Washing machine putting grease stains on clothes? (Solved)

In most cases, the greasy stains are either due to deposits of undissolved fabric softener and accumulated detergent residues, or the drum has collected greasy residue from clothes washed in previous loads. To get rid of greasy stains, simply pour a cup of distilled white vinegar or baking soda diluted in water and run an empty wash cycle.

That being said, the issue of a washer putting greasy stains on your clothes can be caused by a number of factors, including a dirty washing machine, using too much detergent or fabric softeners, not using enough water during the wash, dirt stuck in the drum from previous loads, or clothes that have come in contact with grease before being washed.

Key Takeaways

  • To avoid greasy stains, clean your washer once a month if you don’t use it often and once every two weeks if you are a frequent user.
  • Cleaning your washer with distilled white vinegar, baking soda, commercial washing machine cleaners, or even bleach will help your washer remain in good condition and keep the clothes clean.
  • Avoid putting excess fabric softeners or detergents in your washer as these can leave behind a greasy film in the drum and hoses of your washer. Also, unsuitable detergents can leave residue behind.
  • The greasy stains can be due to many factors including accumulated residue in the washtub, stains from previous loads, fabric softeners, detergents, dirty agitator, and internal components of the washer.

If your washer is putting greasy stains on your clothes for the first time, it’s probably not a big deal.

In most cases, it must be early signs of dirt, oil, and mildew residual buildups in your washer, and a thorough cleaning should help you get rid of the problem.

However, let us look into the possible causes of washers leaving grease stains on clothes, along with possible solutions.

Previous load

If your clothes come out with greasy stains after washing them in a washing machine, you should review your existing or previous load.

It is the most common factor to consider because you may have washed a load of heavily greased items with your regular laundry.

Another possibility is that you had previously washed greasy clothes without pretreating them, which has led to residual buildups of grease and soap inside the washer.

In such instances, clean the washer thoroughly before adding another load of laundry for washing.

Also, make sure to pre-treat the greasy and oily clothes with a degreaser before washing them in the machine.

Recently serviced your washer

It is also possible that you may have recently serviced your washer which requires oiling and greasing of several components.

And it is quite common for some of the grease and oil to accidentally spill into the washtub while greasing or oiling your washer.

So, always remember to run a clean cycle after every service or maintenance job is carried out on the washing machine.

Detergent and fabric softeners

Have you switched detergents or fabric softeners recently? If this is the case then the new pack may not be suitable for your washer or the garments.

It is also possible that the solution you have bought is an ordinary one or a low-quality product.

Another possibility is that the detergent or the fabric softeners are too old and have been stored for a very long time.

It may not be ideal to use them, or they may have become thicker. Therefore, it is difficult to dissolve them during the wash, leading to staining.

Moreover, fabric softeners are oil-based, and if they are not diluted, they can leave oily stains on your garments throughout the wash.

So, use good quality fabric softeners and detergents that have not passed their expiration date.

Dirty washtub

Over time, dirt and soap residues, build up inside your washing machine, especially if you frequently use fabric softeners in higher quantities.

These buildups, along with lint and oil accumulation, lead to mold and mildew growth inside the washing machine.

It can be around the surface of the drum, near the door, the seal, agitators, or impellers, including the filters.

Make sure to empty the washer and run an empty cycle using the hottest water setting.

Also, make sure to use a commercial cleaning solution or simply add 2 cups of vinegar or baking soda to the washtub to perform a thorough cleaning.

Additionally, wipe down the inside of the washtub and clean the filter manually.

Lastly, it is also possible for the wash drum to rust due to constant exposure to moisture, which promotes the formation of rust.

Over time, the antirust layers may have scraped off the surface, leading to rust formation, and causing reddish-brown stains on your clothing.

Also Read: How to remove rust from the washer drum?

Drum seal

The drum seal near the rotating shaft can wear out over time, leading to oil and grease entering the washtub and staining your clothes.

So, if your washer is showing signs of the slightest water leak, then the tub seal is most probably to blame.

Just remove the clothes from the washer and using a tissue wipe down the inside of the washtub, especially at the center.

If you find a greasy stain on the tissue then it’s probably time to call a professional to fix the issue.

Door gasket seal

Door seals are often made of durable rubber and are the best places for mold and mildew growth.

It is quite common for mold and mildew to thrive especially when it comes to front-load washing machines.

Even when you clean your washing machine, it is possible that the gasket seal remains unclean, especially in hidden areas or near the edges.

The dirt and grime along with oils can easily build up around the edges of the rubber seal, and over time it will start leaving stains on your clothes during the wash.

Hence, you should manually clean them using a soft brush and a cleaning solution at least once every month.

Water supply

It is possible that the water supply lines to your home or laundry room have rusted, resulting in dirty water being supplied to the washing machine and leaving stains on clothes.

Although the inlet hoses include a filter to catch small debris and particles, these filters tend to wear out over time.

Moreover, if you have a hard water supply in your household, it’s possible that mineral deposits and limescale buildups over time can cause stains on your clothing.

So, you should always use a detergent formulated for use in regions that supply hard water.

Additionally, you should descale your washing machine once every month or every three months.

Additional tips to avoid greasy stains on clothes

  • Use the correct type of detergent.
  • Do not overload the washing machine.
  • Clean your washing machine regularly.
  • Pre-treat oily stains.
  • Be careful not to use excessive fabric softeners, as this can lead to a buildup of residue on your clothes.
  • Wash oily and greasy clothes separately.

Final Thoughts

Regularly cleaning and descaling your washing machine will prevent clothes from staining after the wash.

Using suitable and gentle detergents will prevent unwanted buildups inside your washer and will keep your clothes clean and free from stains.

Avoid using fabric softeners every now and then, and when you do, make sure to add them in a low quantity.

Lastly, always make sure to pre-treat garments that have grease on them before loading them into the washing machine.

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) portablelaundry.com