Mystery Stain From Dryer - Looks Oily

by Cyndi

Cyndi has asked for help with dryer oil stains on fabric, which are a mystery stain to her

Cyndi asks:

I'm not really sure where this stain comes from, but it's on dark clothes. I wash and dry my clothes with no stains, but then I pull them from the dryer to hang them and they sometimes have a small spot stain - it can be anywhere on the shirt (seems like it's always a t-shirt too).

It's maybe the size of a quarter in general and it looks like an oil stain maybe...I have tried treating and rewashing to no avail.

I use powdered laundry soap (commercial, 2 T), vinegar for a rinse all in a front load dryer. And no dryer sheets in the dryer. There are not other greasy oily clothes in the wash.

I can't seem to figure out how to get the stain out - or what it's from - any ideas?

Taylor says:

Cyndi, I'm stumped.

When I first started reading your problem I thought you were going to tell me it looked like a rust spot, which can happen in hard water, especially if you use chlorine bleach.

I also immediately thought of a fabric softener stain, which can look greasy, and can be caused either by liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets.

However, since you don't use dryer sheets, and if it looks like oil I really don't know what it is. Could it be something in your actual dryer that the clothes are touching which is causing the stain?

You may want to look into your dryer drum and make sure no parts are beginning to rust or come apart that could cause such a mark.

In addition, check out this article about how to treat mystery stains, which might help you out.

Any readers got any other ideas? Let's help Cyndi out!

In addition, if you need stain removal help yourself, be sure to write in so someone can give you some advice.

Either me (but unfortunately I didn't so such a great this time) or perhaps another reader!

You can ask your stain removal help questions here, or read other questions and answers already submitted.

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The Stain Is From Your Washer, Not Your Dryer

by SR101 Reader

An SR101 reader wrote in to help Cyndi with her dryer stains.

SR101 Reader says:

I had a similar issue. I asked my repairman what it could be and he said it could be the transmission seal leaking and causing the stains, which makes sense.

Not too much longer the transmission went out. Now we got a new one and no stains, but trying to find out how to get rid of the stains from the old washer.

Taylor says:

possible causes and cures of washing machine stains
Thanks for the help, and sharing what happened to you.

You make a good point -- there are some stains that come from the washing machine itself, and you just don't notice them until you've put the clothes through the dryer too, and are taking them out to fold.

Therefore, a good step in identifying where these mystery stains are coming from is to make sure if they're really coming from the washing machine or the dryer.

(You can read some information about washing machine stains here).

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My Dryer Stains Were Caused By Worn Out Glides

by Philip

Philip says:

I had similar mystery stains.

Later I realized my dryer had gradually gotten more noisy. I found that the "glides" supporting the drum in front were worn out.

They have a backing of cork material, which I think gets burned, breaks off in little bits, and goes into the clothes.

I won't know for sure until I have a stain-free half year, but since I've replaced those glides I haven't had any more stains since.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for this tip Philip.

I will confess I had no idea what dryer glides were into you mentioned them, and so I did a bit of research. I found the photo shown above, which shows a do it yourself home repair of the drum glide and main bearing.

In addition, here's a video from Whirpool which shows how to replace this part, which can hopefully help you identify it better to see if this is the problem causing your own mystery stains in the dryer.

Photo courtesy of danboarder

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I'm Having The Same Issue Too And I'm Completely Stumped

by SR101 Reader

I got this comment from an SR101 reader responding to Cyndi's problem with her mystery dryer stains.

SR101 Reader says:

I have been having the very same issue and am completely stumped.

With twin boys, stains are pretty common but this is happening to shirts that are not stained before I wash them!

I use Country Save detergent with Borax and I check every shirt for fugitive stains before I put anything in the dryer.

Then, once I pull the shirts out of the dryer, some will have tiny spots that look like grease on them. I did have a bit of success with Oxi Clean Power Gel but it didn't work every time it has happened which only deepens the mystery!!

Taylor says:

Sorry to hear you are also having troubles. This seems, unfortunately, to be a common issue.

I know at least one reader (above) said they thought the stains were really coming from the washing machine, and I think that can be the problem sometimes. On the other hand, in your case since you specifically look for the stains after they come out of the washing machine that doesn't seem to be your issue.

That means these darn stains are most likely caused by a multitude of things! I'm still doing research on how to deal with it. I know another reader (see below) had some luck with a different laundry stain remover, so maybe you could try one of these and see how it goes! Good luck!

