What are these red spots i get on my clothes after i wash them

i’m noticing little red spots on my clothes, and i dont know what is causing them. is it bleach, or rust or what?

Ooh, I get those too, but not consistently, and I’ve never figured out what’s causing it. Usually just one item in the load gets “hit,” like one t-shirt, or one pair of shorts. The spots do wash out after a couple more trips through the washing machine.

It can’t be bleach, because I don’t use any. It can’t be fabric softener, for the same reason. I don’t think it can be rust, because my washing machine is quite new, and doesn’t have any rust on it, anywhere. It can’t be crystals of powdered detergent sticking to the clothes, because I use a liquid detergent.

I’ll be watching this thread!

I have well water and it has a high iron content, so I often get rust on my wash. (I tell people that this is why I pay to have my shirts dry-cleaned, but the truth is, I’m a lazy slug.)

If you have well water, i would guess you have the same.

If not, perhaps your dryer is old enough to have started rusting, and that is doing it.

Good ideas, but neither is applicable in my case, at least. In fact, I’ve noticed the red spots on the clothes before they hit the dryer, which rules that out completely. My water is municipal, and comes from the Potomac River, so its mineral content isn’t very high.

I live in bloomington, and there are several limestone mines here, maybe that is partially why i am getting rust stains on my clothes (if they are rust stains).

I dont know if limestone would signify alot of iron in the water though, or if there is a connection.

I get those a lot too. And it definitely seems to be something in the washer, not the dryer. Unfortunately, I have never been able to get the spots out. A while back my wife and I suspected that maybe something was coming in contact with the little leather patch above the back pocket on some jeans, but then she had a spot appear on something that was washed in a completely white load, so we ruled that out.

My suspicion is that there is a little rusting piece of metal, like a paper clip or something, that has gotten stuck under the agitator, and if something sits in the washer in contact with it long enough before going in the dryer, it will cause a stain. But that’s just a WAG.


according to that its either rust or acid. I wonder if there is anything i can put in with the load to take care of this?

Or i can just go to one of the other 16 laundromats in town. the apartment complex im at has (coin operated :D) laundry faciliites, so i always use those.

Truth is, they’re blood spots from the sock gnomes who didn’t make it out of the washing machine safely. While they do not always manage to get a sock during the wash cycle, the gnomes always put in an appearance. I learned this when I got a front-loading washing machine with a glass window on the door–it’s such a thrill when you spy a gnome in the machine looking for a sock! Anyway, they get out the same way they get in: through the pump. If the pump actuates before they get out…the poor little buggers will sometimes cling to the outside of the pump for several minutes while their legs get badly mangled. If they manage to hang on until the pump stops, blood & bits of flesh will wash back into the machine and soil your garments.

Thats weird because i saw the high priest and he assured me i was immune to trolls, fairies, gnomes and werewolves until at least spring of 2007. Do you think he sold me some bad ampulets?

Ampulets? Now that’s just crazy!

Huh… I always thought sock gnomes hung out in the dryer, not the washer. (I figured they came in through the dryer vent.) I guess you learn something new every day… :smiley:

Most likely it is rust spots.

I use iron out. I put it in the water before putting my whites in and it prevents the rust spots. Yes you wash the clothes in the iron out. It is only needed for whites because dyed clothes do not receive the rust stain and iron out would ruin them anyway.

My theory is that it is the hard water deposits on the edges of the drum holes that are actually rusting, not the drum itself. When the washer spins it presses the clothes into those holes and exposes them to the rusting hard water deposits.

Another option is to filter/soften your water but I have not tried that and it seems to be less sure fire and much more expensive.

Since it’s clearly well past the expiry date of the OP’s ampulets, I would love to hear if a solution has been found.

I moved away and bought new clothes.