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Some defective or broken washing machine parts can leave rust stains on your clothes. Fortunately, this is not a problem that will sneak up on you; most times these washer parts make plenty of noise when they are going bad. The source of rust stains on your clothes can include a cracked drum shaft, a broken drum shaft, or collapsed drum bearings. If you are hearing loud noises coming from your machine, inspect these washing machine parts immediately. If your problem isn't rust stains, but simply laundry that isn't getting properly clean, check the filters on your hoses, make sure you are running the right size loads in your machine, and be sure to use the proper amount of detergent.
It may not be the washer. I experienced white clothing quickly turining a dingy rust color for months until my water heater was replaced. It showed leaking on the outside but I'm convinced it was an internal leak sending rust through the pipes. My whites stay white now.