Grey Sludge On Clothes From Washing Machine

It is a very common problem with washing machine users. After a few months of service, users start to get sludge on their clothing. An old machine does produce grey sludge and it will surely transfer to your clothes.

Grey sludge is actually dirt and microscopic bacteria bond together. It can be stronger with detergent residue and protected by cold wash every time. It can grow in the washing tub, pipe, or on the door of your washing machine.

Grey sludge cleaning is an easy process to run as most washing machines have the maintenance cycle feature. You can run the cycle several times to get the sludge out of your washing machine and free from having any sludge on your clothes after washing.

In this article, we will be discussing details about how you can have grey sludge on clothes, how to get rid of grey sludge, and some tips around the process. Let’s start folks.

Grey Sludge On Clothes From Washing Machine

How Does Grey Sludge Come On Clothing

What it is if you discover that your clothing is coming out of the washer covered in a dark slime? The term “sludge” simply refers to the soil, grime, soap scum, and bacteria that have accumulated over time in the washing machine.

Without proper care, clothes washers can develop into hospitable environments for microorganisms, making the machine’s inside dirty. In light of this, the slop occasionally discovered in washing machines is frequently made up of accumulation from laundry detergents combined with cushion, soil, microscopic creatures, and form.

It is very important to clean your washing machine from the inside to have better performance. If you don’t take good care of your machine your filter and pipes can clog up, you will get satin from it and several other problems can be faced.

Causes Of Grey Sludge 

There are a lot of reasons you can have grey sludge on clothing. New washing machines will not be causing grey sludge stains or any rust stains on your clothes. But old washers can give sludge stains on your clothes in the wash cycle. Let’s find out the causes.

1. Eco-friendly feature 

An eco-friendly feature is commonly found in washing machines these days. It can save you money and the environment. So most of the time people always run cold wash cycles for washing clothes. Washing clothes in cold water is actually very much beneficial. But cold water cannot kill germs. It will cause germs to grow inside the washing machine and through the pipes.

If you continue to wash your clothes only in the cold cycle it will not cut through the residue that builds in the pipes or filters. And when water runs through them on the wash cycle they will come away a bit and turn into grey water containing sludge. So you will start having grey sludge on your clothes.

2. Limescale

The filter of your washing machine or pipe can be jammed with limescale. If so it will cause stains of grey sludge on your clothes in the wash cycle. The water used in the washing cycle will pass through the pipes and come up with this mold base grime. This will mix with the clothes and produce rust stains.

3. Overdose of detergent 

Overdose of anything can’t be good. Detergent has an important role in laundry. But you cannot add more detergents than required. It is always best to use mild detergents in an effective manner with some fabric softener if you feel required.

If you added more detergent and the washer cannot break it down properly this extra detergent will remain in the washing machine. Some might drain away but there will be enough remaining on the pipes that will cause stains on your clothing.

4. Uncleaned drawer

The detergent drawer is a part most people think doesn’t need to clean. But actually, the detergent drawer of your washing machine can be the dirtiest part of your washer. A form magnet is a closed cleaner cabinet.

At that time, the development of the old cleanser will become dark in color. As your new cleanser enters the washing machine during the cycle, it may end up bringing the old gunk with it, resulting in horrifying dark slime on your garments.

5. Gasket

The gasket within a washing machine can easily collect flotsam and jetsam, padding, and any other type of undesirables. Over time, the excess cleaner will build up in this soil, resulting in slop. If this isn’t removed regularly, it will surely end up on your clothes throughout the wash cycle.

How To Get Rid Of Grey Sludge

Grey sludge can be found so often and if you are having sludge stains don’t panic. It is very easy to solve the grey sludge issue of washing machines.

1. Maintenance cycle

This sludge is actually piles of germs and residue of diets that build up in every wash cycle you run. A hot wash cycle can remove all the grey sludge. Most washing machines have the feature called maintenance cycle. You can clean your washing machine’s sludge by running a few maintenance cycles.

But no worries if your washing machine doesn’t have that feature. You can load your washing machine only with tap water. Run an empty wash cycle, remember to set the temperature as high as you can. To have a proper elimination of grey sludge repeat this cycle 7-10times.

The hot water will cut all the mold, soap scum, grime, and residue from the drain, pipe, or filter. After getting rid of the problem don’t forget to repeat this wash cycle in a few weeks and keep doing so for the rest of your life. It will prevent the grey sludge from coming and you will never have those rusty stains on your clothes from your washing machine.

2. Chemicals or Vinegar 

The maintenance wash cycle is enough in most cases. But for cleaning a clogged detergent drawer needs an extra bit of care. For cleaning limescale or detergent drawer, you can use commercially available descaling chemicals or white vinegar.

  • For cleaning the limescale
    First, wipe the gaskets nice and easy with white vinegar. Now clean the door and inside of the detergent drawer using vinegar and spray it all over the wash drum. Add some distilled vinegar to the drawer and run the maintenance cycle.
  • For cleaning clogged detergent drawer
    Take out the drawer and spray white vinegar properly all over the drawer. Now rub the drawer with a brush or piece of fabric. You can also use washing-up liquid to clean up your dirty detergent drawer. A proper rinse is needed to clean all the free dirt from the drawer. Use cold or warm water to clean the drawer. After washing it put it back in its place and run the maintenance cycle to clean up the remaining grime.


  1. You can use malt vinegar instead of white vinegar. Malt vinegar is mildew but can be equally effective. But it has an odor that will fill your house. That’s why it’s best to avoid malt vinegar if possible.
  2. Clean the gaskets as frequently as possible to have gunk-free gaskets.
  3. Run maintenance cycle at least once a month.

Final Words 

Grey sludge removal is a very easy and straightforward task. Yet most people don’t know or apply it in the right manner and ruin their dress by having grey sludge on their clothes. Maintaining the cycle is superior to removing any kind of dirt that has built up inside your washing machine.

If you had sludge stains on your clothes after running a wash cycle you must clean your machine as described in this article as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will face big issues regarding your washing machine in near future.

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