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I'm Getting Straight Dry Brown Marks On Clothes From My Dryer

by SR101 Reader

An SR101 Reader wrote in to share the problem she's been having with her dryer staining her clothing.

SR101 Reader's Question:

I wash and dry my clothes and they come out of the dryer with long brown stains on them.

They don't look greasy at all.

I thought the dryer burnt my clothes but I used Biz and some scrubbing and they came out just fine.

But, the marks are on everything now. I've tried heavy loads, light load and half dry loads but still getting marks on everything.

Taylor's Answer:

Before putting anymore clothes in your dryer check and see if they are already stained, just to make sure the stain is not coming from the washing machine.

Assuming it is coming from the dryer, it sounds to me like something may be stuck on the inside of your dryer drum that is causing these marks and the clothes rub across it.

I would inspect it carefully, and also use a damp cloth with just a little soap and water and rub the inside of your dryer drum thoroughly seeing if you can see or feel anything that would be causing the problem. You can get some tips for dryer cleaning here, since exactly what you need to do may vary depending on what is inside it.

If that is not the problem for you, I am pretty stumped, since you say it doesn't look greasy or oily at all.

Anyone else have any suggestions of what she might need to do? Have you experienced anything similar before? You can share your cleaning tips here.

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I Figured Out What Was Causing My Brown Streaks -- Needed To Replace Felt Gaskets In My Dryer Drum

by NancyLou

I too was having a problem with brown "streaks" on random pieces of laundry when taking them out of the dryer.

After inspecting inside the drum (with a flashlight) I discovered there were small gaps between the felt gasket and the back of the drum. The gasket is kept in place with a yellow-brown glue. Over time, because of clothing rubbing on the felt as they are tumbled, the felt begins to pull away from the metal drum.

The marks on the clothing are made from getting caught in the gaps, whether from the glue or rust I'm not sure.

I had the felt replaced and the problem stopped. Until a year or so later, after inspecting the inside of the drum I found the same problem again.

I'm going to look at new dryers and see if they too use felt gaskets. It's not feasible to replace the felt gasket every year, it has to be done by a technician.

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Don't Know What Causes Stains From Dryer But Dawn's The Trick For Removing Them

Several readers have now shared this same solution for the stains from their dryer.

Carrie says:

We get them too.

Brand of detergent/fabric softener doesn't seem to matter.

I find that it's almost always on the FRONT of the shirt and almost always on t-shirts or polo shirts, which makes me think it's not so much the dryer doing it.

It's frustrating, but Dawn does the trick. When I'm hanging up the clothes and I spot one of those...well, SPOTS...I douse the spot in Dawn (if it can degrease an oil-spill penguin, it'll degrease a mystery spot) and set it aside until I run laundry again. It always comes out fine after that. It's just irritating!

Tina says:

I too am from Iowa and get the same things on my dark T-shirts. I have observed and find they can go into the washer with NO SPOTS and come out of the dryer WITH spots.

I have found that scrubbing the spots with a small scrub brush after dousing the spot with the original blue Dawn liquid dish detergent (NOT dishwasher), and re-washing with warm water will get the dumb things out.

But, I also keep my eye open for the next time around. So frustrating. I think it's the water - it smells and tastes real chlorine-y too.

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your tip for removing these stains Carrie and Tina.

It is amazing to me all the uses dish soap has for stain removal!

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I Remove These Mystery Stains With Lestoil

by Becky

Becky says:

Lestoil reviews and uses
I have the same mystery stains. I saturate the spots with Lestoil, let them sit for ten minutes and wash again.

It works probably 95% of the time. The downfall is the Lestoil odor.

Taylor says:

Thanks for this additional suggestion for how to remove these stains!

Lestoil is really great for many types of greasy stains, so it doesn't surprise me that it would work for this too.

Lestoil Stain Remover & Cleaner {Referral Links}

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I'm Getting What Looks Like Rust Streaks On Light Colored Clothes

by SR101 Reader

I sometimes get what looks like a rust streak on my light colored clothes. I believe they are coming from my dryer, but can't find where and can't get them out.

I just found one on a brand new pair of slacks! Does anyone else have this problem and how do you get them out?

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After Much Trial & Error We Believe It Was Water From Our Water Heater

by Lynn

We've had the same mystery grease stain problem too! We've been fighting it for a few months with tears and total frustration, but I think I have the cause!! So these stains appear only on dark clothes and only on cotton (not blends, but 100% cotton). They would mostly appear on my kids' clothes because they're the ones that wear Tshirts in my house.

