Have you recently noticed brown flakes on clothes after washing?
You might have tried to wipe them off after you’ve taken your washing out of the machine.
Then, the next time you do another load of washing, there they are again!
If you’re seeing brown flakes on your clothes after you remove them from the washing machine, there’s obviously a reason.
Read on to find out the possible causes and solutions for this phenomenon of brown flakes on clothes after washing.
What causes brown flakes in the washing machine?
Many people have the problem of finding these unsightly black or brown flakes on clothes after washing. There’s a lot of speculation about what causes them.
Some theories about what causes brown flakes after washing are:
- Build-up of dirt in the washing machine drum
- Hard water
- Build up of fabric softener
- Too much soap
- Never washing with warm or hot water
- Type of washing machine.
What’s causing the problem might be obvious to you. If not, you might have to try changing your washing habits to see if that helps.
Sludge build-up in washing machines
When there are brown flakes on clothes, there are some common factors. The two main ones are:
- Using fabric softener
- Having a top-loading machine.
Most people find it happens because of a sludge build-up in the machine, also known as ‘scrud’. The sludge is a waxy build-up that happens when fabric softener comes in contact with washing detergent.
When you wash modern cloth nappies in your machine, remember not to use fabric softener. It causes the fabric to repel liquid, which stops your nappies from absorbing it.
Brown sludge in top-loading washing machines
If you’ve noticed brown sludge in your top-loading washing machine, it’s likely you’re also a frequent user of fabric softener. This seems to be a common problem for people who use fabric softener in their top-loading washing machines.
You can look for alternatives to fabric softener:
- Wool balls
- Baking soda.
If the problem of the brown flakes is the fabric softener you use, using one of these instead might solve the problem.
If the problem disappears when you stop using fabric softener, continue whatever new method you’ve chosen.
How do I get rid of brown sludge in my washing machine?
Many people who experience brown or black flakes or sludge find vinegar to be a helpful remedy.
Try these methods:
- Run an empty load every week with hot water and vinegar
- Add vinegar to every load
- Run an empty load with hot water, vinegar and baking soda
- Stop using fabric softener
- Use wool balls
- Add lemon juice to an empty wash load.
Vinegar is a common household item that many people swear by for cleaning. Scientists have discovered the acetic acid in vinegar kills bacteria and viruses, including the influenza virus.
Vinegar is cheap and effective but you need to be careful not to over use it on appliances that have rubber seals.
Why is there black stuff on my clothes after washing?
If you must use a top-loading machine, you might have to clean inside the machine more often.
Many people find it helpful to do regular empty washes with:
- Hot water
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice.
Others have good luck with just water and vinegar. Some are proactive and add vinegar to every wash.
It’s been found this can avoid the problem of brown flakes or sludge.
Why is there lint all over my clothes after washing?
Like brown flakes, lint can also be a case of overuse of fabric softener.
Instead of adding wool balls to your wash, try using vinegar; it can help you work out whether the fabric softener is the problem. See what works for you.
Other options for avoiding lint are:
- Use fabric softener every other day
- Alternate fabric softener with vinegar
- Alternate fabric softener with wool balls
- Use vinegar instead of fabric softener
- Run an empty wash with hot water and vinegar once a week
- Run an empty wash with hot water and vinegar once a month.
What works for you will depend on the severity of your lint problem and what is causing it.
If you try different methods you’ll probably find a solution .
Suspicious brown flakes on clothes after washing
There are two cases when you should take brown or black flakes more seriously.
These are when the flakes are:
If your machine is older, the brown flakes could be rust from the machine. In this case, follow directions carefully on how to fix rust in a machine.
Mould is also much more serious than fabric softener build-up and must be treated properly.