Holes in clothing - HELP?

jill4205July 10, 2006

I posted on this problem a few months back, and I'm still experiencing it.

Our tshirts all end up with tiny holes, usually in clusters of three or four. This doesn't happen on other clothing, just on knit tshirts.

At first I thought it might be a problem with my Whirlpool Duet He set, purchased in Aug 05. I checked the inside of the drum in both washer and dryer all over with pantyhose, looking for something that could snag them, but found nothing. Some knowledgable people here said I should not spin the tshirts in anything higher than "medium" spin, as they could get pulled through the drain holes by the high rpms, and snag on the *underside* of the drum. Sounded logical to me, so I've been spinning them on "low" spin. For the record, I use Tide HE detergent and otherwise follow all instructions in the washer manual and the clothing care tags.

Well, now it's happening on our NEW tshirts! Aghh! Upon examining them, they are all happening in the same place too. On my tshirts, they happen right around the place where they hit my jeans waistband button. But on my husband's and son's shirt they tend to be on the back, also toward the bottom hem. If it was being caused by a washer problem, wouldn't they appear in different places? And some of my son's tshirts don't ever go in the dryer, so it can't be a dryer problem. And why do they appear in the front ONLY on my shirts, and on the back ONLY on theirs?

I've seen no moths, and anyway, if it's a moth problem, wouldn't the holes also appear in different places? Our tshirts all come from different places, so it can't be a manufacturing problem with the shirts.

I'm really at my wit's end with this. In 25+ years of doing laundry I've never experienced this. My son really doesn't want to switch to button-down shirts! LOL

Can anyone offer some insight on this problem? All help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like it's happening before it hits the washer. The cause is something near or slightly above the waist, on the front of your shirts but on the back of theirs.

I would take a look at your daily routine to find commonalities between you, your husband, and your son. In order to cause holes, you would need to splatter the affected area with a pretty strong acid, or it could be abrasion related.

Take a look at how you fold the clothes to see if the holes match up with exposed areas, or along fold lines, that might clue you in to what's going on. If it's along fold lines, I might suspect a rodent or other poor hungry creature in the closet that is nibbling at areas within easy reach.

There's usually a logical explanation. My partner's shirt came out of the wash riddled with holes the other day, like he had been hit with a spray of bullets, and I looked at him with that Lois Lane "are you Superman?" look. We realized that it was battery acid that hit the shirt during some car maintenance the day before.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I suspect it is happening outside the washer/dryer as well. They aren't along fold lines, and with three active cats in the house I doubt it's rodents. I thought perhaps moths, but have seen no evidence of them.

I don't think it's acid, since none of us are regularly exposed to those types of things and this is happening on EVERY tshirt. I'll have to do some thinking on the abrasion, though.

I appreciate your taking the time to help!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 7:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

and with three active cats in the house

It couldn't possibly be the cats at all? Our new kitten likes to pounce on you, especially when you're sitting down, and has caused a few holes in our t shirts and some pairs of jeans!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is there a counter or table that you (family members) tend to lean against that could have small sharp abrasive "protuberances"? Tile on the front of the sink? The kitchen counter? Splinters under a laminate counter that catch the T-shirt knit? The bathroom? Workshop?

Seat belts or scratchy upholstery in the car? Patio furniture? Brick Barbeque? Stone wall or fence?


    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The curious item here is that it happens on the front of the OP's shirts but on the back of her husband's and son's.

If it's a result of leaning against something, then the OP would have to be leaning forward and the other two people will have to be leaning back against this same item. A kitchen counter might fit the bill, but only if your son is the same height as your husband -- in the course of cooking and cleaning you most likely lean forward agains the counter, tiles, etc., and your husband and son probably lean back against this counter to talk to you or hang out in the kitchen. Rough grout may be a cause, a shipped tile, etc.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow! I'm having the very same problems with my t-shirts. This summer is the first time it's ever happened.

I'm a chem student, so I do play with acid quite a bit...I'll have to watch out for that. But like yours, mine appear near the belt line, except in a couple of shirts, they're up by where a breast pocket would be. I also have one on a polo that's right next to the collar.

I'm really distressed about this, since I usually can keep my t-shirts for years. I have one from 97 that didn't have a hole in it until this summer!

