Skip to content
Manage My Life

What causes brown stains from the washing machine?

I have well water and the filter in the filter/water softener system was not changed for approximately 9 months. The water throughout the house was running clear however. I noticed that the washing machine is leaving brown marks on my light clothes and towels. The water filling the machine is running clear (even before changing the filter, the water was running clear). However once the machine is full, the water has a brownish tint to it.

I have run several empty loads through the machine to flush the lines and the machine but am still experiencing the same problem. I would like to know what is causing this brownish tint, and resulting brown streaks on the clothes. Could this be rust in the machine? Could this be sediment that came from the well? What are my options for clearing this; can this be resolved by running CLR through the machine?

Kenmore 80 Series, Super Capacity Plus

Approximately 8 years old.

Thank you

Kenmore , Washers
Sign in to answer a question
3 Answers from these members:
Joseph Perez is a great place to find the answers to just about anything, especially on a washer, especially if it is not cleaning the clothes properly. I would suggest that you provide a little more information such as the make and complete model number of your product, so your expert will be able to provide you with the best possible answer. Just click on reply down below, where you can provide the additional information.
by Joseph Perez Earned 62,642 community points in Kenmore
November 28th, 2011
Answered in 4 minutes
0 votes
Manage My Life
I have well water and problems with iron in my water. I have three filters on my system and each one takes out finer particles . I was having the same problem .You need to keep a close eye on the filter . I changed mine every three months.
by Manage My Life
November 28th, 2011
Answered in 11 minutes
0 votes
Korinna Sierra
If you know the brown streaks are definitely coming from the washer then the likely cause is one of two things:

Transmission oil

Gunk breaking loose from the inner wall of the outer tub

I recommend removing the cabinet and tub cover ring and inspecting and cleaning the inner wall of the outer tub. Over a period of time and using cold water washes body oil, dirt and undissolved detergents will accumulate at the water line on the inner wall of the outer tub. After the gunk builds up thick enough parts of it will break loose at times when using hot water and then get on the clothes. I recommend inspecting and cleaning the scum by manually scrubbing and scraping it off if you find it accumulating. If you find no gunk on the inner wall of the outer tub the likely cause is transmission oil seeping up the agitate shaft or spin tube and getting on you clothes. The transmission would have to be replaced.

To access and remove the tub ring cover will require removing the washer cabinet. In order to remove the cabinet the console must be put into the service position to access the two cabinet retainer clips and to disconnect the lid switch harness connector.

First, disconnect the power cord from the power source


The console (key#26) will need to be placed in the service position by removing two (2) hidden screws, one (1) screw located at the bottom of the left hand end cap (key#7) and one (1) screw located at the bottom of the right hand end cap (key#10).

In order to access the two (2) screws hidden under the left hand end cap trim (key#8) and under the right hand end cap trim (key#15)the two (2) end cap trim pieces will need to be removed.

To remove the trim (key#8&15), place you finger behind the trim at the very top and bend it up enough to clear the console and then hinge it towards the front and off.

Remove the hidden screw under each end cap trim. *Slide the console forwards about 1/4 inch and the raise it upwards and hinge it over the rear panel.

Disconnect the 3 wire lid switch harness plug located on the top. Pop the two (2) gold colored cabinet clips off.

Place the tip of a flat tipped screw driver down into the first valley and then push the handle end to the rear of the washer to pop off the cabinet clips. (See image below)

Open the lid and grab the opening and tilt the top of the washer cabinet forwards just a few degrees and then walk it backwards and off. (See image below)

Remove the tub cover ring by pulling the tub cover locking tabs outwards to unlock and remove the tub cover ring.

Look between the inner basket and the outer tub and you will likely find the accumulation of gunk.

The above information may work for your model.

For further assistance, please respond with the complete model number of your washer.
by Korinna Sierra Earned 16,292 community points in Kenmore
November 30th, 2011
0 votes
Didn't find what you are looking for? Ask a question
Get up to
% off
On Washers