Weird yellow spots on whites

connecticut_residentJuly 27, 2010

I have a weird thing that's happened a few times these past two summers when I wash my kids' tennis whites. My washer is a 10+ year old Maytag top loader that (other than this issue I'm going to describe) has never given me problems. I wash on warm/cold using powdered Tide and nothing else. The laundry emerges from the machine with yellow spots in places. Not pale yellow under the arms or around the collars, but fairly bright yellow in what looks like random spots.

Soaking in Oxy and washing again fades the yellow but the spots don't quite go away.

I thought it might be stains from sunblock somehow getting set in the wash but then I washed some of my nephew's whites, and he hadn't worn sunblock, and the same thing happened.

Any ideas?

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This weird problem has been around awhile, along with mysterious little holes in cotton shirts. I think we decided it was probably not just one cause, but probably any number of things. Sunscreen, as you mentioned. Maybe moisturizers, chemicals on car seats, or even chemicals or oils left in the cloth from the processing and manufacturing. Some spots appear before the clothes were ever worn!

If you figure it out please let everyone here know. We will appreciate it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 12:49PM
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I was getting some yellow-orangish spots on clothes that I figured out was from whatever it is that they use to "glue" on the "felt" strips on the dryer drum. I have since stopped using a real hot setting on the dryer (it's a gas dryer) and the spots have stopped. Are your spots on things that you have run through the dryer?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Yellow spotting on whites can be a phenomenon of using chlorine bleach. It's pretty well documented from what I can google. Did you by chance maybe use it in the wash water? I know I have bleached canvas sneakers in the wash machine and came out with yellow polka dots on otherwise just muddy shoes.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:09AM
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You might also have hard water which is heavy in iron. Too much iron and/or calcium might also cause yellowish or reddish spots on laundry.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 2:11PM
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