I'm staying in a dorm this summer, and I'm in a different one than the one I've been in for the past couple of years--this one's notorious for its spiders. Could that have anything to do with it? If so, why are they only in one spot?

Anyway, if you ever figure out what's causing yours or how to fix it, or if anyone else has any other suggestions, please let me know!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am having the same problem. I have moved to a new house, changed my washer and dryer, and changed the brands of detergents, and still no luck! Small holes on the front of my shirts at the pant line. I have looked for bugs and found none. i do not splash chemicals all over myself, nor do i use bleach. I also do not have any countertops or sharp edges. I have never noticed my clothing snagging on anything! The holes are like 0.5-2mm in diameter, some with smooth edges, others with messy ones. I am so upset, as it is happening to many of my favorite cotton shirts. Never happens to my husband! does anyone have any ideas???

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too have the same problem with holes in my clothing. I've even had rips! I see no bugs or mothes in the hamper. I think it started after I bought my HE3T 4yrs ago. I have felt the inside of the washer & dryer, nothing. I've changed detergent, nothing. It's driving me mad!!!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Given the list of things that you have changed (house, washer, dryer, detergent), and that only your clothes have this problem, you present an interesting mystery!

Do you lean up against or come in contact with tables or counters at work or a public restroom counters that might be cleaned with a caustic chemical? Or even a cafeteria railing that may be cleaned with chemicals to disinfect it? Restaurant table cleaned with bleach? Takeout counter cleaned with bleach?

I realize that you can't know what chemicals have been used to clean these surfaces unless you actually watched them being cleaned, but in these instances, anyone might have their clothing exposed to chemicals that weaken the fabric without being aware of it. I'm just trying to imagine where your clothing might have been exposed to such chemicals.

Curiouser and curiouser,

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Even though you say you have changed detergents, my suspicion is still that the holes are caused by detergent. Any detergent that contains "carezymes" to "help remove pilling on cotton and even prevent it" (I forget the exact wording) actually eats the fabric. When I used those detergents a whole bunch of socks that I have had for a long time immediately got holes. The additive somehow looks for and destroys any material that seems pilly. So it makes sense that you would get holes on the areas that rub against something.

It may also be on those boxes marked with the cotton seal of approval!

The customer service reps vehemently denied it but I am sure it happened.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is this a problem because we are using a front loader and the clothes are whipping against each other, and down by the seam line on our clothes it is more fragile? I have had "wearing and holes" around the bottom of jeans that are washed alot, and this never happened with my old top loader. Sometimes I think that the agitator in a top loader is more gentle than all of the whipping around that is cleaning my clothes with the front loader. Any comments?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have found that if you have weak areas in cotton fabrics, specifically T-shirts and underwear, then if you have too high of a concentration of detergent in the wash, these areas will fail by developing pin holes. I cut down the amount of detergent I was using in my Miele and new pin holes stopped occurring.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sometimes I think that the agitator in a top loader is more gentle than all of the whipping around that is cleaning my clothes with the front loader.

FLs don't whip the clothing around, but they do tumble the clothing, which then rubs against the drum and other laundry. This can subject weak edges of clothing (such as jeans cuffs) to wear, espcially if the water is especially low. (That's why the 'delicates' cycle of a FL usually uses more water.) The water in deep-fill TLs cushions against this kind of wear, but can wrap clothing around the agitator and subject it to extra stress, stretching and tearing it. - DR

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These mystery holes/slashes can occur ANYWHERE on the t-shirt but usually the under the arms, front or back. They have appeared at the bottom of the shirt as well. This phenomenon I have only experienced with my "Thin-Twin" washer by Whirlpool. It will happen with or w/o bleach, light or dark colors, and in a load containing only t-shirts with nothing to "catch" on. At first I thought it was one of these factors but having had the same thing happen with different variables including ruling out different detergents, I can only deduce it is some defect in the machine.

I am interested in the make and models of washers/dryers that others are experiencing the same dilemma.

Please advise!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been noticing tiny holes in my shirts since the beginning of spring. We purchased a new home with a new front load washer and dryer in February. Something is tearing all of my cotton shirts. I have thrown away at least 10 brand new t-shirts this spring and summer. I did not have problems with my sweaters or any other type of clothing. I now have to hand wash anything cotton. I plan on calling for service on the machines and take it from there. At first I thought I was buying cheap shirts but now realize it could be something with the appliance or the HE detergent and after extensive research I find I'm not the only one. If anybody has any suggestions on how to handle this problem I would really appreciate any information.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have also noticed more holes in my clothes since purchasing my HE front loader. I have an LG Tromm. This is my second LG Tromm since the first washer stayed with our home when we sold it. I have noticed it with both machines. I have searched and searched for the solution to this problem too and so far have come up with nothing to explain it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i've been having the same problem. but i do realize that the holes are in the thin cotton shirts, not in my thick sweaters and stuff. i think its from both the thin shirts rubbing on the rough denim and then using detergent and having the clothes rub on others. the shirts are made so thin that when it rubs on the jeans after the wash, it creates tiny holes. i am now trying to wear light tank tops under them to try to stop the holes. hope it works...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just opened and washed three packages of underwear for my children. I have two boys and a girl, about 14 pairs of underwear all washed together in warm water-- no bleach. Three of the BRAND NEW pairs of underwear had holes in them. My kids hadn't even worn them yet.

I'm starting to think that it's the HE formulated detergent.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've found that cheap underwear becomes holey quite quickly even after the first wash - which is why nowadays I tend to spend a little bit more on better quality boxers.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, hallelujah! At least I have found others with the same problem. My mother says I need to see a psychic because there's no logical explanation for teeny tiny holes in cotton shirts in the same place! Surely there's another solution short of that! I have tried everything...researching nontoxic remedies that I dusted and vacuumed in the closet, putting "sticky" traps in the closet, which did attract a bug or two, but not the culprit, cleaning out a once-harmless drawer and putting in all new tshirts ONLY to have those same shirts end up with the holes,too. I truly am being driven mad by this.

The only sort of common possible solution I saw in this thread was to use less of an HE detergent and possibly wash your shirts on a gentler cycle. Am I missing anything pertinent? Before I found this site, I had emailed the old company where I bought my products in order to see if the second time's a charm. I'll pass along any news I have. Does anyone else have updated information? Thank you so much!

Spending way too much money on clothes, Blake

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm beginning to think that the front loaders, the duet in particular, is tough on cloths. I bought some good quality towels, around a year ago, the their edges are already getting holy. Always washed seperate in warm/cold and regular tide powder. It seems with all my cloths in general i see higher wear and tear since the duet. That's the only problem... works great otherwise,

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you! I was sure I was going crazy! I have been experiencing small pin holes in all our t-shirts. I am meticulous with our laundry and spend several hours each week washing and ironing. Most of the holes were in my daughter's thinner t-shirts. All shirts were cotton. None were washed with jeans, colors were separated, etc. etc. Reading all of the above postings - commonalites are front loaders and HE detergents. Both my sisters, my sister-in-law and myself have Neptunes. Two of us get holes, two don't. The two of us with holes you TideHE powder. The two that don't use TideHE liquid. I just bought my daughter and bunch of new t-shirts. I'm using liquid - now let's wait and see.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I only use liquid HE detergent, usually Tide and my hole problem persists.

"I've found that cheap underwear becomes holey quite quickly even after the first wash - which is why nowadays I tend to spend a little bit more on better quality boxers"

With two rowdy boys ages 6 and 9 and a 6 year old daughter and all three growing like weeds it just doesn't pay to invest in expensive underwear. Usually just Hanes or Fruit of the Loom cotton tidy whities. Still, I never noticed the problem with cotton fabrics before my front loader. i don't care how cheap the brand, they should NOT be getting holes in them before they've even been worn.

I pulled out a whole bunch of blue jeans last night that belonged to my older son to try on my younger son for the season and to my dismay I discovered that over HALF of them had holes in them, most in the knees. I am POSITIVE that I would not have bothered to store away those pants with holes in them. It seems like the fabric deteriorated while they were stored over the summer. I am baffled. The only common denominator is that the clothes were washed in HE detergent in a front loader before they were stored.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My problem existed when I was using Maytag front loaders as well as my mother's top-loader, so I don't think it's specific to the front loaders. Has anyone found ANYTHING at all that has worked even just a little? I was so dismayed this morning to notice 2 new holes in my son's new t-shirt. (The problem really seemed to be happening to my shirts, but now it isn't discriminating!) And, I've used both powder and liquid detergent, and cannot say that the problem has been less/more with either. I haven't stuck with one exclusively long enough, however, to really make a good judgment. Again, this problem is making me crazy, and poor! Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This week I used Tide HE Liquid for all the 100% cotton knit loads. I'm guessing I did around 10 loads using the liquid. For towels, sheets, and jeans I stuck to the Tide HE powder. Anyway, I didn't experience any holes in the cotton knits. I think this is the first week in months! I also used the delicate cycle on my Maytag Neptune. The clothes were not knotted as tightly together as usual. My plans are to continue with this method and hopefully the holes will stop!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG I thought I was the only one that this was happening to! DH has no problems with his t-shirts just me! It has been driving me crazy!

