How to Remove White Streaks Caused by Laundry Detergent

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A 10-minute rinse cycle, followed by a spin cycle, will remove white streaks caused by laundry detergent.

Undissolved laundry detergent can leave white streaks on clean clothing. Generally, you can prevent white streaks caused by powdered laundry detergent. To prevent white streaks from appearing on clothing, fill the washing machine's drum with water and add either liquid or powdered laundry detergent prior to adding clothes. If white streaks are already on your laundry, rinse the affected items of clothing again. You can rinse the laundry before or after drying.


Step 1

Determine which articles of clothing have white streaks caused by laundry detergent. Although white streaks are easy to see on darkly colored clothing, the presence of white streaks on any piece of clothing indicates the whole load has been affected.

Step 2

Set your washing machine on the "Rinse" cycle. Allow the drum to fill with water before adding the affected clothing.

Step 3

Place the affected clothing and items into the washing machine drum. You may need to press down firmly to get all the items to fit inside the drum. Ensure that water covers all items so a thorough rinse can occur.


Step 4

Close the washing machine's lid and wait for the "Rinse" cycle to complete. Washing machines automatically follow a "Rinse" cycle with a "Spin" cycle. Wait for the washing machine to stop spinning. Some washing machines have alternating "Rinse" and "Spin" cycles. If this is the case with your washing machine, wait until all cycles are complete.

Step 5

Remove items from the washing machine and examine them for white streaks. "Rinse" cycles should remove all traces of undissolved detergent. Dry the items as usual.



Eva Talent

A professional writer since 1994, Eva Talent was trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army. She received two Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal for journalistic excellence. Her press releases are frequently featured on the websites of the Department of Defense and the Army. Talent holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan.