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The past week our clothes have been coming out of the washing machine with these black, mold looking spots caked on to them. They are greenish-black and feel rubbery. But I do not see any mold growing on my machine. Any idea what might be causing this? Is it something I might be able to fix myself?

moldy bib

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    They look like a bunch of round dots. Like something coming through the holes in the tub.
    – RMDman
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 1:27
  • I'd vote for grease or oil leaking from the machine innards. I've had a few loads ruined when such grease/oil seals failed. Fix would require major machine disassembly and machine-specific knowledge AFAICT.
    – kreemoweet
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 1:03

3 Answers 3

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Did you recently wash footwear that had rubber dots on the soles for friction? And did many of the dots disappear from the footwear?

Happened to me once. The dots dispersed and ended up as a gooey mess on subsequent wash loads.

I used a flammable solvent (not in the washing machine!) to remove the spots, but if this is what happened to you, it would be safer to find a laundry pre-wash what will clean the spots.

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Mould wouldn't feel rubbery, and spots looking like that would mean mould growth - which there wasn't time for unless you left stuff in there for a couple of days.

So I reckon something rubbery has perished in there. Hopefully not part of the machine, but something that shouldn't have gone in there and needs to come out.

You don't indicate how hot you wash, but it might be worth running washing machine cleaner through on the hottest wash it will do, or washing rags with plenty of detergent, again very hot.

First though, I'd clean everything accessible by hand, including round the door seal, scrubbing if necessary. If there's a drain port at the bottom front, I'd drain through that too, before and after the hot wash, and even clean that area (it tends to smell, so you'll want to clean it once it's open. I might even pour a kettle of near-boiling water into the drum* with the drain port open, and see what comes out.

Two precautions:

  • After cleaning, test with something you don't care about before anything precious.
  • Do it when you're around to keep an eye on it, just in case it is a rubber part of the machine that's failed and it starts to leak.

* This implicitly assumes a front-loader, which is all I've ever owned. I don't think it would be worth it on a top-loader

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After much searching, I believe this is mold that has gone through the wash. If I do a load of clothes each night it does not happen.

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