Not sure about the detergent theory. If it was the detergent making the fabric more delicate it seems I would be getting holes in the elbows where they hit the computer desk, not the three same size holes in the front of my shirts at naval level (and no I don't have a naval piercing) I have investigated the smoothness of my desk edge, my countertops, my seatbelt in my car, the inside of the washer and dryer (although if it was the w/d why would the holes be in the SAME spot?)....nothing.

It's just weird....so glad I have company! :-)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 6:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found that washing "Bra's" with clothing causes this. I had the same problem. Removed the Bra's from the rest of the laundry solved the problem. If not Bra's, check for any other clothing that may have metal latchings that could catch on the Tshirts.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another thought, the FL washers spin so fast any clothing laying across the wash paddles on the side of the drum would be suspended off the drum. With those high g-forces, it seems the clothing would stretch quite a bit at those points. Even though the paddles arn't sharp, imagine pulling them across something like that for as long as the spin cycle lasts. I'm wondering if there is a difference in each machine- some have short wide paddles (ie-LG) and others are longer/skinnier (ie-frid). We should post the type of machine we are using and if we are getting holes....

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've also been experiencing little pinholes on old and new T-shirts--right about where the button on my jeans is!! I think it's a combination of the shirt rubbing against the button from normal friction, and the washer (or detergent) being a little too efficient in removing the weakened fibers. I'm with others--if anyone finds a solution to the problem make sure to post! :)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My son gets these holes in the belly area of his shirts all the time. And I DO NOT have a front loader or use HE detergent. My theory is this: he frequently gets stains in this area (ketchup, food, grass, etc...) and this area gets sprayed with shout almost every wash which is causing the fabric to wear and fray more and eventually wind up with holes. He's the only one in the family with this problem and I wash all our clothes together.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I have started to see this in the last year and a half I have been living in Texas. I have had two washing machines - a Maytag top loader and now a Maytag Neptune front loader and the problem is occouring in both. My wife says its wear - but I have new and old cotton t-shirts, many long time treasured favourites, all coming out with little holes. And in non-stress areas as well, like the front. I am looking at one now in a t-shirt that has been with me for about eight years, and not a problem - until now, a neat hole in the front. Here are the points I see right now:

1) It's only cotton, seeming never anything else;
2) No bra's or belt buckles or similar;
3) Not changed anything in my washing for years. In fact with wife now she looks after my clothes and uses the right amount of detergent! ;-)
4) Age not an issue. One week old, ten years old - the holes just appear randomly;
5) Used all sorts of washing stuff - right now its "Purex Soft" so if it _is_ a specific detergent or additive I can discern that....
6) For me I spot these little holes when I get the clothes out and put them on, so its tough for me to say its the actual laundering process. Why not something like silverfish?? Or other little mites??
7) It only started when I moved to Dallas, Texas. I may be a guy, but I am observant and rather attached to some of my t-shirts!! I know what worn out is, and I know that these small holes have nothing to do with wear (in my case).
8) Oh, and money is no object. These holes appear in my brand new expensive cotton short sleeve t-shirts as well.

I would _love_ to know the answer to this, and I am going to hunt until I find it.....

