Stain Removal on Clothes Stained by Washer

Updated: Jul. 30, 2019

Eliminate irritating clothes washer stains with a simple cleaning

FH10NOV_STAINC_01-2Family Handyman
Eliminate irritating clothes washer stains by cleaning away crud around the top and agitator. Then run a special cleaner through a wash cycle.

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Solutions to clothes washer stains

Photo 1: Stain problem

Stains that later wash out usually indicate a dirty clothes washer.

Photo 2: The cause

Crud tends to build up in certain areas of the washer.

Photo 3: Cleaning solution

Run a cycle with a washer cleaner to solve the problem.

If you get grease-like marks on your clothes after a laundry cycle, and they wash out in the next load, don’t despair. It’s a sure bet they’re caused by detergent and fabric softener that have congealed on the underside of the agitator or along the top edge of the washer basket.

To eliminate the problem, first clean any crud from the gap along the top of the washer basket. Then remove the agitator and clean the gunk off the underside. Since the agitator removal procedure varies by manufacturer, go to and search for your make and model. After youve cleaned the agitator, reinstall it and fill the tub with hot water. Next, dump in 8 oz. of washing machine cleaner (Washer Magic is one brand; buy from or applianceparts stores) and run it for a full cycle without any clothes. That should eliminate the problem. If not, repeat the procedure.