I first figured they must be fabric softener stains. So I stopped liquid fabric softener. Still there.

So I figured it must be my stain removers that I use so I stopped adding Borax, stopped treating with Shout Advanced (eliminating one at a time to try to find the problem). They'd still appear.

So then I switched to an all clear, natural type detergent and stopped using all dryer sheets. They were still there.

So then I read online and people said that it was probably motor oil leaking from the machine. Since I had eliminated all other possibilities, it had to be this. So even though we have no extra money to throw around and even though our washer/dryer set wasn't that old, we got rid of them, got new ones (well almost new from a family member). So now, the stains would have to be gone... yeah, still happening! (I cried so hard)

Since it wasn't the machine, we gave the washer to my Mother-in-law. She was not getting any stains.

The only thing that was the same was the water we were using. It had to be the water. So that meant either the water softener or the water heater. Since the softener is cheaper, we had a fella come out and check it. He ran water tests and everything was normal. (I cried again)

So I called a plumber and he explained that in the Madison (WI) area with American Standard water heaters, they were actually "gelling up." We didn't anyone come check it, but we thought we'd drain our water heater (which you're supposed to do every year and we never had and nobody else does either). So we drained it, expecting some gel to come out. Well the water came out a little dirty looking at first, so we put some in a glass to observe but were totally stumped and disappointed because it appeared to not be our problem.

The next day my husband went to dump the glass out and the nastiness had totally separated and the water was on the top and on the bottom was this greasy, milky stuff. Not exactly gel, but some greasyish stuff that sure could probably cause some grease stains!

So we bought a new water heater (right before Christmas, we're really excited about that bill). So hopefully life will be easier again. In case you want the science, my husband has been doing all this research, and this is what we've pieced together: In the center of the Water Heater there is an "anode rod." If they're made with aluminum (which many are) sometimes the minerals (stuff) in the water can break down the aluminum (or chemically reacts, I guess I don't know the verb), but it creates "aluminum hydroxide," which is the stuff you find at the bottom of your tank if you drain it. It isn't the more like metal/calcium looking chunks that are normal when you drain your water heater. It is impossible to get rid of in the water heater because it coats the tank and it makes your water heater less efficient (which is how many people find out they have it, they call a plumber because their water heater isn't working super great anymore, in our case, we found out this way.

If the stains persist, I will repost an update, but we really think our horrible mystery is solved (a million dollars and tears later)

I really hope this helps someone because it feels like we are the only people ever to go through this!

Photo courtesy of

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I'm Getting These Dryer Stains Too!

by Jen

Jen wrote in to share that she was having a similar problem with dryer stains, and also responding to Cyndi's question.

Jen says:

I am having the exact same problem! It is always on my dark clothes and it seems like an oily stain.

I have front load washer and dryer, I always use liquid Purex, sometimes use dryer sheets, but there doesn't seem to be any consistency with the spots.

Luckily, after I notice them I can spray them with a stain remover (I use Shout) and re-wash. Sometimes it takes a few washings, but it always comes out. How strange.

I was just doing an internet search to see what I could find and stumbled upon your question. I thought about contacting Whirlpool (the brand of my machines) and see what ideas they might have. Good luck!

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for sharing your experience too Jen.

It really sounds like you may be getting a fabric softener stain because it shows up more on dark colored clothing and you can remove it with a laundry stain remover. However, if you also get them when you don't use dryer sheets, that may not be the problem.

Remember though, just like I told the reader above, sometimes these stains are just noticed once you remove your clothes from the dryer, even though the stains themselves may come from the washing machine. You may need to check some of your clothes as you put them in the dryer to try to figure it out more.

I would love to hear from even more people who have mystery dryer stains, or washing machine stains, to hear what has worked for you in removing them, or figuring out what caused them to hopefully help more readers. Unfortunately, this can be a pretty common problem, but there are lots of potential causes of it that have to be investigated. You can share your own experience here.

Photo by sylvar

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Comments for I'm Getting These Dryer Stains Too!

Click here to add your own comments

by: Anonymous

When I wash my clothes I put them in with no stains, I use fabric softener sheets in dryer, when I take them out they have stains?

I can't get the stain out of my yoga pants!!!
by: Katelin

I was washing my Hollister yoga pants and they came out of the dryer with blotchy stains all over them. So I tried to wash them again and they didn't come out. I need help, they were my favorite pair and now they're ruined!!!

