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Why Is My Washing Machine Staining My Clothes? (Explained)

Any home appliance, especially electronic appliances, need to be maintained properly. Otherwise it might start doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Take notice of how the machine is doing to solve any problem. 

Washing machine staining clothes: reason & solutions

Sometimes because of the left over greasy residue from the previous wash makes the clothes stain in a washing machine. This is not an ideal situation. In terms of that a good solution is to run the washing machine 3 – 4 times with water and vinegar to get the grease off. This should stop the stains.

Washing machines are meant to make your clothes clean for the convenience of the user For most homeowners washing machines are a blessing. Washing machines make one of the hardest chores around the house easier for everyone. 

And with a washing machine you can easily multi-task and not worry about the dirty clothes.

But it can be a real pain if you find stains on your freshly washed clothes. The stains are sometimes from the washing machine itself. This scenario is a huge inconvenience for most homeowners. There are a several reasons for this to happen –

Detergent issue:

if the machine is overloaded with detergent, then you will notice some extra stains on the clothes. There is a specific measure for using detergent in a washing machine. 

If you use more than required then the extra detergent will get to your cloth and stain them. 


Run the washing machine with water two times to get the residue of the detergent out of the system. Do this before you add a new batch of clothes. 

Just run the washing machine with enough water so that the extra detergent dissolves with the water and your clothes do not stain.


If you have a washing machine that you have used for many years, there is a chance that the pipes inside the machine have become somewhat rusty. These rusty pipes can sometimes stain the clothes inside the machine while it runs. 

It is common with old machines. 


The only solution to this issue is to get your machine checked by a professional. There is rarely a DIY solution to this problem. Take your machine to a professional and get it serviced by changing the pipes. 

But sometimes the only solution to this problem is to change the machine itself.

Greasy residue:

A very common reason behind this problem is that there is little greasy residue left behind in the machine from the previous batch of washed clothes. 

This is very common when you have been using the machine for a few batches of clothes at the same day, 


To put an end to this issue, run the machine with water and a cup of vinegar in between a batch of clothes. The vinegar will take away any greasy residue left in the machine and the machine will wash it all away.

This is a very easy and effective solution for a very common problem.


With old machines you will notice that some enamel or paint is left behind. This paint can stain the washed or washed clothes. This problem is very hard to identify. 

To check this, make sure to look at the color of the stains and check if the stains come off easily or not. 


First you should check the entire washing machine with a cloth to find the paint leak. Once you locate the place where the enamel is leaking from you should try to remove the entire bit of paint that is coming off. 

You can try to seal it but it will not last. It is best to remove the patch of the paint.

Washing machines are supposed to clean your dirty clothes and make this chore easier for you. But there might be some instances where you will notice that there are some stains on your clothes after you get it out of the washing machine. 

This situation is not ideal. Try to find the reason behind the stains so you can fix the problem as soon as possible, as you will need to use the washing machine a lot.

Tips to prevent your washing machine from staining the clothes:

Stains on clothes need to be washed quickly and one of the easiest ways to get rid of these stains is to use a washing machine. In recent times to make this task easier for the home owners washing machines are the go to appliance. This small task takes up a good amount of time. 

But in some instances or situations the washing machine can also make stains in the washed clothes. This situation is not ideal. To get rid of this problem you will need to get to the main reason for the stain. Depending on the color of the stain you need to find the solution –

Staining yellow:

Yellow stains indicate an issue with the detergent you use. Using the wrong kind of detergent with the clothes can cause the clothes to stain. Make sure you use the right type of detergent and try to keep the measurements right. 

Staining blue:

A good reason behind the blue stains is the rusty and old. You can try to change the pipes to prevent this for the long run. Or you can run the water only in between the batch of clothes to stop the blue from staining. 

Staining gray:

A dirty washing machine can leave stains of gray on your clothes. To stop the gray stains from occurring you will need to clean the washing machine properly. 

If the machine is not clean then you will notice the gray stains coming back on your clean clothes. 

Staining white:

White stains indicate that there was too much use of detergent. Too much detergent can leave too much residue which will stain the clothes with white patches. Try not to use too much detergent when you use the washing machine. 

Use as much as it is required to get the perfect way every time. 

Staining brown:

If you have left over residue from the clothes washed before then you will notice some brown patches on your freshly washed clothes. For this to go away, run the washing machine with water and vinegar and the grease should go away.

Staining orange:

Sometimes dust can stay on the cloth pile ready to be washed. These dust can create small orange patches or stains on the clothes. 

The best way to get rid of these stains is to make sure the clothes going in the machine are dust free or do not have any dust residue on the clothes.

Staining black:

If you have an issue with the gasket or the valve of the washing machine then you will notice some black stains on the clothes. If this happens try to get the machine checked by a professional or get the gasket changed. 

Staining rust:

If there are some rusty pipes inside the machine then you will notice some small patches of rust stains on your freshly washed clothes. When this happens you can use baking soda to remove the stain. 

And for further prevention get the machine checked and the pipes changed. 

Staining pink:

Pink stains might not be very uncommon. If your clothes are drenched in sweat then a small chemical reaction might happen with the detergent. This will create a pink stain on the clothes. 

To prevent this make sure the clothes that go in the washing machine are dry and have no sweat.

Tips to keep washing machine to prevent further stains:

Washing machines are supposed to keep your clothes clean. But in some cases your washing machine can do the opposite. Some clothes might come out with a bit of stain on them. To prevent this unwanted situation you can follow some simple tricks and tips. 

Follow the following guidelines to stop the staining –

Keep the inside clean: 

Keep the insides of the washing machine clean. If the insides are dirty then there is a chance of the clothes staining as well. So make sure to not only clean the exterior but also the insides of the machine but also to get in there with the cleaning.

Change the pipes time to time: 

Change the rusty and old pipes from the washing machine whenever you feel it is time. Rusty pipes will give you orange or rust like stains. This is a problem that can be solved through professional support. 

Try to get servicing done on your washing machine from time to time to prevent it as well. 

Run the machine without clothes sometimes

There is no need to do this regularly. But Running the machine with water, and sometimes with a little bit of vinegar mixed with the water, will keep the insides of the machine clean. Any greasy residue will go away with this cycle. 

Keeping your washing machine clean is very important if you wish to prevent the staining of the clothes. The maintenance of the washing machine is not too difficult but you will need to take care of some things if you want your clothes to be stain free.

Final thoughts

Stained clothes due to the washing machine can be because of rusty pipes or greasy residue. Greasy residue can be solved by running the machine 3 or 4 times with water and a little bit of vinegar. And for the rusty pipes you might need to get it checked by a professional and change the pipe.