Research Engineer.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 1:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was so relieved to read about other people with these mysterious holes in their t shirts.I have them in about 20 and all in the same place (at front waistband)It can't be washing as they are all in the same place and I've had them on new ones worn once and before washing.The only thing I can think of is that they started around the time we got granite worktops in our kitchen and although they would be level with the holes I can't find ANY rouh edges anywhere.I was wondering if any one else had stone or granite and could it be friction?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't you just love gaining an extra hour! Now I have an extra hour to dwell on this subject. I don't think it's silverfish or other insect because I doubt they only in chew on the front of shirts. We don't have granite counter tops (well, only in my dreams and my shirts don't have holes there). I don't wash bras with the t-shirts, never jeans (zippers), thought ocassionaly a shirt will have a zip front. I'm still using the liquid and do not see any new holes this week. I did see a spot in a new shirt that looks like it's on the verge of a hole. Perhaps it is the detergent trying to rid the cottons of pills. Optical brighteners - what do they do to clothing? The detergents do not seem to have an ingredient list. Now to find away to get the holes to appear in my husbands 20 year old t-shirts and not the new things (yes, I'm smiling). The comment with regards to seatbelts makes me curious too ... perhaps when it happens in one persons clothing more that others - it's time to go investigate.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I definately know its not washing as My last t shirt created 3 holes when only worn for a few hours before washing! As I'm from Ireland Iv'e never used your detergents and we only have front loaders.I wish I could discover the cause as it's driving me nuts ,my husband is sick listening to me about it and my friends are beginning to think I'm paranoid. have a new one on to-day and am going to inspect it every hour!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am sooo glad that I am not the only person with this problem. My holes appear randomly over knit clothes. I just bought my son a dozen new pair of underwear, washed before wear and two pair came out with holes (that weren't there first, i checked). It is mainly happening to my clothes and mainly shirts although some knit capris. The only thing different is my laundry soap. My mom picked up soap for me and grabbed the HE type, I normally use the regular all small and mighty. Anyway I went ahead and used it even though my washer is not HE, now I have started developing holes. I know that others don't feel that this is theie cause and they are probably right but I am going to stop using it and see what happens, since it is the only thing I have done different.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I had my washer repaired and they put in a new drum, they thought I was crazy but they did it anyways. I was hopin this was going to work but it hasn't. I just pulled out a new shirt and it already has 3 tiny holes in it. This is so frustrating. I'm now going to change detergents to see if that helps. Someone posted about granite countertops and yes we have them but I can't find any sharp edges. My mother also has the same Kenmore washer and dryer and she doesn't have this problem. I hope someone is able to find a solution to this problem.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just found similar holes on a t-shirt I was ironing. I don't believe it's the washer as last week I found them on a brand new unwashed shirt. It has to be insects. I've had this occur randomly over the years and it makes me crazy not to know what the cause is. Once I heard that insect eggs that are in the clothing when it was made hatch out and do the eating, but I have no idea if that is true. Will we ever find out???? Yes, I am glad to hear it's not just me experiencing this but I'd sure like to get to the bottom of it.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 1:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All fabric will weaken over time, especially in places that are rubbed or flexed when a garment is worn. Laundry chemicals will also weaken fabric. Repeated use of chlorine bleach, Spray & Wash, etc will have the same effect.

Conventional wisdom says that Front Loaders are more gentle on clothes than Top Loaders, and that's what manufacturers claim. Given this, it's probably true, but there is one remote posibility. Excluding the case where there is an obvious sharp edge or burr, the only thing inside of a washer that could possibly tear holes in a garment is a metal zipper. This is easily tested though. all you have to do is make sure that all zippers are zipped up before you put a load of laundry through.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HOLES? We get them too. T-shirts YUP, different places here and there. I never use the same soap,I switch around a lot. Same washer yes.
Good for the cotton industries.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wonder how much of this problem has to do with the quality of the knit fabric itself. Several posters on this thread have related incidents of knit developing holes before it has ever been washed.

If there's a thin spot in the cotton yarn/thread used in to create the cotton knit, and that thin spot breaks, because of the nature of knit fabric, the surrounding knit unravels and you have a hole. In a woven fabric, an individual thread might break, but you wouldn't necessarily see a hole develop -- at least not right away.

If there are thin yarns in your T-shirt, and you rub up against anything (seat belt, counter top, table, pants waist band), that thin spot is the place where the thread is most likely to break, even under what should be normal usage.

I realize this theory can't explain all the mytstery holes.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Moths can show a preference for a certain are of your clothing, if you have a tendency to get a certain type of dirt or stains in that area.

