Our washer is leaving grease spots on some of our clothes. Could this be due to a bad bearing? How do I tell if it is the bearing or the transmission?
Answer Hello Gary,
This is usually caused by a build-up of fabric softener. You see, fabric softener is made of 80 to 90% animal fat. It does, therefore, decompose. The process is noticed as a change of color in the old fabric softener and is not detectable by the smell since it is so heavily perfumed. The fabric softener starts out blue and slowly turns green, then yellow, then brown, and eventually black. Normally between the yellow and brown colors a chunck will break free and get into the wash. It stains clothes and is commonly mistaken for oil or grease. You should remove the agitator and check inside it for the waxy build-up. Clean it with warm white vinegar and an old toothbrush or bottle cleaner brush.
On occasion, a vent in the transmission housing can stop up and cause oil to get into the wash from the transmission. This actually happens very seldom. I have only seen it about three times in over twenty years in the field to give you an idea of how seldom it ocurrs.