Have you ever had a piece of clothing that went in your washing machine fairly clean and came out with a stain on it? Probably at one time or another. There are many things that can stain your clothing, besides you. Probably the most prevalent washing machine caused stain is rust. If you have a washing machine basket that is chipping, your clothes can push up again the rusty basket during the spin cycle and create those beautiful little orange stains that never come out. I have also been reading a lot about grease type stains on clothing. They say there are two main causes for this: 1. Your shaft bearing and seal are worn and the transmission oil is creeping up to get in your water. Once this happens, it gets on your clothes to cause staining, and 2. You have a buildup of fabric softener that comes loose off to put a greasy like substance in your water and on your clothing. Once you put your clothes in the dryer and the old fabric softener melts, wham, you are hit with a few stains.
I have read about a few others, but I forget what they are. That is probably because I have my own problem…and unfortunately, no one on the planet has heard of this particular problem. That is why I am putting it out to you.
Here is it – we are getting stains in the form of brown lines or “streaks” on our clothing when it comes out of the washing machine and dryer. I usually notice them after I pull the clothes out of the dryer, but I am sure the staining is occurring in the washing machine. So here is the dilemma: What in the world is causing the staining? The lines look very much like they are brown creases. I need to find out if something is coming through the water pipes into the washer or if it is coming from the washer itself. We have a new greensand filter installed, so I am pretty sure it is not in the water. Unless of course, the purple potassium backwash is flowing through the pipes into the washer. If I can isolate the problem to the washer, I can pull it apart and look for the culprit. I will take a look at the shaft going into the transmission to see if there is any grease or oil on it. If so, I will buy a new washer. The picture below is my actual shirt that came out of the dryer with this mark on it. It is about 6 inches long, so you can understand why we are getting so frustrated with this problem.
So, my question to you is: Have you ever had, or known anyone, with brown stains or streaks that look like “creases” come out of their washing machine? I beg of you…
Ok, this is an update to the above post I wrote about 6 hours ago. I came home tonight on a mission. After going to Home Depot this afternoon with Paul, I had a few things to look at. We decided that perhaps the problem can be isolated to the water lines or the washer. It is pretty important that I figure out what is causing the problem, because purchasing new parts and a new washing machine can get quite expensive. Then, the possibility that you haven’t even fixed the problem still remains.
I came very close to purchasing two $33 water filters…one for each water line of the washing machine. I figured that maybe the pipes still had gunk in them from all the years the previous owners ran the water with iron sediment building up in them. Paul talked me out of that. We agreed that before I purchased the filters, I would go home and take off the rubber hoses that attach to the back of the washer. Then, I would snake a wire through each one and pull a small piece of cloth through them, to see if there was gunk built up in them. I came home this evening and did this. The cloth came out completely filthy. Bingo…I thought. I pulled the cloth through a few more times until there was no dirt left. I reattached the hoses and put the washer back in place. I took the front panel of the washer off so I could see what happens when it runs. I tried to simulate a real wash, so I filled it with clothes. The outer tub on this particular GE washer is clear, so I could get a good picture of what was happening. I was looking for little beads of grease floating up in the water. If the problem wasn’t the hoses, I would catch it here for sure. I wanted to find out something before Laura got home.
I ran the wash and watched the machine go through all of its cycles. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. This wasn’t much fun. As I sat there, I started to think about how our new strategy to avoid these stains was to turn our clothes inside out and wash them that way. That way, the stains wouldn’t show on the visible side of our clothing. It has been working well. Wait a second…what difference does it make whether or not we wash our clothes inside out? If there is something in the water, it makes no distinction between which way our shirts and pants are situated. The oil would get in any which way.
Laura came home and we started talking about this horrible issue. I told her what I found and told her about the inside out dilemma. We both started getting a little quiet. I mentioned how this never happened where we used to live (where we lived a year ago). She also mentioned that she never got any stains on her scrubs (she wears them for work). Hhhhmmmm. In our last place, we had a different dryer. Also, she never puts her scrubs in the dryer because if she gets a stain from the washer, she doesn’t want the dryer to “set” it.
I ran downstairs with a white sock in my hand. I opened the dryer door, took the sock and rubbed it hard, up and down, against the rear corner, between the rear wall and the drum. I pulled the sock out and looked at it. Well, well, well. I nice brown grease-like streak that looks identical to the photo above. I guess when the dryer heats up, it makes this, what ever it is, get gooey and easily transferable to clothing.
Now that we figured out what is causing the stains, I can start pricing out new dryers.