White Streaks on my Clothes After Washing

Why Are There White Streaks on my Clothes After Washing?

There’s nothing more annoying than taking your clothes out of the washing machine, to find that the job has to be redone! 

A common problem when it comes to laundry, is white streaks. What are they? Why are they ruining our washes? And how can we stop them in future? Read on to find out! 

Cause 1: Undissolved Detergent

White Streaks on Clothes due to undissolved detergent

The most likely reason for the appearance of white streaks is undissolved detergent. Make sure you’re using the correct amount by checking the instructions on the side of your detergent bottle/box. 

A good tip for powdered detergent is to put it directly into the drum before loading clothes, giving it more time to dissolve. When washing with cold water, manually dissolve the correct amount of detergent in a bowl of warm water and pour it into the drum. 

Make sure you clean your dispensers every now and again, as they could be affecting the quality of the wash. Simply remove them and clean with a couple of cups of hot water mixed with half a cup of distilled vinegar. Then run a quick cycle without any laundry in the drum to finish the job!


Cause 2: Using Fabric Softener Incorrectly

white streaks on clothes when using Fabric Softener Incorrectly

White streaks could appear if you use fabric softener incorrectly! Ensure to use the dispenser (don’t pour directly onto clothes!) and lean towards the lower side of the recommended amount. As before, remember to clean the dispenser every now and again.


Cause 3: Clogged Water Filter

white streaks on clothes caused by clogged water filter

It is essential to clear out the filter and check for clogs regularly. This can be done by opening the small door at the bottom of your machine and allowing it to drain. You may need to get your hands dirty and help a couple of clogs on their way out! 

Put a bowl or tupperware box underneath to catch anything that flows out! If you’re still having drainage problems after this, it might be worth calling the manufacturer for further assistance!


Cause 4: Overloading Your Washing Machine

washing machine overload

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, do not overload your washing machine! Piling too many items in doesn’t allow space for the detergent and water to properly get to work. It might take double the time, but always load your washer correctly, and you’ll reap the rewards (i.e., clean clothes and no streaks!). 


Cause 5: Dirty Washing Machine

white streaks on clothes caused by dirty washing machine

Make sure to clean your washing machine at least once every six months. That way, you can clear out any residue leftover from dirt, detergent, and whatever else has been chucked around in there. 


Cause 6: Hard Water

white streaks on clothes caused by hard water

In some instances, you may find that hard water isn’t working well with the detergent you have. If this is the case, you may need to take some steps to adapt your washing slightly (i.e. 25% more detergent and a higher water temperature).


Getting Rid of White Streaks

Now that you know how to prevent white streaks in future, it’s time to sort out the damage that has been done up to now! 

Don’t worry, it’s thankfully not irreversible! All you need to do is rewash your clothes at the hottest temperature possible for that item (read the label if you’re unsure!). However, the trick is this time don’t use detergent or fabric softener, but opt for a cup of distilled vinegar instead.

If the streaks have dried onto your laundry, you might require an extra step before following the instructions above. Soak the item in a bucket of warm water with oxygen-based bleach (great for stain removal!) and leave overnight. 

There you have it! A number of pretty simple explanations as to why your washing may have streaks on it, how to prevent it in future, and what to do to get rid of them!