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Grey streaks or marks caused by a washing machine door seal


Grey coloured marks with rubbery feel.

The garment is often torn and this is usually caused by the garment being forced into any gap between the washing machine door seal or gasket often called a porthole bellows as well and the drum of the washing machine.

This is almost always a loading error and not a fault with your washing machine.

There is a possibility that the inner lip of the door seal on your washing machine is faulty however, this is easy to see and the door seal will show signs of physical damage. It is virtually impossible for this to happen on a new washing machine and will generally only be seen in washing machines that are several years old as it happens due to wear and tear. In the absense of any damage to the door seal the only possibility is that your washing machine has been overloaded.

This is a "fault" we hear of quite often and again it comes down to what is essentially, customer misuse or misunderstanding of the appliance as explained here.


The grey marks may be reduced by pre-treatment with Ariel Liquid, then a normal wash following the fabric care label. If the fibres have been damaged there is no treatment.

Cause & Prevention


The machine has been overloaded, resulting in the garment being "pushed" against the rubber gasket and becoming trapped between that and the drum of the machine during spinning.


Do not overload the machine taking care to ensure that the machine is not being overloaded and forcing the clothing to a position where it can become damaged.


  How You Can Get Help With Laundry Problems

To offer support in helping people to determine the cause of laundry problems please use the washing machine support forum.

It’s fast, free, easy and normally someone will pick up on the post that can assist you often with a few experts chipping in if needed. Just register if you don’t have an account, we don’t mail you, send you spam or any of that stuff.

Post up your question and give images if you possibly can and the guys in the forums will do the rest for you and try to identify the problem you have.

Cost you nothing, might save you some embarrassment or worse, a charge for a service visit that wasn’t needed.

  Photographs Of Damage

If you can post photographs of the damage or problem you are having this can be really helpful in allowing the technicians to see what the problem is.

Linda Brown
Brown sludge marks
My hotpoint is just over a year old and just recently my clothes have been coming out with a brown sludge on them, mostly in a line. I have cleaned seal, between drum and seal and dispenser. I gave run 90 degree washes with bleach but still happening. Am sick of rewashing everything.

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