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Laundry Troubleshooting

Laundry Troubleshooting

From fading and staining to tears and frays, laundry problems are an unfortunate occurrence. Do not panic, Armstrong is here to help with our troubleshooting guide. Take a look at our list of the main laundry issues, their cause and how you are able to prevent them from happening and make your garments last longer.


PROBLEM                        CAUSE

  • Exposure to direct sunlight
  • Incorrect use of bleach in stain removal or laundering
  • Contamination in use with hair preparations,    household cleaners, garden chemicals, strong perfume, deodorants (these can all produce localised fading which can look much worse after washing)
  • Sf Incorrect choice of detergent. One containing optical brighteners will make a colour look paler or can make a cream look grey-white
  • Washing/ironing at too high a temperature
  • Localised abrasion at a high wear point

PROBLEM                       CAUSE

  • Effect of normal soap powders after a period of time. Most contain bleaching agents
  • Effect of adding bleach to remove stains, especially if then washed at high temperature. In extreme circumstances a cotton product may only last 2/3 washes
  • Effect of bleaches in household cleaning fluids, disinfectants and hair stain treatments
  • Effect of car and boat battery acids and boiler descaling fluids
  • Mechanical and abrasion damage caused by abuse (knives, kitchen tools, sharp corners, floor dragging)
  • Moth damage on wool fabrics
  • Spark damage from cigarette ash, open fires, welding

PROBLEM                       CAUSE

PATCHES OF COLOUR LOSS Effect of spillage on dyes. Household bleaches, bathroom and kitchen cleaners, hair treatments, cosmetics, acne remover creams, deodorants, battery fluids and garden chemicals can all cause dye damage that may not be revealed fully until the item is washed or cleaned
YELLOW BROWN STAINS THAT APPEAR AFTER WASHING Hibitan staining from ‘Hibisoap’ or ‘Savlon’ that comes into contact with ‘chlorine bleach’ (sodium hypochlorite solution) in the wash. Oxidisable protein staining (from bodily fluids or food residues) that have not been properly washed out and which then react with the oxygen in the warm airstream in the tumble drier
ORANGEY BROWN SPECKS AND RINGS THAT APPEAR IN WASHING Iron marking from contaminated water (pipe or tank rust) or from a garment stud or leaky radiator. Iron changes to iron oxide (rust) in the wash and dyes the fabric. It can be removed with an iron removal treatment, either by localised spot removal or in a special wash process
BROWN MARKING ON OUTER FOLDS OF A CURTAIN Nicotine staining that is not removed by drycleaning and which darkens and becomes more obvious in drying and pressing. Nicotine is best removed in a well-designed wash process.


YELLOW BROWN MARKS THAT APPEAR AFTER DRYCLEANING Water based soiling and staining containing sugars or proteins or certain perfumes are often not removed by dry cleaning solvent. They oxidise in drying and pressing, resulting in marks visible after cleaning that could not be seen before. They need expert treatment pre or post-cleaning BEFORE re-cleaning.
GREEN AND BLACK SPECKS THAT ARE NOT REMOVED IN WASHING OR CLEANING Mildew is a fungal growth that feeds on the fabric and penetrates deep into the yarns. It usually needs treatment with a strong oxidising agent (bleach). It often occurs when dirty linen is stored in cold damp conditions prior to washing. It will also occur along the bottom of a curtain from window condensation.
EMBRITTLEMENT AND SHRINKAGE OF GOODS WHICH INCLUDE PVC OR POLYPROPYLENE These goods need cleaning on a carefully designed low temperature wash process. They shrink excessively and can go brittle in drycleaning.
ODOURS ON WASHED GOODS Bacterial growth on unwashed soiling produces foul odours from bacterial excrement.Bacteria can grow in laundry water tanks.
BROWN STAINS AFTER BLOOD REMOVED The iron in haemoglobin often defeats normal blood removal procedures and needs a special iron remover to take out the residual orange brown ring.


What our clients say...

  • “Our machines have come from several suppliers – there is a big difference in the standards of support we receive and Armstrong gets 10 out of 10 – their service has been consistently excellent over several years and when you’re as busy as we are, that’s very important.”

    Jacqui Butler

  • “It’s important to get the right equipment for the job, too small and it won’t do it properly, too big and you are wasting money, energy and space. It is also important to deal with a company you trust to supply reliable equipment and give you the support you need. As expected, the installation went smoothly, we have never had the slightest problem and I know Armstrong will deal with it if we do.”

    Colin Farquharson, St Ermin’s Hotel

  • “Our relationship with Armstrong goes back a long way, and they continue to give us excellent service and extremely reliable equipment.”

    Suzy Brandwood, The Elms School

  • “On average the equipment is working 14 hours a day throughout the week.  The new dryers are brilliant, easy to use, efficient and reliable!”

    Wendy Clayton, Chepstow Nursing & Care Home

  • “The machines are kept very busy, work well and have been very reliable.”

    Fr Oliver, Douai Abbey

  • “That’s the thing with Armstrong, if you ask for service you get it – quickly.  We know we can rely on them which is really important as the speed and quality of the laundry is vital to the hotel.”

    James Suter, The Gliffae Country House Hotel

  • “As before I am delighted with the dryers, they are really efficient and reliable and the customers find them very easy to use.”

    Shaid Aziz, Bright Wash Launderette

  • “We’re delighted with the new dryer. We pride ourselves on a very personal level of care here, keeping up with the laundry and it all coming out looking good is an important aspect of this care and this machine has been excellent since it was installed.”

    Marilyn Collins, Oaklands Care Home