If you have moved to a new home or suddenly begin to have laundry problems like mysterious stains on your freshly washed clothes, it could be the water you are using. Water that contains high levels of iron can leave clothes with yellow, red, or brown spots, cause white clothes to become yellow, and leave all fabrics feeling stiff. The source of rusty water is often an inground home well but some municipal water systems also have high levels of iron where the cause may be old, cast iron water system pipes that are corroding. If it is not possible to pass the problem water source through a water softener, a phosphate feeder, or a chlorinating filter, laundry results can be improved by using a non-precipitating packaged water softener usually containing phosphate along with the usual amounts of regular laundry detergent. Follow the recommended amounts listed on the package. Be sure to use the compound in the rinse cycle as well as the wash cycle to prevent rust stains.
Manganese – Black & Brown Staining from Water
Help with Iron and Manganese Stains | Central PA Soft Water
Rust stains on clothing are often the result of old water pipes or the presence of dissolved iron in the water. The stains may also appear on dishes, sinks and plumbing fixtures. On white clothing, rust shows up as unsightly brown, yellow or bright orange spots. Before attacking the spot, be sure the stain is iron rust and not rust-colored stains resulting from tea, coffee or makeup. Lay the stained garment on an old, thick towel to protect your working surface.
Water Stains? How to Identify The Top 5 Stains
If it seems as if your water is creating brown, orange, or even red rust stains, you may have iron. If your water is creating black or purple stains, you may have manganese. Iron and manganese are usually non-hazardous, but both elements are an aesthetic nuisance causing gross-looking stains. Iron is the most frequent of the two contaminants in water supplies; manganese is typically found in iron-bearing water. Iron can also be used as a food source for iron-eating bacteria.
Iron is the most frequent of the two contaminants in water supplies ; manganese is typically found in iron-bearing water. Iron and manganese are common metallic elements found in the earth's crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution. Occasionally, iron pipes also may be a source of iron in water. Water from the tap may be clear, but when exposed to air, iron and manganese are oxidized and change from colorless, dissolved forms to colored, solid forms.