Asked on Jan 15, 2012

I found little pieces of rusty material in the bottom of my washing machine. We have iron in our well water,and wonder

Sue H
by Sue H

if it could be building up somewhere and breaking off, or if the washing machine is rusting out someplace. It's about 20 yrs old, but still works good. Has anybody had a similar experience?

  9 answers
  • Sue, it could be either of your possibilites there. Have you given the washer a really good inspection to see if there are any signs of rust there? Have you seen any similar deposits anywhere else in the house? If not, my guess is that the problem lies with the washer and not the water lines.
  • Sue H Sue H on Jan 15, 2012
    Thanks for your input .I've looked all around inside and ran my hand around the inside and didn't find any thing wrong...just a little bit more of the rust pieces. Where the hose attaches to the washer, there is a little screen that catches rust residue. I have to clean that a couple times a year, so these larger pieces couldn't be coming from there. Maybe there is part of the washer that I can't see, that is rusting away. I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens.
  • If I were your husband, these pieces could have come from in the pocket of my work clothes. I was going to suggest that perhaps the screens in the washer hose were coming apart. I've seen that happen
  • Sue H Sue H on Jan 15, 2012
    I will check that...Thanks!
  • My guess its coming from an outside source. Is this a on going issue, or it just happened and has you concerned. Rust in water supply does not give you pieces of rust. Unless the piping in the house is steel and its chipping off. But as you said you have filter screens on the hoses so that rules this out. Older machines used steel and iron pumps. If a penny or dime got into the pump area it may have chipped off part of the internal pump. But those units are pretty sturdy and rarely ever rust, otherwise your clothes would come out rusty.
  • Kenneth Salek Kenneth Salek on Sep 27, 2018

    I had this happen to my last machine - only 5 yrs old. It is the shaft inside of the agitator rusting away. It is only made of steel, not stainless steel. Save your $ for a new machine.

    • Kenneth Salek Kenneth Salek on Feb 05, 2020

      2/5/20 Different brand..about 5 years old.. the same thing is happening. On the last machine, the tub just dropped down, full of wet clothes..and that was it..making ugly noises as it tried to continue the wash. An appliance guy told me they only last 5 or 6 years these days.

  • Caroline Gerardo Caroline Gerardo on Sep 27, 2018

    Twenty years is a nice long life for a washing machine. It may be rusting inside the agitator, or underneath. You can spray WD 40 on the rust which won't stop it but slow the break down of flakes.

  • Peter Conner-Estrada Peter Conner-Estrada on Sep 27, 2020

    Loud ugly noise, clothes okay, but found a small piece of metal on the bottom and the drum was crooked. Ran another wash, left about an 1/2 inch of water with more smaller pieces of metal, the drum was perfectly balanced. Ran rinse drain cycle without water coming in and drained the rest of the water out. Still, small little pieces of something, I think it is something my niece left in her wash. Some of it is squishy, not metal, there are some pieces that are metal and being a coin collector, it may be some really corroded pennies that got in there. I have some pennies that are full of holes and falling apart.

  • Deborah Deborah on May 29, 2022

    Yes, under the agitator it is rusting, and pieces of flat cortoded metal are making their way into the wash. Definitely not an easy fix, time to get a new washer.