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livelaughlove21's avatar

How do I remove this white residue from my black pants?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15623points) December 12th, 2013 from iPhone

Yeah, yeah. White residue – hardy-har-har. Moving on…

I have a pair of brand new black slacks that I washed for the first time last week. When I removed them from the washer to hang them to dry, I noticed white residue stuck on them that I could scrape away with my fingernail. After they were dry, I stuck them in the dryer for a few minutes to see if that stuff would come off, and it didn’t.

I use liquid detergent, but I thought excess soap may have caused it. So, I washed them again with less soap and a power rinse. The same thing happened. I took a wet rag and got as much of it off as I could and then hung them to dry again. Again, I threw them in the dryer to remove any wrinkles and there was still some residue, and I can’t get it off.

I have an interview today and another tomorrow and these are the only nice pants I have. It’s not fading because they’re brand new. The same thing happened to my jacket, but I got it off of that with the rag.

I’ve had plenty of black dress pants in the past and this has never happened. I don’t use fabric softener, so that’s not it. How can I get it off? Am I going to have to take them to the dry cleaners?

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7 Answers

longgone's avatar

If it is excess soap you are dealing with, try wetting the pants with a piece of cloth again, rubbing a little, and then ironing them while wet. I read somewhere that might help.

No guarantees, though, I can’t remember where.

ibstubro's avatar

I would take them to the cleaners, as the pants are going to be worn out from experimental washing, otherwise.

Wear them to the interviews and before they need washed again, take a clean damp rag and wipe your washer down well with white vinegar. Then run an empty, large, hot water load with a big dose (cup or two +) of white vinegar, no detergent. Wash your pants and if they have white residue, have someone else, somewhere else wash them and see the results.

Then buy a nice pair of taupe slacks.

ibstubro's avatar


Turn them inside-out and wash them again with just a smidge of detergent.

Then try the rest of the crap.

Smitha's avatar

Try cleaning the lint filters and detergent dispenser. It can have residues that will redeposit on your clothes. Hard water can also cause mineral deposits to remain on clothes. Adding ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to the wash or rinse cycle would be helpful.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I ran the washer with nothing in it using hot water (I don’t have vinegar). Then, I put a tiny bit of soap in, let it fill ¼ of the way with warm water, and put the pants and jacket in by themselves inside out on a heavy cycle with a power rinse. They weren’t covered in residue like they were twice before, but I won’t know if it got it all off until later tonight when it dries. If not, I guess I’ll be going out to buy another outfit for my interview tomorrow, which sucks because I just spent $70 on that one. The dry cleaners can’t get it done fast enough. Once I get a job, I might just take all of my work clothes to be dry cleaned weekly so I can avoid all this trouble.

Unfortunately, I had to cancel my interview for today because the residue was so noticeable once I put the pants on and I was not about to walk into a law firm like that. Luckily, it was for a job I don’t want anyway. The one tomorrow is the big one.

ibstubro's avatar

I think the inside-out trick should work @livelaughlove21.

Good luck tomorrow!

Pandora's avatar

I would’ve hang washed them and then hung them to dry. Are you using any kind of dryer softener? You could also try washing with baking soda. Just make sure to let it melt into the water.
Your machine may not be washing well or you may also be using to big of a load when washing.

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