Scummy bits on clothes after normal wash

19 Jun 2004
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United Kingdom
gus sandhu posted this back in May (in the Plumbing/boiler section) and markmatthewman had the same problem:

"Hotpoint m/c hard water scale: I have a hotpoint washing machine and the problem is that I keep on getting what looks like hard water scale being lef on the clothes. ..."

and I've got little scummy bits all over my washed clothes too.

I've got a Phillips Whirlpool, bought 6 years ago reconditioned. I live in a hard water area and have recently installed a water conditioner (little black box with wires that are wound around the main cold water inlet pipe that's supposed to help prevent limescale) and use a Calgon tablet in every wash.

Inspired by this site I've just cleaned out the "cylinder" where all the pennies and gunk collect and put on an empty 95 degree wash (with zero spin speed). I'm waiting to see if this will fix the problem. If so, is there anyway to get all the washing machines' pipes, etc clean and does anyone have some advice on how to stop this buildup in the first place? This really should be taught in school!

Many thanks
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the pipes on a washing m/c are:

vlaves to soap draw (never spell that right)
from soap draw to tub
from tub to pump
from pump to grey outlet pipe
from pressure chamber to pressure switch

try another 60degree wash with washing soda / calgon, but do let it spin

its the main tub that collects all the "scum" you could also take the soap draw out and clean it and its "holder"
Thank you for such a fast reply!

I can't get to those pipes you mentioned and I don't know what the pressure chamber is/looks like, but next time I get the m/c serviced (saving up for this!) I'll be sure to get the guy to check them.

What is the "main tub" :oops: ?

I must admit I haven't cleaned out the soap draw for a couple of months (I only use it for conditioner) so I'll do that next. The cycle is still going so I've turned up the spin speed to max.

I'll come back later to let you know how it goes. Many thanks :D

(PS I couldn't find any replies to gusandhu's problem!)
the main tub is the outer drum the one you put the clothes in sits in, it is unlikeley it is any of the pipes i mentioned, i thought you just wanted to know what pipes your m/c has.

thinking about it, if you have been using calgon, it may be that the calgon is lifting the lime scale off the heater,

try a rinse and wash with NO calgon
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I was told to do a hot wash with a tray full of caustic soda granules, this really gets all the gunk and grim off the machines innards - worked well for me and got rid of the mouldy stale smell that was starting to build up round the rubber seal where the door closes

Obvioulsy dont put clothes in when you do this :)

Also take the powder dispenser drawer out and clean all the gungy build up thats certainly waiting there for you too

Many thanks for all that info.

I've just used caustic soda for the bath pipes (another story!!). The packet insisted that the soda must be added to COLD water. Is it okay to use it neat in the m/c draw on a hot wash? If so is this an "emergency" solution or is it advisable to do a soda wash every so often to keep the m/c clean?

You'll be glad to know (!) that having cleaned out the gunk collector (what is it called?!), run a hot wash with the spin on max and scrubbed out the powder draw I seem to have solved the problem :D

Thanks again for all your help folks :D :D :D

You need soda crystals as in washing soda. THe other stuff is very nasty and will dissolve the inside of your washing machine!!!
Hi IanDB

OK I'll keep the caustic soda for the bath pipes instead. How did Dagger go with his m/c chemistry experiment then I wonder?

Thanks for the warning!
Yes, I've just re-read Dagger's post. I wonder how he got on as well. Soda crystals are a weaker form of caustic soda. They dissolve grease inside your machine left over from the washes. I read somewhere about the anology of a washing up bowl, if you just use warm water you get a greasy layer left round the bowl although your dishes are clean. The hotter the water the more grease is dissolved. If you use your machine on a warm wash (as opposed to hot) the same thing can happen. After a while you get a build up of gunk in the machine and a hot wash using soda crystals will dissolve this and help to keep the machine clean.

Caustic soda is lethal stuff and should only be used with great caution.
Hi guys, bit of background about my original problem - my machine was quite severe, lots of mouldy gunk round the rubber seal (where door closes) and bad smell coming from the machine generally. I think this was the culminationo of 6 years worth of 40 degree only washes :LOL: .

Anyway, I tried the soda crystal wash lark and nothing changed at all for me. Then someone who ran a secondhand appliance shop told me that they always ran a hot wash with a tray of caustic soda on all machines they took in to really clean them up in one fell swoop before selling them on. He said that a Zanussi engineer told them this would do no harm especially as a normal wash douses with many lites of normal water afterwards.

Anyway I tried it, it worked - machine is now fine with no gunge or smell so Im happy.

If just soda crytals will work for you then maybe your machine isnt too bad and obviously this is the method to use.

Now I use a soda crystal wash every month or so just to keep the grease at bay

hope this helps
Cheers guys

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