According to the "Clothing Moths" article linked below:
"Although moths do eat fabric materials, it's not the fabric itself they are primarily attracted to, it's the dirt, lint, salt, dead insects, or stains from human sweat and food. "

Here is a link that might be useful: Clothing Moths

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 4:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have holes in clothes, mainly towels, and have found threads under the "fins" that are in the drum. I have an extended warranty and when I called they offered to replace the steel drum with a plastic drum that has smaller drain holes. If that helps I'll let you know

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

marie232, what kind of machine do you have? If one of the major manufacturers is offering a plastic drop-in replacement for a FL drum, then this is news with all kinds of implications, and is one of the most remarkable things I've seen on this forum in months. - DR

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG!!I've been getting holes in all of my cotton shirts too. It only happens to my clothes. Not my husbands or my two children and I wash everyone's together. All the holes appear in the front around the belly button area. It has really been driving me crazy!! It happens to my cheap shirts and my expensive ones. I've been researching this and I can not find a reasonable explanation. It has even happend to a brand new shirt that I wore for the first time and noticed the holes before I took it off. If it was from the washing machine why would it only be in my clothes and not the rest of my family?? If anyone knows the cause of this please post!! I'm going insane and driving everyone around me insane over this!!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been having the same problem as everyone else and do not know what the cause is. It is happening to older, newer and brand new shirts.
I wore a brand new shirt the other day and it didn't have any holes in it in the morning but by the afternoon I noticed it had a few tiny holes in it. All in the same area. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem. My son's tshirts, new and old get tiny holes on the bottom of the back of the shirts only. It has nothing to do with detergent or abrasion. This ONLY happens to his tshirts and there are four people in the home. This has to be some type of mite. I have cleaned out his closet repeatedly and ca not find anything. I'm going to call en exterminater. Does anyone know of a good lab that could look at the fabric ?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been getting holes in all of my cotton t-shirts too!
It is happening to older, newer and brand new t-shirts.
I only get them in my cotton t-shirts, my underwear and my husbandÂs t-shirts to sleep.
They appear random in the front, back and sleeves.
I called en exterminator twice, and he put "sticky" traps in the closet, which did not attract any bugs. I also placed some naphthalene balls in the closet and in the drawers.
I called my Management Office and they replaced the washer and drier machines.
I use Tide detergent and also the brand from Costco ( Kirkland ) - filling the cup up to line 3, maybe it was too much. I was using liquid softener and switched to individual drier sheets.
And I am still getting holes in the cotton t-shirtsÂ!!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lose the Tide. A mechanic I knew used to degrease car engines with it. It is WAY too strong for cotton t-shirts - and maybe everything else. I don't know about the Kirkland brand. Try All Free and Clear or another less harsh detergent. Just use a few drops in a FL or a few more in a TL - then wash JUST the T-shirts without any jeans or other rough garments. No bleach - either. See if that helps. Thin cotton is pretty delicate, even though we don't think of t-shirts as being delicate.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have this problem as well. Same place in all my shirts..around the belly button area. I have bought new waher and dryer, changed detergent and have had the bug man set traps(nothing ever found) and I am still having the problem! It is driving me crazy and costing me alot of money! The ONLY thing my husband can think it can be is our countertops. We have tiled countertops w/ sort of a rough edge. I never realized how much I lean up against them..but when washing my hands at the sink etc...I do lean against them a bit. So that is the only thing I can think it might be. I would be interested to see what kind of countertops others have??? Needless to say I will be getting granite countertops!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a GE FL. I have had three shirts get more than holes. It is more of a ripped/worn/shredded look. The shirts are completely ruined. They are always a cool-max type of fabric, very thin stretchy materials. It possibly happens when I load too much in a load, though I thought that was the beauty of these washers. A repairman indicated it looked like there was no problem with the washer. But he is coming back next week after shirst no. three shredded.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Australia and I too have had the same problem for almost 2 years now. It was only early last year that I realised we had a serious problem as it was occuring in not only my husbands clothes but mine as well and on a regular basis. I have had 2 different pest control companies come to my house on 6 occassions during this period and unfortunately, I have not been able to erradicate the problem. The last attempt involved us putting all our clothes in garbage bags and they sprayed the items directly and sealed the bags with tape. Unfortunately, this has made no difference. The pest control companies cannot help anymore and are unable to confirm what insect is causing the problem.I have frozen our clothes, placed them out in the sun on very hot summer days in black garbage bags and the resilient little buggers still continue to live! I have come to the conclusion however that it is insects causing this problem and that they harbour themselves in pants (not that they are visible to the naked eye) as everytime my husband and I have worn various jeans or pants, no matter what top we are wearing, providing they are of natural fibre, they will always end up with one or many more holes. To further support this theory, I can attest that new items which have never been washed or hung in my wardrobe are being attacked on their first wear. AS gross as it sounds, I believe it is occuring as we wear the clothes as I meticulously look at my clothes & hold them up to the sun each morning and within hours I will have holes in my tops! Possible Solution: - I have located a local university who may be able to look into this matter, I am in the process of sending photographs, affected items and a letter detailing my case to them. They have not confirmed that they will research this problem, but with no other options available, it's my only hope. If any of you have local universities, could I suggest that you too lobby the Antomology department for answers. If you have any feedback I am keen to hear from you. I will communicate any findings or solutions I hope to discover.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i also had something shred... a tennis skirt of a stretchy manmade fiber... it was the only thing in the entire load to have gotten damaged and the only thing i can think of was that it somehow was slightly caught in the washer door perhaps and shredded abit with the high spin. (i did not notice it after wash... only when folding after drying, so am only assuming it happened in the wash and not the dryer...) i have since been trying to not overload my washes when doing loads of similar materials and turning down the spin speed to med on more "delicate" fabrics. have only had the 1 item shred in the 8 months of having the new machines......

