Why are my whites turning grey in the washing machine?
One thing that should reassure is that this is generally not a problem with your washing machine. In modern machines, the electronic detector would have picked up a fault, and the washing cycle would be stopped. By the mere fact that you have been able to empty the machine shows that the programme had completed. There are always exceptions to this rule, but hopefully the following reasons and solutions should help you to return to a good result for all your laundry.
Reasons and Solutions:
Overloading the machine. It is a false economy to overfill your washing machine, as the result will be that no items have been washed thoroughly, or rinsed properly. You will end up having to split wet washing, and then run two cycles to achieve the desired result. If you have to force an item into the drum, you have overloaded the machine.
Incorrect washing cycle selected. It may be that you are washing white towels in a mixed wash for instance, but at a lower temperature than you would normally use for towels. If the water is too cool, it will not clean thicker items as you would want.
You will be very pleased to know that you will gradually be able to bring your washing back to their former glory. For white items, make sure you use a detergent containing bleach.
Use a detergent that does not contain bleach for coloured items.
You may have to rewash your items a few times until you are happy with the result.