Black burn marks from the clothes dryer on a Carhart coat
by: Theresa

My son went to a friend's house after playing for hours outside in the snow. The friend's mom was nice enough to throw his coat in the dryer. When my son pulled his coat out of the dryer there was black burn marks all over the shoulders and hood of the coat. I have tried Shout, Clorox, Oxiclean, hydrogen peroxide, with no luck. Please, if there is anything else that will work I'm willing to try. Not happy he only had the coat about 3 days.

Dryer lint staining clothes?
by: Alexis

I’m not sure what happened in my dryer but after drying something blue (maybe denim or a sweatshirt) my dryer started only having dark blue lint and now anything light in the dryer gets stained / tinted with this blue lint and it permanently ruins our clothes!! We remove the lint every cycle too (there is always SO MUCH - more than usual since this problem started happening) not sure what to do!

Brand new machines!
by: Linda H.

My new Maytag washer and dryer are leaving purple stains on my clothes and sheets.

OMG, thank you!!!!
by: Jen

Oh my word, thank you so much for sharing! We've been battling with this issue for probably 8 years now and we've tried so many things: new washer and dryer, new water softener, every laundry detergent under the sun, no fabric softener, etc. We didn't always have this problem though. I've even thought about having our well tested to see if there's something in our water. We built our house and for about the first 8 years, everything was fine. The water heater really makes sense as we haven't looked at that as our issue. I think a new water heater is on our horizon!

wasn't washer, but at first thought it was
by: Kim

Thought it was the washer. Had it checked and replaced. New washer same problem! Dryer is also relatively new, one year. No idea what is going on. Thought it was a leaking main gasket in the washer, bought a new machine! Still getting the stains. Use dryer sheets and now will try without. Blotchy stains on t-shirts. Where could they be coming from?

Remove stain with white bar soap
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem and don't know where the stains come from. They are easy to remove however. I wet the area, rub it with white bar soap and throw it back in the laundry. 9 times out of 10 it removes the stain.

Oil spots after using a tumble dryer
by: Mel

I had this problem and after a few times on different loads that it happened I sat and watched a cycle and found out what was happening. If an item of clothes had straps or was small it got caught in the drum at the bottom, then as it turned it went to the top but stayed there as the gap wasn't big enough to carry it round, so the item kept twisting and when I removed it the part that was stuck was covered in drum grease. I presume that with it being on other clothes in previous cycles that the said item come loose and then transferred the grease to other items.

Me Too!
by: Mike Davey

I get these also- only on colored T shirts and Polo shirts. I have brand new LG washer and dryer, they work great- so it is not them. I have had these stains in other washers and dryers before in another state- so its not the water. The common enemy in my mind is the dryer sheets or liquid softener so I will go without and see how that goes. It is so strange that you only get them in small areas on the fronts of specific clothing items and not others. It may be the initial tumbling when the dryer sheet is fresh- contacting these items more often (larger, heavier) than socks and underwear. Or maybe we don't notice on black socks and other items.

I will try using dawn on the stains and rewash when I get them. Always look for the easiest fix first!

oil like stains that happen in the washer or dryer
by: Anonymous

My daughter just pointed out these types of stains on her clothes. In the dryer vent I found those black crumbs from artificial turf (I believe it is made out of recycled tires). After playing soccer her socks and clothes are full of them. My theory is that these melt in the dryer and cause the oil stains. Does anyone else have this issue? Plus, I have no idea how to get the stains out.

Oil spots on clothes after drying
by: Darrell

Having the same issue and Google'd it. It is saying that the seals around the transmission in your washing machine are failing, allowing oil to enter the washer drum. Oil and water don't mix, so it ends up on your clothes.

by: Anonymous

Husband just found these brownish stains on all of his black T-shirts and shorts. He thinks it’s left over bleach from previous loads and I told him I haven’t used bleach. I just did laundry and nothing of mine was stained. Of course he will not believe me when I told him I think it’s the dryer, he still thinks it’s bleach even though I know it can’t be. Very frustrating as almost all his black stuff is now ruined.

Rust stains
by: Anonymous

I too, have been getting rust stains on clothing. I noticed drops of what looked like oil but smelled like metal. My husband got an answer on-line that when the lint filter is clogged this will happen. I empty the dryer filter after every load but do not clean out the hose on a regular basis. I use a vacuum attachment to get deeper. Today I noticed lots of rust spots on one of the dryer fins of the drum. There is a lot of life left in the dryer but I need ideas of what to use to cover the rust stains.

