Our clothes will periodically come out of our washing machine with brown splotchy stains. I suspect it's either rust or oil/grease getting into the drum. How can I diagnose what it is exactly, and prevent it from happening?

Edit: I have wiped down the top of the drum, both on the inside and above the drum where it meets the metal chassis of the washer.

I also removed and cleaned the fabric softner container, and removed the agitator and cleaned the inside and below the agitator (there was a ton of built up dirt). After removing the agitator, I cleaned that in the sink with soap, water, and baking soda. I cleaned by filling the drum with hot water (as if about to start a cycle), and then adding a cup of bleach and cup of baking soda, while leaving the door open. After letting soak for an hour, I scrubbed the place where the agitator attaches to the bottom of the drum and wiped down all the loose dirt.

I also stumbled upon an errant bobby pin, which I suspect has been the real culprit here. Will answer this question if the splotches disappear. Thanks to @ noybman for all the help.

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    could also be rust. How old is the unit? Is it front loading or top? Do you have well water or municipality water? Does your clean toilet water ever appear unclear? – noybman Sep 10 '17 at 1:08
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    @noybman yeah I mentioned in my question that it may be rust. I don't know how old the unit it, I'm in a rental. It's top loading using municipality water, which is always clear and colorless – spacetyper Sep 10 '17 at 1:33
  • Do other people use the unit as well? When the unit is empty, does the drum or agitator if it has one seem very lose? Do you use liquid or powder detergent? (front loader or top?) – noybman Sep 10 '17 at 1:36
  • @noybman no other people using it. Not sure how to tell if the drum is loose. It's moveable but feels like that's normal. Agitator doesn't seem loose. We use liquid detergent that's clear. – spacetyper Sep 10 '17 at 1:39
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    Take a damp thick rag, and run it alongside the inner upper part of the drum and the metal chassis above the drum. You should also feel a plastic/rubber assembly there where the rinse water comes from. Look to see if you get debris or rust on it from that *(be careful in case it is sharp). Also, look for a label on the unit, The model # and date of manufacture should be on it. – noybman Sep 10 '17 at 1:42

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