Clothes have White Residue After Washing? Here's Why
If you have been noticing a white residue on your clothing after it's gone through a wash cycle, there may be a few reasons as to why this is happening and certain steps you can take to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
WHAT CAUSES A WHITE RESIDUE ON CLOTHES?
There may be a few causes behind what is referred to as "white residue".
Often, white residue is the result of:
- An excessive amount of lint.
- An excessive amount of detergent.
- Common body soils, often found on workout clothes and activewear, interacting with detergent.
Presence of Excessive Lint
New clothes, especially towels, can often have excessive lint. This is a normal thing to happen and typically goes away over time. Drying your clothes in a dryer can usually remove excessive lint.
Use shorter wash times (lower soil levels) if the problem of excess linting is taking a long time to go away.
Too Much Detergent
White residue can be caused by adding too much detergent to a load, especially if the water isn’t hot enough to effectively dissolve the detergent. This kind of residue might look clumpier than other types.
Learn whether to use High-Efficiency (HE) or non High Efficiency (non HE) detergent by reviewing the users’ manual for your model of washing machine. Make sure to always follow the detergent manufacturer’s instructions to determine exactly how much detergent you should use. It’s recommended to never exceed the Max line on your washer’s dispenser.
When Body Soils Interact With Detergent
White residue on clothes is often caused by the interaction of body soils with the detergent. This white residue differs from the one caused by lint and appears to be similar to undissolved detergent.
This residue tends to accumulate within the creases and wrinkles of clothing. From there it can be distributed throughout the load where it can latch onto other garments.
Also, this type of white residue may be more prevalent in loads that use warmer water. It can form within mixed loads (e.g. cotton items in the same load as those with synthetic garments), because the lower friction of synthetic fabrics has the ability to impede mechanical action.
Learn How to Remove White Residue From Your Clothes
To get rid of a white residue, try rewashing the affected clothing items. If you’re using cold water, double-check that the water temperature is at least 60 degrees as this will ensure that the detergent can properly dissolve. You can also run hot water in the sink closest to the washer. This will run hot water through the water lines near the washer.
Always use HE detergent like Swash, which is outfitted with a Precision Pour Cap to lower the risk of adding too much detergent . We recommend always using the "Clean Washer" cycle with affresh® once a month to help eliminate excess detergent.
Try These Solutions for White Residue on Clothes
Use these tips to determine what cycle, temperature and soil level might help you deal with or avoid white residue on clothes.
Select cycles including Heavy Duty, PowerWash, Deep Water Wash, and Whites, if available. Avoid gentler cycles, such as Delicates, Casuals, and ColourLast, if possible.
Select cooler temperatures, if possible.
Select higher soil levels like Heavy or Extra Heavy, if possible.
You may also want to select the following:
- Cold temperature
- Heavy soil
- Extra rinse
Of course, never forget to use the recommended amount of HE detergent.
affresh® cleaners are available at many retailers. Find one here.
Your Owner's Manual is your best source for more information regarding the cycles on your machine.
We hope the guidance provided in this article can help you avoid that pesky white residue on clothes or let you remove it from your favourite blouse or shirt with ease.