What Does It Mean If Your White Laundry Turns Gray?

Posted on: 11 September 2015

Many households across the United States deal with gray laundry on a regular basis. Knowing why your laundry is turning gray and what you can do about it will help you keep your laundry looking newer for longer, which can ultimately save you money and hassle.

What does it mean if your white laundry turns gray?

Hard water is very likely the cause. Hard water can cause laundry to turn gray in the wash because the minerals in the water bind together with the soap molecules and form a film called soap scum. The soap scum binds to the clothes and causes the whites to become somewhat gray. In addition, with the detergent binding to the minerals in the water, there's less detergent available to clean the clothes, which can also lead to the clothes becoming gray over time.

What can you do to fix the problem?

There a number of ways that you can stop your white laundry from turning gray.

  • Use hot water during the wash cycles. Using hot water during laundry cycles allows the water to hold more detergent and get the clothes cleaner. Unfortunately, hot water is hard on clothes and will cause them to fade more over time, and this solution will not work for dark clothes at all.
  • Add a water softener to the water in the washing machine. Laundry water softeners are available specifically for wash cycles and can bind to the minerals in the water, freeing up the detergent to do its job.
  • Use more laundry detergent. Using extra laundry detergent in the washing machine can help you eliminate the soap scum from the laundry. This can only work to a point, however, because only so much detergent can be fully absorbed into the water.
  • Get a water softener. Install a water softener to fully eliminate the problem. Using this method has the advantage of taking care of other water softening needs you may have in your house.

Does the hard water do damage to your washing machine?

Hard water can do damage to your washing machine over time, because minerals will build up on the heating elements. Once the heating elements become covered in minerals, the washing machine is forced to work much harder than necessary to do its job.

How can you protect your washing machine?

The best way to protect your washing machine and your laundry is to install a water softener in your home. You can also protect your washing machine by adding a laundry water softener product to the water in the washing machine. Contact a company like Pure Flow Water Company to get a water softener for your home.