White Residue on Clothing
There are a few potential causes of what is commonly referred to as "white residue". White residue can be caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Interaction of body soils with detergent, most frequently found on work out clothing or active wear
- Excessive lint
- Excess detergent
- Non high efficiency (HE) detergent
- Detergent build-up in the washer
- Home water quality
- Too cold water
Interaction of body soils
The interaction of some body soils with detergent may result in the formation of a white residue. This residue might accumulate within the folds and wrinkles of garments or be widely distributed throughout the fabric load. Warmer water and washing mixed loads (e.g., cottons mixed with synthetic garments) may exacerbate this residue. To help reduce this residue, follow these tips, depending on your washer's cycles:
- Use cycles including Heavy Duty, PowerWash, Deep Water Wash, and Whites, where available.
- Avoid gentler cycles, such as Delicates, Casuals, and ColorLast, where applicable.
- Select cooler temperatures when acceptable for the fabric you are washing.
- Select higher soil levels (e.g., Heavy, Extra Heavy) when acceptable for the fabric you are washing.
- Select the extra rinse option.
- Always use the correct amount of HE detergent.
Excessive lint on clothing can occur on new clothing items, especially towels. This is normal, and linting will dissipate over time. Use shorter wash times if excess linting continues. Using a dryer will also remove most excess lint.
Using too much detergent
If you use too much detergent, excess detergent residue may appear as white "clumps" of undissolved detergent. Rewashing clothing items should remove these clumps. Running items through the dryer will also help remove these clumps. Using less detergent can help eliminate these clumps.
Using non high efficiency (HE) detergent
Use of a non-HE detergent in an HE washer may result in white "clumps" of undissolved detergent. Rewashing clothing items should remove these clumps. Running items through the dryer will also help remove these clumps. Always use only HE detergent.
Which detergent should you use?
Whirlpool recommends using Swash™ Laundry Detergent. It is designed to work in both high-efficiency (HE) and non-HE washing machines. With an 8x concentrated formula, you’ll use about a quarter of the amount of detergent you’d need with a traditional 2x concentration detergent. It may look like a small amount, but you’ll be amazed at how effective it is.
The Smart Way to Wash
From our Precision Pour Cap to our ultra-concentrated formula, Swash® delivers the results you want in a compact, intelligent bottle design.
"Clean Washer" cycle needs to be run
Running the "Clean Washer" cycle with a product like affresh® once a month will help eliminate excess detergent build-up.
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Water is too cold
This symptom is more common if you are using powdered detergent. It also happens more frequently during cold months in northern climates.
If your washer water is too cold, it may not properly dissolve detergent, which may result in white "clumps" of detergent on clothing. Rewashing clothing items should remove these clumps. Running items through the dryer will also help remove these clumps. If using a cold water wash, ensure that your water temperature is at least 60 degrees to properly dissolve detergent. Your washer should also regulate the cold water temperature by adding hot water to bring the temperature up. Run hot water in the sink closest to the washer to help ensure that hot water is running through the water lines near the washer.
Please see your Owner's Manual for more information regarding the cycles on your machine.
If you would like to download or view product literature for your appliance, please visit our Manuals and Literature page.