Water Heater
by: Jill love

So Lynn from Madison never wrote back if the stains stopped! I have the exact same problem. I’ve tried it all too. But have not replaced water heater... yet. So frustrated.

My dryer is the culprit
by: Anonymous

After reading this, I placed two dry white kitchen in the dryer plus a dryer sheet and run it for 20 minutes. Everything came out yellowish.

Oil stains from dryer
by: Anonymous

I use no dryer sheets either and get those oil stains on dark tee shirts as well. I do not have an old washer or dryer. Been rubbing stain with a bar of Ivory soap. Seems to always work. Just a bummer cuz you have to wash it again.

lint stopping it up
by: Anonymous

I was having the same problem. Found out my dryer was all stopped up with lint going outside, cleared all the lint out now it's working great. Hope this helps.

Rust stain
by: Anonymous

I had my son's raincoat come out with all of those brown rust stains. I didn't mean to put it in the dryer, well, I did. I thought it was ruined considering it is a rain coat with the outside being rain coat material. I was able to get all the stains mostly out. There is just small mostly undetectable remnants left. I used a Magic Eraser sponge! Worked on this special fabric. Not sure if it would work on other fabrics but wanted to post this suggestion for someone else to try.

by: Anonymous

I too thought it may be something leaking from the dryer. After purchasing a brand new washer and dryer, the same spots occurred! I have read comments that it could be the dryer sheets so I think I'll stop using them and see if that helps. Heard that balled up aluminum foil works in place of dryer sheets.

Streaks can come from washer OR dryer
by: Anonymous

Had streaks coming from washing machine - 1-2" long, tapered at ends, grease colored. Believe we had a bearing seal starting to leak as we started having balance issues constantly, too. Replaced machine, no streaks for several years.

Started again, but after inspecting dryer, we can clearly see that it is drum seal at back. So, now time to replace dryer. Both were 20+ years old, so we definitely got our money's worth!

For us, this happened only on my slick, thin garments (ladies' underwear, dressy ladies shirts or shells, polyester night shirts). Seems those are thin and light enough to slip into dirty pinch points to get the stain.

change the bearings in the dryer
by: Anonymous

You have to change the bearings in the dryer. Take the top off and then the front and the bearing assembly is located on inner side of door at top.

Tiny oil stains on tshirts
by: Anonymous

I believe these are caused by washing/drying in water that is too hot. I started making sure my clothes are washed and dried on warm and it eliminated the issue.

Stain removal on dryer soots
by: Anonymous

I found using an oxi-based based spray cleaner for pet stains meant for carpet and upholstery to work for me. Saturate thoroughly let set for 10 mins then wash. But I'm having the transmission seal checked on my washer!

Dawn liquid soap
by: Anonymous

I keep a bottle of Dawn liquid soap in my laundry room. When clothes come out of the dryer with these mystery spots I dab Dawn directly onto the spots and re wash the clothes. Works great!!

I've also tried a bar of Ivory soap which I would rub directly onto the spot, then rewash. Ivory soap worked about half the time, Dawn works almost every time.

sticky gluey type adhesive stain all over clothes!
by: Katherinesisland

Every day, I wash my clothes and theres a sticky adhesive type material stuck all over everyone's clothes.

I keep goo gone-ing them but then they have oil marks.


My daughters new clothes are damaged..:(

Similar issue
by: Anonymous

My dryer leaves brown streaks sometimes which come out with Shout if I spot the streak right away. Causation unknown.

brown marks on clothes
by: Karen

Thank you very much for posting this. The spots first appeared around the same time I got a new washer so I suspected the washer first. After reading your post I inspected the back of the dryer and ran a clean white cloth behind the felt and sure enough, the same color stain appeared. I thought the stains looked like the fabric was getting caught in something, so it all makes sense now. Thanks for helping solve the mystery.

black streaks on white sheets and pillowcases
by: Jennifer

My washer and dryer are brand new and I started noticing black streaks on my white sheets and pillowcases. I checked the drum and I didn't see anything. If anyone have experience this please advise me on what's the solution.

brown streaks on clothes
by: Anonymous

I have been using Fels Naphtha bar soap, scrubbing with a toothbrush, then rewashing and hoping the stain does not reappear which it sometimes does.

old washer could be the problem
by: Anonymous

If you have an old washer this could be the problem. I have this issue with my brand new washer and dryer, so it is still a mystery to me.

dark black grease or tar looking marks
by: Anonymous

I'm having the same problem-- nothing in my dryer- it's leaving dark black grease or tar looking marks. It's coming from the dryer, and there is nothing to cause this in my dryer. If you figure it out, let me know!

only on husband's dark colored pants
by: Anonymous

My husband gets them on his dark colored pants only. The stains almost remind me of what happens when you drop bleach on dark colors. It doesn't happen to my clothes. He does his own laundry. I am totally stumped. These are new machines.

