White stains appearing on my black pants after a week in a closet

divandanJanuary 17, 2012

Weird thing happens - I wash my dark cotton/jean pants, hang them in a closet when completely dry, and after about a week there are white, large stains on them. It doesn't look or smell like a mold, there is air circulating around, and it doesn't happen to my other dark clothing. I use only liquid detergent and liquid soap "nuts". Don't use beach or fabric softener at all and always extra rinse them. I don't dry them in dryer either.

It's very annoying - I fell I wash them more often then I wear them....

I have a brand new washer/dryer - a month old. And I don't see any difference (in this case only)..... :(((

Thanks everyone

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Interesting, unusual question. Pics would be nice.

In the meantime, try this:

Take the white-stained jeans and wash them alone with no soap or softener. Dry and hang in closet as usual. Do stains appear? If not then take same (unworn) jeans and wash again with customary detergent/softener regimen. Dry and hang as usual. If stains appear then you know it's the products. Change brand or dosing.

If stains appear after the no-soap wash, repeat the no soap round and dry but do not hang in closet. Instead put them in a well-lit and ventilated room. If that prevents stains then it's most likely that your closet is providing an opportunity for fungal growth on the fabrics. Fungi, aka what we call mildew, need food (dye, fabric, fats from detergent residue, body soil, misc. organic stains that aren't visible to eye), darkness, humidity, still air and optimal temperature parameters. (Preferred temps and humidity vary among mildew species, but all need a degree of darkness, food and still air.) Control of mildew is always to change the microclimate, denying the fungi what they need to live. The fungi will "disappear". Actually they just goes into a dormant state awaiting a change in climate. But hey, that's why they will eventually inherit the Earth. In the meantime you can keep them at bay.

But my money is on detergent residue that is somehow oxidizing over time and becoming visible to the eye. So try the no detergent experiments, first.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Thanks, will try that.

In the meantime, if it IS fungal - how do you get rid of it?

Thanks again :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Since they are a dark color, any mixture of chlorine bleach would ruin them. You could try soaking in a strong white vinegar/water mixture. Vinegar can beat back mold, not sure if it would kill it. There are professional mold remediation products available to consumers, but you'd have to purchase and then test on an inconspicuous part of the garment for any color change. I'd try vinegar first. It's cheap.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 5:33PM
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bug poo?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:06PM
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