Why My Washing Machine Makes Stains on the Laundry?

Jul 10, 2023, 17:58pm

It is possible to observe traces or stains on your clothes after washing your laundry in the machine. This is often due to a problem using your programs and your detergents (liquid or powder), but it can also be due to wear and tear on parts.

Different types of stains can be visible on white laundry: they can be white, yellow, gray, rust or even black. Each task requires a specific verification to find the origin of the problem and provide a solution.

Indeed, the checks will be different depending on whether your washing machine leaves a gray stain on a garment after washing, or a white, yellow or brown, black or rust stain.

Discovering stains on your freshly laundered clothes can be frustrating and disappointing. If your washing machine is causing stains on your laundry, it’s important to identify the root cause and take appropriate steps to resolve the issue. There are several reasons why a washing machine may leave stains on clothes, and understanding these causes can help you troubleshoot and prevent future occurrences. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why washing machines make stains on the laundry and provide possible solutions to address the problem.

Why My Washing Machine Makes Stains on the Laundry?1. Detergent Dispenser or Drawer Issues

One of the common culprits for stains on laundry is a dirty or clogged detergent dispenser or drawer. Over time, detergent residue, fabric softener, or other substances can build up in the dispenser, leading to stains on the clothes. Clean the detergent dispenser or drawer regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent buildup and ensure proper detergent dispensing.

2. Fabric Softener or Bleach Dispenser Problems

If your washing machine has separate compartments for fabric softener or bleach, it’s possible that a malfunctioning dispenser or drawer is causing the stains. Check if the dispenser is clogged or if there are any leaks. Clean the dispenser thoroughly and ensure it functions properly. If the problem persists, it may require professional attention or replacement.

3. Rust or Mineral Deposits

If your washing machine has internal rust or mineral deposits, they can transfer onto the laundry, causing stains. Rust can occur in older machines or if the machine is exposed to moisture. Mineral deposits can build up over time due to hard water. Regularly clean and maintain your washing machine to prevent rust or mineral buildup. Consider using descaling products or adding vinegar to a cycle to remove mineral deposits.

4. Overloading or Uneven Load Distribution

Overloading the washing machine or unevenly distributing the laundry inside the drum can lead to stains. When clothes are tightly packed or tangled, they may not receive adequate water and detergent circulation, resulting in incomplete cleaning and the formation of stains. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the maximum load capacity and distribute the laundry evenly in the drum to avoid this issue.

5. Mechanical or Seal Problems

Mechanical issues or worn-out seals in the washing machine can cause leaks or create friction that damages clothes and leaves stains. Check for any visible leaks or signs of damage around the door seal, drum, or hoses. If you notice any issues, it is recommended to contact a professional technician to diagnose and repair the problem.

6. Use of Wrong Detergent or Stain Remover

Using the wrong type of detergent or stain remover can also lead to stains on laundry. Some detergents or stain removers may contain ingredients that are not suitable for certain fabrics or colors, resulting in discoloration or staining. Always read and follow the instructions on the detergent packaging, and choose products that are compatible with your laundry.


Detergent products can cause the door seal or cuff to become dirty and gray sludge to form. This is why it is possible to find gray stains or a slimy deposit on your clothes after washing.

  • To clean the gasket of your washing machine and avoid these gray stains, wipe around with a cloth to remove lime deposits and residues of detergents (powder, liquid, etc.). The same operation must be carried out in the case of a top-loading washing machine.
  • It is also possible that these gray spots come from the porthole seal which has disintegrated or crumbled: if this is the case, replace it.

The residues that you can find in the cuff (the seal) of the door of your washing machine are often a reflection of what you have in the tub. Regularly carry out vacuum programs at high temperature (90° if possible) with vinegar to eliminate the remains of the detergent.

Why My Washing Machine Makes Stains on the Laundry?Troubleshooting Steps

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to address stains on laundry caused by a washing machine:

  1. Clean the detergent dispenser or drawer regularly to prevent buildup.
  2. Check and clean the fabric softener or bleach dispenser.
  3. Inspect for rust or mineral deposits and clean the washing machine accordingly.
  4. Avoid overloading the machine and distribute the laundry evenly inside the drum.
  5. Check for leaks or signs of damage and contact a professional technician if necessary.
  6. Ensure you are using the correct detergent and stain remover for your laundry.

By following these steps, you can often identify and address the issue of stains on laundry caused by your washing machine. Regular maintenance, proper detergent usage, and attention to load distribution will help prevent future occurrences.

In conclusion, stains on laundry caused by a washing machine can be frustrating, but they can often be resolved. By understanding the common causes and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you can identify and address the issue effectively. If the problem persists or if you are unsure about any repairs, it is advisable to consult a professional technician to diagnose and repair the specific issue with your washing machine.


“If you’re in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area and need your washing machine repair in Toronto service urgently, contact Shymon Appliance Repair, we know how to fix it!”