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Cleaning Rust Stains From My Washing Machine

Category Laundry
It is very frustrating to take a load of clean wash out of the washer only to discover new rust stains from the machine itself on your laundry. This is a guide about cleaning rust stains from my washing machine.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 17, 2006

I have a washing machine that is probably 6 or 7 years old. Every once in awhile I find a rusty residue on the laundry when I do a load. I have checked the inside of the drum and haven't found any rust. I contacted the manufacturer, and was told there is nothing one can do to resolve this problem, short of buying a new machine. I am currently getting by, by running a cup of lime-away through it once a month, but the problem reoccurs. Does anyone have a solution to getting rid of rust stains on clothing or better yet stopping my washer from leaving the rust stains in the first place?


Donna from San Diego

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March 20, 20080 found this helpful

Iron Out is amazing. I was having a problem with my whites suddenly becoming orange and now they are whiter than anything in the house. I also use Mrs. Stewarts bluing for my whites usually but it just wasn't helping with the rust. Now- beautiful clothes and no icky residue on the inside of my washer either. I am very happy with that product.

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April 29, 20080 found this helpful

I just wanted to say thanks, I just bought a new used washer dryer set. Really nice, front loaders, and did my whites and got a ton of little orange rust spots all over my white clothes. I was furious, since one of the blouses were new. Found this site, and read your suggestions on the Iron out, went to Home Depot, picked some up, and tried it. It worked. And I had already dried some of the whites, and those came clean too. So I agree with everyone else. Use Iron Out.

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

First question I would ask is do you have a well or well water? If you do it's probably iron bacteria in your well and it will need some servicing. I have a well and couldn't figure out why my whites were coming out with these odd orangy brownish spots, it was happening all the time and driving me nuts. So I started using bleach, not a good thing, it made it worse. After doing some research we had the problem diagnosed and apparently we have a iron bacteria problem in our well and bleach increases the effect, yikes. Here are some of the products I use and the work really well, only on whites. Rit color remover, iron out, whink and yellow out. Do not use these products on colors except really light yellow, off white and putty. good luck.

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August 30, 20080 found this helpful

Check the bleach dispenser! Pull off the plastic funnel, and underneath you'll probably see severe rusting, as we did. To fix it, you have to scrape and sand off as much rust as you can, then spray with a rust-retarfdant paint.

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September 3, 20080 found this helpful

Put lemon juice on stains in clothing and put in sunlight to dry. Stains disappear. If it doesn't work the first time try it again. I am having same problem as you.

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September 7, 20080 found this helpful

I get random rust stains on my white clothes. I have a new Front load washer. The washer has a big rubber gasket around the front door opening (you know, where you sometimes have to shove the clothes through). The gasket has folds and I notice the folds gather rusty looking gunk over time so I kept a towel in the laundry room just for cleaning that off from time to time. But, today when I found rust stains on my white clothes, I pulled the gasket back away from the metal drum that spins and noticed a HUGE amount of this rusty gunky stuff all the way around where the gasket edging meets the drum (sitting on the rubber side not on the metal as the metal moves continuously). Does anyone know anything about this? We are on a well but have a filter system for the water as it comes in the house & have no other rusty water issues anywhere. We had a top load washer & had NO problems.

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November 30, 20080 found this helpful

I used to have my washing machine in the house and had no problems with rust. I moved and I had to the washer in the garage. I started getting rust around the rim. I found that keeping the washing machine lid open when not in use helped reduce the rust. I'm going to sand and paint the rim when I get a chance.

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December 4, 20080 found this helpful

What is this IRON OUT. Do you put it on your clothing or in the machine to get out rust /stains. I have had this problem for months now and it seems to just be getting worse. I do see visible rust spots in my drum but I have yet to do something about it because I was unsure till now. Would a tremclade spray or paint stop this as well?

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March 1, 20090 found this helpful

Also rust is likely under the agitator. Remove this and the inner tub to check for rust in the outer tub; sand and repaint.

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June 28, 20090 found this helpful

I believe the man who suggested checking out the bleach dispenser was exactly right. I couldn't figure out why I rarely had problems with orange spots, and only on white clothes. But once I got some spots they were impossible to remove. I washed some work whites today. I don't usually don't use the bleach dispenser, I just dump the bleach in with the detergent prior to putting the clothes in.

While the washer was filling I pulled a soapy wet white washcloth out of the washer and wiped down the machine including squeezing water from the soapy wet cloth through the bleach dispenser just to clean up the machine. Now that I think about it, I only do this once in a while and only when I'm doing a bleach load. As I was taking the load from the washer I noticed quite a few of the dreaded orange spots on just one pair of white pants.

I found the post about checking the bleach dispenser. When I pulled the plastic dispenser from the machine, sure enough there was a bit of rust around the metal where the plastic dispenser fits. Now all I have to do is get some of the "Iron Out" as suggested for rust stains. Whoo Hoo. Thanks.

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Read More Answers

0 found this helpful
September 12, 2011

My husband has never liked water conditioners. We have lived in our house for almost 20 years and my washing machine is spewing rust onto some of my clothes. Is there something like running vinegar or bleach through a cycle that will stop this?

By Patti K.

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September 16, 20110 found this helpful

My father was an appliance service man, before he passed. Sometimes the transmisson in the washer can throw out grease. It is brown and ends up on your clothes. It happened to mine one time and he said that it was time to get a new washer.

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June 22, 20160 found this helpful

I have had rust spots for a few months. The rust flakes are coming from the bleach dispenser and the soap and fabric softener dispenser. The moisture has caused the metal to flake. I guess I am getting a new washer. Very frustrating to buy new clothes and have them ruined.

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September 10, 20160 found this helpful

I had the rust flake problem as well. In my case, the underside of the cabinet top had begun to rust on the edges of the opening. Apparently the vibrations during spin dislodged flakes and resulted in the stains. My solution was to clean off the rusted area and spray with epoxy appliance paint. Problem far.

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0 found this helpful
June 11, 2008

My washing machine is ruining my clothes. It leaves dark orange stains on everything. What can I do to solve this problem? I have hard water, but my machine is leaving these rusty looking stains on just about everything but black clothes. Help!

Trisha from Goodsoil, Saskatchewan

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

Had the same problem with a washing machine some years ago, where it was leaving orange rust stains on clothing.

Try filling the tub with some hot water and bleach and let it go through the entire cycle. And if that doesn't solve your problem, try my next suggestion.

Use a flash light and see if there are any medal areas in the washer that is coming in direct contact with the clothes during the wash or spin cycle. If you find any rusty spots paint over them with appliance touch-up paint. Around the inside of the tub is a rubber gasket. There are probably rusty areas on the medal that have to be painted.

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

If you have iron in your water (usually why it is HARD), you can't use any bleach in the wash water or it will make the iron stain your clothes. Some of the detergents have bleach in them and this will also do it. Good luck.

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

Probalby should get the clothes out immediately after washer is done. My washer's tub had a few spots that were chipped and when clothes were left overnight, they would have rust spots on them.

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

There is a product you can buy called "Iron-out". I've had to use it before in my washer because of the amount of iron coming through the water. I know you can buy it at Wal*Mart, in the Paper goods & chemicals section.

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