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Mystery washing machine problem - can any kind person enlighten me?

(15 Posts)
fanofpeamum Sat 09-Jul-11 13:44:59

Did a load of washing last night and it came out with lots of strange little bits on it. Definitely not a stray tissue. Tiny, grey, rubbery flecks, sort of like what you get when you use a rubber, but smaller. Never seen it before.

Have been through the washing itself and can't find anything in there that might have caused it. So am thinking it must either be some kind of residue from the washing powder, dyed grey by the dark washing hmm, or something from inside the machine that has disintegrated. No sign of damage to the rubber bit inside the door though. The machine is four years old.

Need to get to the bottom of this. Please help!

TimeWasting Sat 09-Jul-11 13:46:21

Chewing gum?

amistillsexy Sat 09-Jul-11 13:48:50

I would run a 'service wash'-run the machine empty with white vinegar in the powder drawer on the hottest wash available.
It is probably bits of washing powder/liquid that have not been properly rinsed and this should get rid of it.
When you've run the service wash, wash a few old towels to help get rid of any thing left over and to check the bits have gone.
Service people recommend doing a service wash once a week to help get rid of residue.

fanofpeamum Sat 09-Jul-11 13:59:08

I would love for it to be something as straightforward as chewing gum, but do you think a 40° wash would break it up into tiny flecks like that?

amistillsexy, yes, will do that. Am just bemused though because I'd done another wash immediately before, and there was nothing on that. Also, these bits are really not powdery but more like tiny fragments of something.

Thanks for the help though.

TimeWasting Sat 09-Jul-11 14:02:09

Other than the seal on a washing machine, I don't think there are any other rubber parts, all plastic and metal I think.

RightUpMyRue Sat 09-Jul-11 14:06:46

Did you wash anything with that has a motif on it that may have come apart or an elastic bit that has disintegrated?

suzikettles Sat 09-Jul-11 14:12:09

If it was ok on the previous wash then it sounds to me like something that got in with the washing rather than from the machine.

Beats me what it is though. A sticker left on a tshirt maybe?

fanofpeamum Sat 09-Jul-11 15:30:21

That's reassuring, TimeWasting. Thank you! Am going to inspect the washing again when I bring it in. If I get to the bottom of it I'll report back.

JellyBelly10 Sat 09-Jul-11 22:41:29

Did you wash a swimming costume/trunks etc or some other Lycra item (leggings?)? Whenever I wash my DS's swimming trunks (bottom of a sun suit type thing) in the washing machine because I'm too lazy to hand wash it as recommended, the whole wash is covered in those tiny little flecks and it's impossible to shake them off. The pair of trunks in question are getting a bit baggy as though the Lycra is getting a bit worn out (probably because half of it has been shedded as these bloody flecks!).

limezest1 Sun 10-Jul-11 09:32:25

Hi there, was there any update to your problem?

We strangely had exactly the same issue this morning (timing is uncanny). Lots of grey rubber bits exactly like the used parts of pencil eraser/rubber (they stick together if you squeeze them in your fingers), but grey the same exact colour of the rubber seal. There was nothing in the wash that could have disintegrated as it was just baby grows and the rubber seals looked intact. The bits float in the water which suggests that they are rubber or something similar.

It still seems to be working on a normal cycle, but there is no easy way to remove all of these tiny floating grey particles so we cant use ours at the moment. Thinking about calling out a repair man but might be waste of money if its still working.

We have a neff integrated dishwasher (also 4 years old), what make is yours?

fanofpeamum Sun 10-Jul-11 13:05:14

Hello again. Yes, funny timing, limezest! Well I've looked at the washing again and still can't understand where the bits might have come from, but I do think disintegrating elastic/Lycra sounds likely.

Is your machine still producing more and more bits, limezest? I gave mine the cleaning of its life yesterday so any bits left from that one wash have gone now and no more seem to have appeared. Hope the situation resolves itself for you soon too though! (Ours is an AEG machine by the way.)

RunDMC Sun 10-Jul-11 20:44:38

I had the same problem fanofpeamum earlier this year - when I'd done a wash of white bedlinen and at time was using gel capsules that dissolve in the wash - figured it was a build up of gunk from the capsules and sure enough a 90 degree wash, and a wash with white vinegar after that seemed to solve the problem...

dustyhousewithdustypeople Sun 10-Jul-11 20:52:14

Ours does that sometimes, when it needs the filter cleaning out. Not a pleasant job.

fanofpeamum Mon 11-Jul-11 11:21:08

Ok, so our problem seems to be solved here, and am feeling quite virtuous that the machine is now so clean. But still so mysterious... How does a build up of gunk (in the filter [wretch] or elsewhere) end up making little rubbery bits?!

Joyboy Mon 03-Oct-16 13:55:25

Will be the rubber seal...either eroding from friction or trapped object...

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