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great, so I'm NOT crazy about all the holes that are popping up in our cotton clothes. I have a Maytag Neptune washer/dryer set and usually use Tide HE liquid detergent and currently have some Tide HE powder. I never use bleach, seldom Spray & Wash or any other elements in the wash.

My husband had 4 pair of lightweight cotton pants, slightly distressed, from L.L. Bean that he wore last summer but had not worn since. He got them out and there were literally chunks of fabric that were falling out of various places. Some were in the seat area but others were not in areas of wear at all. Then I had some favorite cotton knit t-shirts that did the same thing. I've been doing laundry for 43 years and have never had this problem before. L.L. Bean replaced the pants with the same style and I washed the pants once, wrong side out as they requested. My husband just wore them on another trip and there is now a hole as big as a nickle between the waistband and top of the back pocket on the first wear.

I've discussed this problem with a lot of people and read all of the items in this forum. Here are my conclusions:

1. Apparently I need to use much less detergent. I had been filling up the cup to the middle mark on the dipper but really most of what I'm washing is not that dirty. My loads for 2 people are usually small too.

2. It seems like the front loaders are often involved in this problem. I am going to try using the "delicates" cycle and see if that makes any difference.

3. Although I've used Tide for years, maybe there is something different about the HE that is a problem. I've been afraid to buy anything else because I know I'm supposed to use a low sudsing type of detergent with the front load washer. I'll finish using the box of powder I now have and see what else is out there.

If anyone out there has narrowed down the problem, please let me know.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I return to this thread now and then as it is fascinating. I have *not* been getting holes in our many old and newer cotton t shirts (knock on wood) six months into switching to FL. He2plus, Tide HE powder - just 2T per load - minimal sorting = mixed loads, rarely spot treat, jeans wearers, Corian counters...FWIT

No clue why this is happening to you. I would be flat out bonkers over it.

Rita, please post what the University entymologists have to say. I wonder if there isn't something happening at the t shirt manufacturing or sales level that causes bug eggs at the fold line?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting thread !
I have new Bosch FL, am using TideHE.
With old TL, I burned holes in clothes by adding clothes first, filling w/water, then adding (regular) Tide. Then I switched to adding Tide & water first, letting detergent dissolve, then adding the clothes. (No more holes.) I figured the dissolved detergent was less harsh on the cloth than the raw undissolved powder.
Now with FL, I can't easily add detergent and water first, so we'll see if holes appear again.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe the detergent is to blame...

Detergent manufacturers in the past, have toyed with adding a bleaching catalyst or accelerator, to their powders. This is based upon the metal Manganese (Cobalt can also be used).

The effect of this catalyst, is to speed up the bleaching process, but to the detriment of the clothes. Polyester dyed fabrics seem to have the worst resiliency.

