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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Stains on Whites after Washing

By Dr. Laundry July 22, 2011

Q: What are the yellow-orange stains I see on my whites after I wash them?

A: It’s hard to know for certain without a little more information, but if this happens after every white load it could be that they are rust stains.  It is especially easy for rust to transfer onto items in older washers that have corrosion on some of the metal parts.  If this is the case, you can try using a rust remover product like Whink®, which can usually be found at hardware stores. Just be sure to read and follow the package directions, including wearing gloves.  I would also check your washer for any signs of corrosion, especially under the enamel coated body of the washer, above the basket/tub where the clothes are loaded.  Another problem area is the interior of the basket (the other side of the holes where the water is extracted during the spin cycle).  Replacing the washer may be necessary if the problem is serious enough.  Good luck!

Have and of you noticed yellow-orange stains on your whites?  What have you done to combat the stains?