very high so what am I saving this really sucks.

  • dadoes
    9 months ago

    Detergent, or soap? Soap in hard water will leave scum on clothes. Detergent is better for handling hard water. You may also need to increase the dose a bit to deal with it better.

  • rachel_shepard81
    Original Author
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    Unfortunately I never found a solution. I had the same problem after doing multiple loads of laundry at my sister's place and felt like it was potentially the Woolite Dark that I've been using for years. I've been having this problem for about the entire duration of me using Woolite but I was determined for that not to be the problem since it does keep my blacks darker. My apartment building recently got new washers and I started just washing all my loads on warm instead of cold and I no longer use Woolite Dark. Occasionally I get some light streaking on my clothes but not nearly as much as I did before and I don't have to spend an hour wiping all my clothes off at least. Sadly though, my blacks fade faster now so hopefully I can find another solution.

  • dadoes
    9 months ago

    I never use cold water. Typical warm is 105°F to 115°F. One of my current HE topload washers runs in 122°F for Warm (yes, 122°F). Sometimes liquid detergent, sometimes powder, but always a powder additive with both. I've never had residue or streaks on anything. Dark dyes typically are unstable, part-parcel of it I don't wear black but indigo denim jeans fade over time. It is what it is. I've noticed that detergent causes more jeans-bleeding than water temperature, and I'm surely not going to wash anything without sufficient detergent.

  • SEA SEA
    9 months ago

    Rachel and others with fading,

    You can re-dye your black items with Rit dye. Comes in powder or liquid dye. Doesn't last forever, but it freshens up faded but fav black items. I keep saying I'm going to do this. Have the dye but haven't gotten around to doing it. Years ago I used to do this from time to time. It's really easy. Just follow the instructions on the box or bottle.

    I'm wondering if you have washer users who are overdosing with detergent or fabric softener in the communal washing machines. Then you come along to do your laundry and get the smears.

  • pootabritches
    9 months ago

    Years ago I had to wear black pants for my job. I used to get white stuff on mine and I thought it was due to the 'fillers' in powder detergent. I remember it was Tide.

  • Lauren Givogue
    8 months ago

    Hello, I have been having this issue for over a year! Coldwater, warm and hot water. Liquid, powder, and various brands tried. F.Softner and without. This is sooo frustrating that there is no solution...been washing clothing for 20 years .... the same way....why now?!! My landlord even bought a new washing machine, because I thought it was that! OMG I'm embarrased now...maybe the pipes? Uhh.. I feel your pain.

  • Kelly MacKay
    4 months ago

    We have the top of the line LG Turbo wash top load An expensive piece of junk tried everything to prevent thw white streaks all over black clothes

    The problem is the designers believe you can wash clothes with a tiny drop of water tried everything, read all the complaints and solitions We’ve decided to sell it and buy a good old fashioned agitator washer and fill er up with water and have clean clothes again