Is Front Load Washer Leaving a Black Mark on Clothes?

Are you witnessing black marks or patches on your fabrics after the wash? 

Well, the reason can be anything from a problematic gasket rubber seal to an accumulation of lint and greasy substances.

In this post, we will look into some common reasons why the front loaders leave a black mark on clothes and possible solutions.

Let’s dive into it.

Why Is the Front Load Washer leaving black marks on clothes?

Old and Moldy Gasket may be one of the primary reasons why your front load Washer is leaving black marks on your clothes post-wash. Having said that, it is not the only reason why your washing machine is leaving unwanted stains.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the common causes and logical solutions.

Gasket rubber seal

In a front loader, the most common area for residue buildup and mold formation is the Gasket area which is surrounded by a rubber seal.

Prolonged usage of the front loader may lead to the formation of dirt & detergent residues, lint accumulation with greasy stains, mold & mildew buildups, etc.

These buildups tend to stick to the clothes when you pull the laundry load out of the washer.


  • Inspect the rubber seal for any damage or wear out that allows the hidden buildups to settle.
  • It is recommended to replace a worn-out gasket rubber seal.
  • If you notice the formations of buildups on the gasket area, simply clean them using available solutions, or as an alternative, you may clean them using white vinegar.
  • Spray the solution on the affected areas thoroughly and let it settle for around 10 minutes.
  • Now use a damp cloth and wipe the gasket area.
  • Now run a clean or empty cycle using hot water with a cleaning solution.

Uncleaned Washtub

This is the area where the fabrics are cleaned by using various types of detergents.

Prolonged usage of your washer results in a buildup of residue around the washtub areas.

The buildup usually happens due to various factors such as the dirt & detergent residues and other buildups that cause bacteria mold & mildew formation.

If the washer is kept uncleaned these unwanted substances stick to your fabrics and result in black patches.


  • By using a cleaning solution simply run a clean or empty wash cycle using hot water.
  • For thorough cleaning, you may scrub the reachable areas inside the washer using a soft brush with a cleaning solution and leave the application settled for 10 minutes before running a clean cycle with hot water.

Clogged pump filter or the drain

Most front loaders and modern-day high-efficiency washers rely on self-cleaning pump filters.

Over time there is always a possibility of a clogged pump filter or drain hoses due to various factors like lint accumulation, residual buildups, stuck foreign objects such as coins, pins, screws, etc.

A clogged drain or the filter may not discharge the dirt residues effectively which may further result in inefficient cleaning, thereby leaving black patches on clothes.


  • Running a clean cycle using hot water and cleaning solution usually cleans the drain areas.
  • You may manually inspect and clean these areas occasionally for better results.
  • Locate and detach the drain hoses by loosening the hose clamps.
  • Then, use a soft brush and a cleaning solution to clean the drain areas thoroughly and remove any stuck objects.
  • Now rinse with the clean water and start your wash cycle.

Blocked sewage

Wastewater is released through the drain hose toward the sewage.

At times, if the sewage area is blocked the wastewater may not drain effectively and this may result in pump motor failure.

This further leads to wastewater running in and out of the washtub through the drain hose.

This may attract dirt and gunk from the sewage area resulting in patches on your fabrics.


  • Inspect the sewage area for a possible clog.
  • Use the solutions available that are specially formulated to clean blocked sewage.
  • After the sewage has been unclogged, clean the drain hoses and run a clean cycle using hot water to completely drain the dirty water out of the washer.

Limescale (Grey patches)

Limescale buildup is primarily caused due to contact with hard water.

This is common in regions that supply hard water.

While it is rare, we cannot rule out the possibility of limescale causing the patchy marks on your clothes.


  • You may consider using water softeners which are easily available online or at local stores. 
  • While doing your laundry, you may add the solution as per instructions on the product label and run the wash cycle.
  • As an alternative, you may use homemade remedies such as a pinch of baking soda or distilled vinegar mixed with a drop of essential oil.
  • Use a good quality detergent, most of the detergents are formulated with water softening properties that can be used to wash your fabrics.
  • This detergent softens the water during the wash cycle ensuring a better wash even with the hardest water.

Final Thoughts

Regular cleaning of the washer gives the best washing experience and keeps your laundry load happy.

Always use a suitable cleaning solution or homemade solutions and avoid using poor-quality detergents.

The bottom line is that it’s the uncleaned washer and clogging that causes the front load washer to leave a black mark on clothes.

So, clean your washing machine at least once a month to maintain hygiene.

Also Read: How to clean a top-load Washing Machine?

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know the primary causes for black patches on clothes post-wash, let’s take a quick look at some common questions that are asked very often.

Why are my clothes dusty after washing?

If your fabrics come out dusty after washing, this may be caused due to various factors such as washing different types of fabric in a single load, lint accumulation, poor detergent quality, uncleaned washer, clogged filters, clogged drain and sewage areas, etc.

Always use a good quality detergent, and never mix two different types of fabrics at one go e.g. Mixing delicates with heavy fabrics such as towels.

Why are grey patches on my clothes after washing?

There is a high possibility that limescale or soap residue may have accumulated on your clothes post washing them in the washer. Furthermore, an incorrect amount of detergent and excessive use of Fabric Softeners may also cause patches of grey marks on your clothes.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)