Common laundry problems—and how to solve them

Between fighting the mystery of grey stains, wrestling with lingering odours, and hunting down the perplexing forces creating holes in socks and undies, doing laundry can feel like a gamble with our wardrobes.

But what causes these common post-wash laundry frustrations? Can they be prevented? And how does Mum get it perfect every single time?

By the end of this article, you'll have your answers—and be equipped to tackle the toughest laundry challenges! 😉

Unravelling the mystery of stains, holes, and odours

You know what causes shrinkage and why your crisp whites turned pink. Now, you'll find out what's behind other laundry mysteries.

Grey stains

Believe it or not, grey stains aren't just the consequence of failing to separate your lights from your darks. There are other causes.

Dyes: Denim, dark clothes, and towels can release dye that bleeds onto other items.

Excessive detergent use + cold water: Overdosing on detergent can lead to your washer drum being coated in the waxy remnants of laundry liquids. This build-up eventually breaks away and gets deposited back onto the washed items in the form of grey markings.

Insufficient rinsing: The final rinse should remove detergent and soil from the wash. If this doesn't happen because the drum was jam-packed or there wasn't enough water, then detergent residue may stain items grey.

Machine problems: A faulty drain pump, blocked pipes, and a lack of machine maintenance/cleaning can cause greying.


Think yellowing is just about garment age? Nuh-uh! We've uncovered some unexpected culprits causing those unattractive yellow markings.

Dirt: Dead skin cells. Body oils. And, most notoriously, sweat, which reacts with aluminium in many antiperspirants.

Organic substances: Things like henna (found in hair dyes), spices (turmeric, paprika), and flowers (pollen) can leave random yellow marks on fabrics.

Hard water: Minerals like calcium, iron, and manganese can stain laundry yellow, brown, and even grey.

Corroded water pipes: Rust can transfer from pipes to your wash, causing random discolouration.

Chlorine bleach: Ironically, bleach can stain wool, silk, mohair, spandex, and fabric blends yellow. 👀

Residual odour(s)

Ever wonder why clothes still smell after a thorough wash? Some reasons are more obvious than others.

Bacteria: Sweat + bacteria = embarrassing odours. They get absorbed by and linger in clothing. 🙊

Mould and mildew: The drum is warm and humid, making it a prime breeding ground for mould, mildew, and bacteria.

Protein stains: Accidents from your furry friends—pee, poop, puke—quickly set into fabrics.

Smoke: Fabrics easily absorb the "sticky" compounds in smoke. No wonder you smell like an ashtray or the Korean BBQ joint from lunch—even with minimum exposure!


It might seem like laundry gremlins are feasting on your clothes, but holes and tears have a less mystical origin.

Overloaded machine: When items can't circulate freely, they're more likely to get tangled up or snag against buckles, zippers, and hooks.

Laundry chemicals: Harsh ingredients can damage most textiles.

Spin cycle speed: Too many revolutions per minute may cause items to catch in the holes and crevices of your machine, leading to rips and tears.

Pet hairs

Pet hairs sticking to everything but your pet? 😅 There's a science behind the fur frenzy!

Static charge: Opposites attract, which is the case with pet hair (positive charge) and fabrics (negative charge).

Water: Fur plus water creates clumps that can stick to the drum and then transfer onto other items in the machine.

Ineffective detergents: Most laundry detergents lack ingredients that successfully release pet hair from fibres.

How to prevent almost every laundry challenge—without fail

Ever wonder, "What would Mum do?" Ponder no more! We're sharing some of her time-tested secrets. 🤫

✔️ Always read and follow garment care labels. (Don't be afraid of warm washes as long as it's textile- and stain-appropriate.)

✔️ Separate by colour (lights vs coloured vs darks) and type (delicates vs regulars).

✔️ Test for colourfastness before washing to prevent dye bleeding.

✔️ Turn clothes inside out, secure fastenings, and use mesh bags for delicates.

✔️ Allow sweaty gear to aerate and dry before dumping it in your laundry hamper. Wash those garments separately!

✔️ Combat hard water with a filter and skip bleach entirely.

✔️ Stay on top of your laundry game with smaller and more frequent loads.

✔️ Pre-treat pet stains with Urine Stain & Odour Remover, and add an extra rinse for furry fabrics.

✔️ Use just the right amount of a high-quality, low-sudsing, bio-activated detergent like Eco Laundry Liquid for effective pre-treatment and deep cleaning. Rinse until thoroughly detergent-free.

✔️ Quickly transfer freshly-laundered items from washer to dryer.

With these simple swaps and savvy strategies, you can kiss typical laundry woes goodbye and welcome a future of fresh, flawless fabrics. That's a promise! 😊

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