Follow up regarding oily stains
by: Karen

The follow up: The service man said the stains were coming from the 'boot' or 'door bellow' (it's the rubber that goes around the machine after you open the door) from the washing machine. There was a little build up of 'greasy stuff' in this area. He claims that by cleaning this regularly (with 409, etc.) it will eliminate the grease stains on clothes. Will see, will update after I clean.

oil stain on shirts
by: Karen

I am having the same grease stain problem with a less than 2 year old LG dryer. I have experimented for the last couple of months to see if it was the washer or dryer, by washing some of the shirts (only appears on my husbands polo-like shirts) and hanging to dry then washing and drying in dryer. Never have stains if I hang shirts to dry, only after it comes out of dryer. So the culprit is dryer. I not only have spots of grease but almost invariably have half moon grease spots on most of his shirts after drying. I spray Resolve spot remover on them immediately and rewash and spots come out. But what a pain! I'm having a service man come out tomorrow to look at it.

Dryer oil type stains
by: Karen

You're not alone Cindy. Same thing happens in my dryer. Still haven't found a way to get it out!

Oily spots on T-shirts
by: TClark

My wife and I have this problem is spades! Here is what we have "deduced".

(1) It happens on almost all my T-Shirts (male) and only on the front.
(2) It does not happen on my wife's T-shirts.
(3) It does not appear to be on the shirts when they come out of the washer but APPEAR after drying.
(4) We have concluded that it is something to do with men, their T-shirts, and something they do.
(5) We think it is either deodorant, cologne, or possibly sweat combined with something. The dryer heat brings out the oily looking spots.

both washer and dryer causing problems
by: Phebe

I've had the same problem with stains. I figured out that the washer and dryer were both doing it. A collar or pinch of cloth gets caught or rubs into a crack on edge where the drum turns. They probably need a good cleaning. I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Here's what I do. Use a large mesh laundry bag, or two. Put nicer clothes in it when washing. It keeps them from rubbing in the cracks. I also turn other clothes inside out to help protect the outer part from stains. I have used stain remover and an old tooth brush to get the stains out. Sometimes it takes a few washings to get it out. If I use dryer sheets on a low heat cycle I get small oily speckles. I just don't use dryer sheets with low heat cycles.

Stains on ONE type of sheets after the dryer
by: Diane

I get the same stains on one type of sheets that I wash. But if I use a pre wash stick on the stains and wash them again the stains will come out. But the next time I dry them they were there again. Even after putting it on air dry only no heat. And going in the dryer tumbler and cleaning it. No other clothes are getting these things. What is it?

Out of the dryer - oily spots on the dark clothes
by: Mary D

Yes, it has been happening every since I have had my GE Dryer. Bought the set new. First thought it was coming from the water since I have old pipes. Not so, I put a filter on the water coming into my washing machine. Still have spots when clothes are taken out of the dryer.

dryer stain set
by: Anonymous

I got a stain that was set by putting it in the dryer by using carpet cleaner by oxy clean on it. It came right out by spraying it on a wet shirt. I tried everything else on it and this worked.

Grease marks from dryer
by: Kay

We had the same greasy stains on our shirts and solved the issue by replacing the 'dryer drum felt seal' on our front load dryer - which apparently keeps some of the lubricant from touching your clothes.

Once I figured out what it was, I also had pretty good luck removing set strains by scrubbing the stains with Dawn dish detergent.

Good Luck!

black marks
by: Anonymous

I get black marks on my clothes from the tumble dryer. I am going to ring the manufacturer to see if they have any idea as to why this is happening, but I have been cleaning them off with warm water and fairy liquid.

Brown streaks on whites
by: DeistReality

I had fine brown streaks on our whites, and hopefully I've fixed the problem. Where the dryer drum meets the felt insulator that goes around the whole drum there was this somewhat hard brown glue, something that came from inside the dryer I believe. I thought it was gum at first that may have been left in a pocket, but I now feel it's something that comes from within the dryer.

