Question about Kenmore 43052 Front Load Washer

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Stains on clothing

I recently did a load of wash and found these strange black stains on some of the clothes. They almost seem like oil. Once they are in the fabric, they don't come out. The next load they are there and a little worse. I looked inside the drum and couldn't find anything. I cleaned the black rubber seal around the door and that didn't help. Not sure what to do now. Any assistance would be appreciated. jonnyzepp

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  • Jonathan Forward Jun 15, 2007

    Thank you far all the help. I found other similar problems on this website and determined it wasn't going to be worthwhile to repair my washer. With 3 kids I needed to act quickly and ended up buying a new Frigidaire front loader. I am happy after 1 day and a couple of loads of wash. The unit holds more and is much quieter than my Kenmore. thanks again for the help.

  • Theiceman Feb 17, 2008

    I'm having similar problems. The stains (brownish color) were combined with a roaring spin cycle so the bearing is definitely bad. I'll probably replace the washer rather than repair as I feel the staining is a design issue that will repeat. I separated the rear shell from the tub/drum. On the back of the tub there are 12 small cavities in a circular pattern, each about the size of a thimble. Each cavity was filled with a compacted substance that had built up over the 2-3 years I've owned it. The substance was brown on top. The bearing grease is dark grey. When digging the substance out, it appeared to be undissolved detergent. However, we've only used liquid detergent and fabric softner. So, it may be a combination of detergent, bearing grease and who knows what. My conclusion is to apply the $175 I'd have to pay for a new shell/bearing to a new washer, which is not a kenmore. It took me a half-day to dismantle and I don't want to repeat that every 2-3 years. I'm not sure how long it would take a trained repairman but expect it would have to be at least four hours labor to dismantle, repair and reassemble.

  • Anonymous Mar 02, 2009

    I am disgusted that my just-over-5-year-old Kenmore front loading washer has bad bearings, rust and corrosion down the front, and is expected to cost $850 to fix. No way! I will never buy a Kenmore (or Sears) product again. Whatever happened to quality and workmanship? Now I have to figure out how to get the bearing grease stains out of my clothes.
    Any suggestions on that?


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I agree, it is not the rubber bellows, it is the rear bearing. I too replaced both bearings in my washer (I'd suggest a bearing puller to get them out) and the seal (~$70). The washer worked great for about 1 year and 3 months and now the problem has returned. I am not sure if I did a shoddy job with the seal or it is a design flaw. We also had one of the suspension springs break during a wash cycle and this may have caused some bearing damage. We are currently deciding whether to get a new washer or fix. One thing I noticed recently was that the bearings in the Whirlpool duet are different than the Kenmore, they are isolated by stainless steel and not rubber as in the Kenmore. I may try to find these in the same size at least for the first rear bearing which is the one that gets hit with water first.

Posted on Jul 09, 2008

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It's NOT the rubber bellows, it's the rear seal and bearings. First the seal fails which allows water to get into the bearings. Soon the water breaks down the grease and then the bearings start making a terrible noise while in the spin mode. The bearings however are NOT molded into the drum but the solution is a bit involved. I changed the bearings (2 of them) and the seal for a total of $67; and about 6 hours of my time.

We've had the washer for about 4 1/2 years and I would do the repair again if we get the noise and staining again, it's worth it.

Posted on Jun 06, 2008

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Usually black oily stains are a symptom of a rear main drum bearing starting to go bad. The seal goes bad first and the packing grease will start to weep out as water gets into the bearings. Is the washer starting to get loud during any spin cycle? If so, I think your bearing is starting to go. It's not a cheap fix, either. The whole back shell of the outer wash tub has to be replaced because the bearings are molded into the plastic. I hope this is helpful in some way.

Posted on Jun 15, 2007

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The problem is the front bellows or seal of the washer. As the washer drum wears agains this seal, it eventually causes it to break down and as clothes brush up aginst the worn spot, black stresk and smears of the eroding rubber actually rub off on the clothes. The smears/stains will come out with comet or another cleanser from most clothes; sometimes it leaves a residual black mark. It is not grease, so a degreaser will not affect the stain.
Replace the front bellow or front seal, as it may be called. It is an inner tube shaped rubber liner that seals between the front of the washer door and the front of the drum. The cost is about $35.00-$40.00 and you will need the kit as it includes the rubber spacers that are essential to doing the job. The job takes about 1 1/2 hours to complete. It is not hard, but it is dedious and requires some basic skills. Directions included in the kit are helpful.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008

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