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beware wisteria attacks white clothes!

I thought I might let you know rust spots that kept appearing on whites fresh out of the washing machine. Rust spot was not visible on the clothes when they were put in the washing machine. This kept happening to me and I was puzzled...I cleaned my machine; checked the filter for metal hairgrips; changed my washing powder.  Then I read something that led me to believe it was sap from wisteria. I decided to test it by cutting the end off wisteria vine and rubbed it on an old white cloth...nothing to see. Put it on a warm wash and hey presto the cloth came out with a rust spot which cannot be removed even with bleach. It's something to do with oxidation.



  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    How did the sap get on your laundry?
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,287

    Yes, I found that out years ago. Every time I pruned it for snapped off a trailing stem. Got rid of the wisteria. Couldn't afford the clothing billsimage

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Does this drip from the plant or is it only when it gets broken/cut?

    In a world where you can be anything, always be kind.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,287

    Only when the plant is cut. It's the sap, I think. It is clear and unnoticeable until it gets near to some washing powder when it turns a deep rusty red. Totally resistant to any stain remover.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,657

    Hi G1 ,that info is really interesting as I also found that I was allergic to Fig tree sap,it took me almost a year to learn this as I was growing figs and taking cuttings,the cuttings and trees are a gem to grow and the fruits a cracker but the sap can be really strong and burn the skin with blisters and rashes, its gloves now .Good luckimage

  • I think it may happen without pruning too as rust spots have appeared on my daughter's white jeans and she doesn't do any gardening. Possibly drips if hot or after rain???Alan - On the subject of blisters, I have had that reaction from angelica - it's called phytophotodermatis. It's when the sap is on your skin and reacts to bright sunlight. The blisters were really painful and lasted for months. image 

  • *phytophotodermatitis

  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,657

    Cant spell it but forewarned eh.and painful is right,image

  • I suspect that wisteria sap is dripping on my car which is parked beneath it.  It looks like amber droplets (small, clear, golden specks) and is tough to get off the paint.  I notice it from roughly March through September.  The wisteria is growing on a hybrid poplar tree which could also be the culprit.  I haven't narrowed it down yet.  It's an old car with bad paint anyway.  I value the wisteria and the shade tree more.  Anyone else have this problem?

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    But then it could be used to permanent-paint t-shirts! image

    Think of the possibilities!

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