How to Fix the Root Cause of Mysterious Stains in Bed Sheets/DIY Dryer Felt Seal Repair

Have you noticed brown/red spots in your bed sheets, white clothes, or other thinner fabrics? They look like rust spots or burnt spots but you’ve been racking your brain to figure out where they could be coming from.
Here’s a possible solution to this problem, that I was having for months.

First, let me post a few photos of what these “spots” look like, to help you identify if it’s the same problem. These are from a shower liner and a pillow cover.

I noticed these spots in my cream-colored satin sheets, my shower liner, and on the tips of a white shirt collar. I tried to do a google search on this, but I had a hard time finding the same exact issue. Finally I came across a suggestion that the Dryer Drum Felt Seal could be the problem and replacement could be the solution. (Hint: if you don’t want to read more, it was!)

I thought it sounded like an odd root cause but I was tired of my sheets looking awful. Every week there were more brown/burnt spots on them.

Luckily, most dryers are fairly simple and fairly straight forward to take apart, so it was worth a shot to investigate into this.

Eric helped me remove the drum out of the dryer, and we took a look at the Rear Felt Seal. It was rust-colored in many spots, and there were some tears throughout. Possibly, the sheets were getting caught in these small tears and rubbing on the rusty seal. I forgot to snap a photo of the old seal on there, but I think you’ll know if it is in need of replacing once you get the drum out.

To get the Drum Seal off, you might have to use a sharp putty knife to scrape it away, since it’s glued on. Once we got the seal off, we found the drum was rusty in spots throughout (as you can see from the photos below).

You’re going to want a nice, clean surface for the new felt seal to stick to, so go ahead and sand the rust areas. I was probably able to get 80-90% of the rust off by sanding it. Also, sand away the best you can at the areas where there’s glue or felt that got left behind.

Sanding the rusty edges

We spray painted the edge with white appliance paint to really give it a new surface. It looks much better.

Next, is putting on the new Felt Seal. Find your part number and check with an appliance parts website to get the correct part. It should be about $20-30. We have a Whirlpool and here’s a link to the one we bought. Even if this isn’t for your model, there is a Repair Video toward the bottom that could be useful. Don’t forget to verify that it fits your specific model.

Before applying the glue to the new Felt Seal, I recommend doing a dry-fit to make sure it looks like the correct part and that it will actually fit.

This product came with glue, and we applied a bead of it around the rim just as shown below.

Applying glue

Getting the Felt Seal on I think is definitely easier with two people, since it has to be stretched a bit to get it on, or else it pops off. The best way we found to get this thing on was to press the back (exterior) side into the glue then fold the other half over toward the inside.

To really give this new felt seal the best chance possible, we had to look at the interfacing area. These photos below are of the rear dryer, and its where the drum sits and rotates. Looks like the paint wore away there too. So, we cleaned, sanded and spray painted this part too.

Our dryer is in our garage (no A/C) in Florida and this was the middle of Summer, so it did not dry quickly. We let it sit here for 2-3 days, making sure the paint wasn’t tacky anymore, before re-assembling the Dryer.

It’s been a couple months since doing this repair, and I haven’t seen any more mystery brown spots on my bed sheets so I’m confident this was the root cause. This is an inexpensive and fairly easy repair, so it’s worth looking into. I hope this helps!

Thanks for reading!

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