What Causes Flecks of Grease in Laundry From Washing Machine?

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A washing machine is designed to clean clothes, so having grease spots on clothes after washing can be frustrating.

If you've ever thrown a load of a laundry in the washer looking fairly clean and then see grease spots on them after pulling them out, there may be a problem. Don't throw your washer out just yet. Although grease spots after washing clothing is not normal and may cause much frustration, it may be a situation that can be remedied. There are three possible culprits for grease spots on clothing after washing.


Old Liquid Fabric Softener

If you use liquid fabric softener, a clogged dispensing line may be the culprit. As fabric softener heats, the excess amount left in the dispenser will turn dark brown and leave stains on clothing. By dissembling the dispensing line, you can check for build-up. Clean up the build-up in the dispensing shaft and then try to do a few loads with no fabric softener to see whether the grease spots remain. If grease spots remain, build-up in the dispenser may not be the cause of the flecks of grease.


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Transmission Seal Failure

A more common problem is transmission seal failure. This tends to happen often in older machines or frequently overloaded machines. The transmission is what makes the drum spin. If the seal is bad or in need of repair, grease will enter the washing machine, causing grease to end up on clothing. Check the transmission by filling up the washing machine with water (no clothes or soap) and turning it on for 30 seconds. This will allow the agitator to remove itself from the shaft. Turn the washer off and remove the agitator. Drain the water from the washer and inspect the tub for lubrication. Call for repairs if lubrication is present. If you do not have a warranty or a maintenance agreement, consider replacing the machine, especially if it is old.


Overly Greasy Clothing

By washing ungreasy clothes with clothes loaded in grease, it is possible that the grease may transfer to the other clothing. This is not as likely as the two culprits but is a possibility. Sometimes a washer cannot completely clean grease-soaked clothing the first time around and may even leave a grease residue around the tub of your washer. Next time, pretreat greasy clothing with a degreaser and wash greasy clothing by itself. After washing greasy clothes, clean the tub of your washer with vinegar and hot water.



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