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Hi, welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you! What you are seeing actually has an official name...scrudding. It is residue of detergent, minerals and dirt that accumulates above the water level line on the inside of the outer tub.
May I please have your model number so I am able to provide you with accurate, model specific information?
Thank you! Number 317 in the diagram at the link below is the outer tub. At the top, that "gunk" cakes onto the tub (on the inside) and water does not fill up to the top, so it dries there and will start to flake off. Often times, it looks like flat pieces of lint caked water scale. The washer will need to be disassembled to clean it totally out. However, you can run some water and then once it stops filling, add another gallon or two so the water rises above the high mark and then a gallon of white distilled vinegar. Allow that to soak over night and then drain it out the next morning and run a hot wash load (no clothes during this process) and it will help a great deal until it can be taken apart and cleaned out.