Anyway with some effort this hard, brown yet pliable substance that was blotted in a few places around where the drum meets the felt insulator did scrap off with a knife, or blade. Almost positive this will solve the problem that only clean whites will confirm.

Very simple problem to fix that I should have looked into a long time ago as my wife has been concerned about it for some time. Thanks to other people here talking about similar problems they sent me on a simple path to fix without the $150.00 service fee repairmen get just to walk in the door.

Replace back felt of the drum
by: Anonymous

Same problem, also came from the felt on the back of the drum. You have to replace and with the new felt comes the silicon to stick it. If it is done correctly you will have no more problems of cloth getting stuck in between the drum and the rest.

frustrating brown stains
by: Anonymous

I have the same thing happening! I wash brand new baby clothes that have never been worn and they've got stains on them already, it's so frustrating! Oh I wish I knew how to get them out and where it's coming from.

What else can we replace????
by: Melodie H

We have the same pesky stains!! First step was to replace water hoses going to washer. Did not work! We replaced both our washer and dryer. Did not work. We have since replaced our hot water heater, and had new plumbing installed in our house. The stains seemed to dissipate after replacing the plumbing, but after only a couple of months they were back with a vengeance. We, too, only have the issue on cotton/tshirts. I am beyond aggravated at this point.

by: Anonymous

Did changing your water heater tank eliminate your laundry stains?

Oily stains from water heater??
by: BrieMarie

I was wondering if the lady who replaced her water heater had luck with no more stains?? We too have had the oily stains for a few years, trying EVERYTHING to no avail. We actually bought a new washer and dryer and still have the stains. It is so frustrating. We are to the point of replacing our water heater but really want to know if it would be worth it. We have no other ideas as to what could be causing these stains.

Whites ruined
by: Lisa

All comments appreciated and helpful! Not yet found source, but have tried turning clothes inside out. For stains on whites, I dip a toothbrush in straight bleach and scrub directly on stain. Then rinse immediately before adding to load. Have had much success with this method.

Mystery oily spots
by: Kelly from TN

Every load of colored clothes that I wash has mysterious oily looking stains and they were not on the clothes before I put them in the washer. It even happens to brand new clothing. My husband's gray work shirts and blue jeans are ruined. I stopped using fabric softener and dryer sheets and the stains still appear. I tried using the blue dawn dish detergent to get the stains out but they don't go away! I even tried using natural chemical free powdered laundry detergent but the grease like spots still show up! I have 3 kids and I can't keep trashing clothes because of this! Please help!

Small brown circles
by: Anonymous

All of the clothing is coming out with what looks like a small circle burnt grill print on the clothing, both light and dark clothing. Looked inside of the dryer and the vent on the drum was completely black, like it caught fire! WHY? Seems like this may start on fire.

how to remove this stain?
by: Anonymous

Brand new set of sheets ruined. What will take take out the rust-like stain caused by dryer drum?

what was causing the brown streaks on our clothes
by: Molly

I have had the same problem. It was coming from the dryer. I had to have the belt replaced on the dryer drum. The clothes were getting stuck in it and causing it to put brown marks on a lot of our things. Hope this can help.

thank you!
by: Anonymous

This has been driving me nuts! Now I can go fix it! I can't get the stains out of my white shirts :( Any ideas?

RV washer/dyer combo caused my stains
by: Anonymous

After drying clothes in RV washer/dryer combo I have prints of tub type black stains all over clothes. Small circle prints?

Is it melted rubber?
by: Steve

Do your boys play sports on artificial turf? It may be caused by pieces of crumb rubber infill material that comes home with your kids after a game or practice. In the heat of the dryer the crumbs can melt. I'd wash again to ensure that the chemicals from the melted tires are off the kids clothing.

mystery stain
by: Amanda

I have the same problem! I always put Dawn dish soap on the spot and rewash and the stain is gone :)

Dryer stains certain shirts only - it's a mystery!
by: Joe

I have bought several shirts from a nationally known clothing store located in Freeport, Maine. Almost every one of a certain type of dress shirt comes out of the washer fine and if line dried looks great. When put in the dryer the shirt comes out with just a few spots that look like fabric burns. Cleaning, even professional dry cleaning, won't take the spots out. None of the other clothes do this. Even a different type of this same company's dress shirts. I have been sending them back as they guarantee them and the replacements do the same. The company could offer no explanation. Has anybody ran across this? I think it has something to do with the dryer heat and the treatment used to make the shirts wrinkle resistant.

