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White residue left on clothes after being washed in a washing machine ?

  • 19-06-2022 8:55pm
    Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes


    I'm trying to figure out why my clothes sometimes end up with white residue on them after doing a wash. It's particularly noticeable on dark clothes. See attached photos. The washing machine is a Bosch and only two years old and I'm using Ariel 3 in 1 pods. I just set it to the pre-programmed 40 degree setting which does a wash drain and spin. Its like you sprinkled talc or something on them and it tends to accumulate at the creases.

    Anyone know why this is happening. Is Ariel a poor quality detergent, is there something better I could use ?



  • Too much detergent.

    Not long enough cycle.

    (Not hot enough but at 40 probably not that)

  • Registered Users Posts: 525 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

    Ariel is normally very good. This only happened to me when I was using too much detergent and not it not fully washing out. I did contact Proctor and Gamble to check.

    I think your problem is that you are using pods. Change to powder and add water softener.

    If you still have the problem then you could be over filling the machine and the clothes are not fully rinsing out the detergent. When you put clothes in the machine put your hand in and make sure there is a gap from the clothes and the inside of the machine. Clothes have to be able to move.

  • Registered Users Posts: 256 ✭✭ taylor3

    That happened to me before and I was using powder. I think possible cause is too much clothes in the load. As tvjunki said, before you start the wash put your arm in the machine and you should have enough room between the clothes and the 'roof' of the drum if that makes sense. Also for dark coloured clothes maybe turn them inside out before putting them in the machine, that too may help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,908 ✭✭✭✭ CJhaughey

    Use a Dark clothes specific liquid and don't leave tissues in the pockets!

  • Registered Users Posts: 427 ✭✭ Deregos.

    This has happened with me before. I'd say you're leaving too much cocaine in your pockets, just try snorting it all first and see if that makes any difference.

    “Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?”

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  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    It's neither tissues nor coke. I'm sure its detergent. I have switched to Tesco liquid detergent but same results, but at least now I can try using less detergent in washes. It seems that the machine frequently doesn't actually complete its spin cycle as it detects an 'unbalanced load' so it sits there in the water overnight and I have to re-initiate the drain/spin in the morning. I suspect sitting in the water for hours isn't helping.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭ deirdremf

    It sounds as though you might be overloading the machine. Try putting less clothes in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    You mean 'fewer clothes', and no I am not. The drum capacity is 8kg and I have weighed the clothes. I never put in more than 5kg.

  • id throw a washing machine cleaning product in on a good boil wash and see if it improved things

  • Registered Users Posts: 666 ✭✭✭ alexonhisown

    The 8kg doesn’t mean it’s 8kg for every programme. Check the instruction manual that came with machine, it will tell you the weight allowance for each programme

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  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭ maude6868

    Also, make sure you put the pod in first in the empty machine and then put in the clothes. I had that problem too, looked it up and this was advised, worked for me anyhow, no more white residue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 372 ✭✭ Escapees

    We've struggled with this issue for ages and have experienced it with different washing machines and using different detergents (liquid, powder, and pods!).

    I've always suspected it's from the clothes not rinsing properly at the end of the wash, probably due to too large a load being put in. But another theory is that the white residue is rub-on antiperspirant on deodorant coming off the armpits of tops and depositing on other clothes.

    The extent to which the white marks are visible afterwards depends on how dark the clothes are and also what material they are made from. Navy or dark clothes with a suede/teflon finish seem to come out worst!

    Anyway, a quick wipe afterwards with a damp sponge or just a rinse and drain cycle in the machine seems to put things right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,411 ✭✭✭ deirdremf

    Ah, a grammar nazi.

    No, I wasn't counting the number of items you put in, but the amount in a general sense.

    Then again maybe you think it's fine to say "The sponge cake I made today is lighter because I put in fewer flour this time" or maybe "I cooked fewer rice today because one of the family isn't eating with us"?

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,636 ✭✭✭✭ Graces7

    My thoughts exactly. If too full then the water cannot do its work

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    So I'm not alone. In my case I'm sure its not deodorant as I don't use any. Other suggestions in the thread are:

    (i) To many clothes for the drum - I'm sure this isn't the case

    (ii) Too much detergent relative to the amount of clothes, I don't think this is the case either as I have switched to liquid and used less in a wash but with the same result.

