Author Topic: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?  (Read 1367 times)

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bonyk

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Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« on: December 27, 2012, 02:21:18 PM »
Random question, but I figured someone here would have the answer:

As of late, my laundry has been very dingy looking.  I'm using the same detergent I always have.  Maybe I'm not using enough?  Could there be something wrong with the water?  I live in an apartment, and the water in our unit has been clear.  I assume it's the same line running to the washer.  Is there anyway to save clothes once they have that icky look to them?

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 02:25:03 PM »
Have you tried a washing machine cleaner?  It may just need a good cleaning out.  Is the agitator working as it ought?  I have long hair and I shed, so I have to make sure that hair isn't wrapped around the bottom of the agitator keeping it from doing its job.


camlan

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 02:25:20 PM »
Depends on what is causing the icky look.

One thing that can make clothes look dingy is, ironically, using too much detergent. Try washing a load of clothes with no detergent. Check the machine after it's been running for a few minutes to see if there are any suds in the water. If there are, your detergent isn't getting completely rinsed out.

If that's the case, try washing everything with no detergent a couple of times to see if the look of the clothing improves.
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CakeBeret

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 02:28:39 PM »
I find that I need to wash my washing machine every so often. I set it to hot water, small load. I put about a cup of vinegar in the washer, and some bleach in the bleach dispenser. It seems to really help.
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MrsJWine

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 03:09:21 PM »
It could be a bunch of things. You might have a detergent build-up. A lot of detergents say you need to use more than you really do. I typically use about half detergent and white vinegar in place of fabric softener (either in the fabric softener compartment, or fill a Downy ball half full with vinegar). Fabric softener feels and smells nice, but it can kind of gum up your clothing. I started using vinegar a few years ago and now hate the feel of fabric softener in clothes.

It might be water quality, too. Do you have a water softener? Maybe it's out of salt, or your apartment stopped using it if there's one for the whole unit. Calgon is really great with hard water. I get it at Wal-mart in the detergent aisle.


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bonyk

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 06:25:37 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I guess I'll start with using less detergent. 

Now for an etiquette question:  I'd like to also try running the vinegar through the machines, but they're communal.  Do you think that's okay? 

MrsJWine

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 06:27:38 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I guess I'll start with using less detergent. 

Now for an etiquette question:  I'd like to also try running the vinegar through the machines, but they're communal.  Do you think that's okay?

I can't think of any reason it would hurt. It might even help. The small amount of vinegar you use isn't going to get into other people's clothes, but it might keep the machines a little cleaner.


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Arrynne

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 06:32:29 PM »
Vinegar in the laundry doesn't make your clothes smell vinegary.  I would much rather share with someone that uses vinegar than someone that uses overly scented soap or chlorine bleach.  Bleach spots never come out. 

VorFemme

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 07:54:05 PM »
Running HOT water (no soap and vinegar optional) is what I do for the first load at our time share property - especially if someone has been putting laundry powder in either the fabric softener or bleach dispensers (either they don't read the instructions on the inside of the lid at all or they can't read English & their machines "back home" work differently).

Just hot water will do wonders for buildup....if you want to run towels through with the hot water (helps remove some of the build up of "stuff" from the tub and agitator paddles more quickly) you can.  It depends on if it is a machine in my unit (run the vinegar & hot water) or a communal laundry area (run just the hot water).  If it is a coin operated laundry room (we did NOT buy a unit there - we did stay there twice on an exchange program), then I use very little soap & warm water for the first load (or hot water & bleach for a load of white cotton things) then keep using THAT same machine until I'm done because I know it is clean.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 11:14:06 PM by VorFemme »
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SamiHami

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 10:14:26 PM »
Another vinegar fan here. I use a Downy ball with about a 1/4 cup of vinegar in it for each load. It really does make the soap rinse out better and I haven't had a problem with dinginess. I also think you'd be fine running some vinegar through the other machines; it will only make them cleaner for the other users, so it's a good deed.

Oh, and I also use about 1/2 the recommended amount of soap. They really do tell you to use way too much. I guess they figure the faster you go through it the more you'll buy and the higher their profits.

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bonyk

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2012, 08:43:27 AM »
Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you smart people!  It totally makes sense that there's nasty build-up in one of the two machines, because about half of my clothes look dingy and half look fine.  The machines are coin operated, but it's worth the money to get them both on-track again.

Thanks everybody!

kherbert05

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2012, 09:23:09 AM »
I used vinegar as a "fabric softener" for years including, when I was in an apartment using communal washing machines. I also ran them with straight water/vinegar before running them with my clothes. One neighbor objected. I spoke to the management.
1. They confirmed vinegar did not harm the machines
2. I was using them in off times when usually only one other person (who also cleaned the machines before using them) was doing laundry at that time.
3. I was having skin reactions from the residue left by other people's detergents. (Totally my issue, according to an ER nurse the reaction might be because some laundry products have peanut products/protein in them)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 09:28:37 AM by kherbert05 »
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VorFemme

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 12:53:24 PM »
Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you smart people!  It totally makes sense that there's nasty build-up in one of the two machines, because about half of my clothes look dingy and half look fine.  The machines are coin operated, but it's worth the money to get them both on-track again.

Thanks everybody!

This is why I will wash the white cottons needing bleach FIRST when I am using a coin operated machine - because then I know that machine is clean for my delicates in cold water - that will be hung up to dry instead of put into the dryer, with the rest of the loads.

But I don't use a coin operated machine often (after a hurricane was the last time - no power at home).

I also run the dishwasher empty once in a while - with vinegar & then with bleach - to get the "gunk" and build up out of it...
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jpcher

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Re: Why is my laundry so dingy looking lately?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 03:00:32 PM »
Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Thank you smart people!  It totally makes sense that there's nasty build-up in one of the two machines, because about half of my clothes look dingy and half look fine.  The machines are coin operated, but it's worth the money to get them both on-track again.

Thanks everybody!

I think that you should talk to the apartment managers about this and get them to clean (proper maintenance) the machines.