Oil like splatter stains
by: Anonymous

I've ruined so many clothes I'm in tears. We replaced the washer and it's STILL happening! It must be the dryer but the repairman said there is nothing wrong with it. I'm desperate, did anyone figure out the problem? I have a Kenmore Elite.

give Shout a try
by: Teresa

Those stains very will may be oil, add in cooking oil like in French fries, fried chicken and many other oily finger foods especially. My kids often seem to think the purpose of a shirt at the dinner table is a large napkin. I treat these mystery stains with Shout Free, the one that does not contain skin irritants. No I am not being paid in any way, it just seems to be a reliable degreaser even if the garment had been through the drier. Good luck!

replace the rear drum seal
by: Anonymous

For those with oily stains, we had the same problem. We replaced the rear drum seal on the dryer: problem solved.

Black grease like stains
by: Janet

Recently I've had black spotty grease-like stains that appear after I have washed and dried my clothes. They are dark, spotty, and hard to remove. I've used Dawn on colored items, bleach on whites.

Small stains on shirts after dryer use
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem Cyndi has and it's driving me crazy. I've tried everything. Not sure if we call the company we bought the dryer from. It's maybe two years old, bought brand new.

Is The Oily Stain Really From Cooking?
by: Anonymous

Some times when I cook I get grease stains on my shirts when the pan splatters oil. I don't see this a lot of times, and have oil splatters out of the dryer. This may not pertain to you, just thought I'd put it out there.

grey dots on white shell, from either washer or dryer
by: Nancy Phillips

We recently moved and this home has a new washer and dryer, nothing fancy, except the dryer drum is stainless steel. After washing and drying some clothes I noticed grey dots on my white shell from either the washer or dryer. Does anyone know what I can do to get rid of the cause of this so it doesn't continue to happen again? Also, haven't tried to remove the spots yet, any ideas on removing these grey dots? They are the same size as the holes in both the washer and dryer.

Grease like stains here too!
by: Anonymous

I cannot tell you how many shirts have been damaged due to this problem! New clothes, old clothes....I'm tired of it!

by: Anonymous

I have the same issue. If you come up with a solution that would be great. I had it with my old units and now with my new units. Not sure if from washer or dryer as it only shows up when dried but could be there when wet?

Oil stains on dark clothes
by: Anonymous

Same thing happens with my dark clothing sometimes???

Dryer oily spot
by: Anonymous

I had that problem and it was the dryer. It looked like oil stains on my clothes. The dryer was throwing oil on my clothes. I had the part that was broken fixed.

Oily stains removal
by: Anonymous

I put Dawn liquid on it, let it set or rub in- wash in warm water, generally it takes out oily stains or hard oily I use WD40 and then rewash it.

same stain
by: Anonymous

I have noticed the same thing happening. The dryer is 2 years old and we don't use dryer sheets.

greasy stains
by: Brooke

I am also a big fan of Dawn dish detergent for getting out any of those dark spots- it has saved so many shirts of mine. Even though they go through the dryer it still works! It's incredible, love the stuff!

Another frustrated stain victim
by: Dan K

I've been having the same issues with my clothes as well. Always dark colored t-shirts and the stains are always on the front, never the back. I always use dryer sheets (Bounce) and thought they might be the cause. I have a front loading washer and dryer.

Then I wondered if my dryer had a issue where oil was dripping from somewhere in the drum but then I thought that would occur all the time and not just randomly. I wondered about the washer as well and I check the clothes as they come out of the washer but it's hard to see stains on the wet clothes because being wet they're even darker in appearance and you can't see the stains. But thanks for the tip on using Dawn. I did wash yesterday and 3 of my more favorite t-shirts had a stain, on the front.

The very strange thing is that I'll go several washes in between where everything is fine.

Same issue!!
by: Andrea

I have had these oily looking spots show up on my clothes as well and always wonder where heck they come from. Not had much luck getting them out and have actually tried immediately rewashing with stain remover. I too have a Whirlpool washer....wonder if others also have Whirlpool washer/dryers?

dish soap works for us too
by: Rachel

This has happened to us and I don't know where they come from, but I just squirt dish soap straight onto the oil spot, let sit for half hour, and rewash in my next load ( on cold). It almost always works!

burn marks
by: Carrie

I've only experienced dryer stains with my parent's old dryer, but those were more like burn marks! D: It died during my last load of laundry and of course they had to be WHITES. Ugh!

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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.