    I have also noticed that it is more visible on dark clothes (for obvious reasons given the residue is white) but also that the fabric of the clothes does also seem to be relevant. It seems to be worse for clothes which are cotton/nylon mix rather than 100% cotton. I suspect it is down to poxy machine/cycle design where they are trying to be enegy/water 'efficient' and in the process they have compromized the basic function of the machine. It's not very water/energy efficient if I have to do an extra rinse/drain cycle to make sure the clothes are actually clean after each wash it would be more efficient if the initial rinse/drain cycle rinsed the detergent out of the clothes thoroughly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭ greasepalm

    I use Ariel pods and i have been using them for ages and wear black clothes and have no issues 60 or now 30 wash.

    Do you have lime in your area.

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ treascon

    Have the exact same problem. Drives me nuts. Using fairy non bio pods. Husband reckons it’s due to limescale. However have cleaned/rinsed it out with all sorts & hasn’t made a difference. And we have a water softener.

    Post edited by treascon on

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    My dishwasher came with a water hardness test. It measured the water at the lower end of 'medium' hardness (ie 1.4mmol/L or 8dH or 11 on the Clarke scale). So I'm not using anything special in my dishwasher and it works just fine. I strongly suspect that it is an issue with the more modern design trying to use less water. My machine is a Bosch Serie 4 (, its only 2 years old and receives very light use (one load every two weeks or so). It sounds like there are a couple of people in this thread with the same problem I'd be interested to know if anyone has this problem with an older (less 'efficient') washing machine ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭ greasepalm

    My washing machine is possibly 8 -10 yr old Miele

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ treascon

    My machine is 20yrs old. Only start doing this in the last few yrs

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭ greasepalm

    Does your filter in machine need cleaning

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ treascon

    Cleaned the filter. Rinsed all sorts of cleaning products & white vinegar through it. Hasn’t made a difference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭ greasepalm

    Can you try a black clothes wash with no detergents or softeners to see if still there.

    If it is clear no white stains maybe try an Eco Friendly washing machine ball ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 234 ✭✭ treascon

    Will give it a go. Willing to try anything at this stage!

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    Ok, after checking the output filter and the filter on the mains water input to the machine (both were pristine as expected due to light use) I started reading through the machine manual in more detail. In the 'Faults and what to do about them' I found this:

    Fault : ' There is detergent residue on the laundry'

    Cause/Remedy: ' Some phosphate-free detergents contain water-insoluble residue. Select Rinse or brush the laundry after washing'

    Really Bosch? Your suggested solution to the fact that your poxy machine doesn't clean properly with standard detergents (Ariel 3 in 1 pods or Tesco brand liquid detergent) is to re-run the rinse cycle. Another point I noticed is that I have been using their recommended pre-programmed '40degree' Standard Program. In the manual it admits:

    'The specification of the programme temperature is based on the temperature stated on the care label of the textiles. The actual washing temperature may deviate from the indicated programme temperature for reasons of saving energy. The washing efficiency corresponds to the temperature selection.'

    This almost certainly means that when I am selecting '40 degrees' it is in fact using a lower temperature but I have no idea how much lower (could it actually be 30C ?, who knows?) The solubility of substances generally increases with temperature so this will also make the residue problem worse.

    So, for anyone having this problem it seems the best bet might be to look for detergents which are riddled with phosphates and make sure the machine is actually using the temperature that you program. I'm going to have a go with a actual 40 degree setting and see if the results are any better. I won't be doing another wash for a couple of weeks though so you'll have to wait for the exciting conclusion to this saga but its looking increasingly like the machine is running in 'Volkswagen mode'. It's really efficient but that's no f*!cking use if it doesn't actually clean the clothes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭ Usjes

    Did my first wash yesterday using the actual 40 degree setting (as opposed to Bosh's recommended 'equivalent to 40 degree' setting). The results look good with no noticeable residue. I'll have to do a few more washes to be sure but it looks like this is the root cause of the problem, Bosh has a bullshit setting which uses a lower washing temperature which allegedly provides 'washing efficiency corresponds to the temperature selection.'

    In reality this lower temperature combined with newer 'phosphate-free detergents' means that the detergent doesn't dissolve properly in the water and instead gets deposited on the clothes.

    So if anyone else is having this problem you might try avoiding these bullshit 'eco friendly' settings:

    On the front of the machine the actual 40 degree wash is marked simply by 40 C whereas the bullshit one looks like this:

    Hopefully that's the end of the saga.