In the UK and Europe in the mid nineties, Unilever launched the ultimately doomed powders "Persil Power" and "Omo Power". They rotted clothes, and caused Unilever to lose sales. The catalyst content was first reduced, then apparently omitted altogether.

The manganese bleaching catalyst appears to be used now in Unilever's SUN dishwasher tablets (data sheet info from Ireland: SUN dishwasher detergent has all but disappeared in UK market).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I first responded to this in Oct. Since then I have changed detergent, wash all my t-shirts together on delcate cycle and air dry on rack.Have checked granite counters for rough edges...none. Still getting the tiny holes at naval level.
Driving me nuts!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yep... I'm having exactly the same problem. My t-shirts all seem to develop clusters of totally unexplained tiny holes on the front at the bottom. Really, does no-one have any explanation for this? It's driving me mental. I'm positive it's not the machine or the detergent, and I have been putting moth balls all over my drawers and cupboards, so that can't be it either. It's very strange. I do however notice that it only happens to the t-shirts that I wear the most, as opposed to ones that just sit around in the cupboard. Therefore, since no-one can get to the bottom of this, I propose an experiment... I've just bought a random white t-shirt that I shall be wearing constantly for the next few weeks. I intend to examine that t-shirt regularly throughout the day, before wash, after wash, after drying, airing, etc, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to establish exactly when these holes appear, as currently I do not have the faintest idea. If I do then maybe, just maybe we can come up with an answer to this once and for all.
I will keep you posted...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, We are in the UK and my wife has been having this problem for months. Its driving her mad!!! It happens in both our clothes, new or old. I have read through the thread and will attempt some of the suggestions made. Hopefully a solution can be found. Regards Mark

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 8:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hi, I have the same problem. I was wondering if any of you happened to have furniture or anything coming in from storage. I have a couch and a chair that were in storage for a few years, I 've somewhat isolated the problem to the room that they are in. But yesterday I had on a BRAND new shirt, I watched all day for holes in it and in the evening the first one appeared. I did sit on the couch yesterday but probably only for about 5 - 10 min. So I'm not really sure about that theory. The person who mentioned that it could be some little bug in our jeans, that one made a little sense too, yet another mysterious theory.!!!! Oh and I am positive it is not coming from the Laundry soap or Front Loaders, cause twice I've had new shirts on that had not been washed or come into any contact with soap. YIKES!!! HELP!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Auggghhh! Following this thread all along from curiosity. Even posted 4/25 that I had no holes, use Tide in Bosch FL.

Sitting with DH out on the deck tonight look down and see 4 tiny holes in a 2 inch square on the front of his shirt. Look down and see 3 in mine.

I swear I heard that shrieking horror movie sound: "BWREEEP! BWREEP! BWREEP!" Or it was me screaming.

What now? This WILL make me absolutely bonkers mental, just as I said it would if it ever started happening... no one is safe.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are some possible causes of the holes from Yahoo Answers. These are all washer related.

Overbleaching, Too hot water, excessively fast spin cycle, other clothes with sharpish corners or attachments (ie bra's underwire or hook/eye thingie), powdered detergent ( yes it has abrasive elements in certain hard/soft water areas) Pipe corrosion (small metal/rust flakes entering and leaving the wash cycles).

Other sites list carpet beetles and other bugs as a possible cause. Some do eat cotton, although they prefer wool.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the problems with the counter, washer & detergent theories are that many of us (me included as of today!) have had the tiny holes in the front in shirts that are brand new and have never been washed. and the bug theory doesn't make sense because why would they always be at the bottom front? i'm taking the shirt back so it doesn't join the many i have in my closet that have these annoying little holes in them. but i suspect the same will happen with the new one. seat belts are my theory. anyone have any evidence of that?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Location, location , location! All my holes are in the same location, and roughly the same size numbering anywhere from 2 - 10. If the holes were in random spots on the garments then it could be the washer/dryer, soap, bugs etc. But the same location is the key. I checked both front seat belts, all smooth. If it were counter tops etc., I think one of us would have noticed that by now. None are in drawers - all hang up. (No it is not sharp hangers, LOL)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can several of you post close up pictures of these holes? We need to be able to see if the holes look frayed, worn, cut, and if there are any piles nearby. Do you all have similar holes or various ones indicating varying sources?
Have any of you looked into the water? What is in the water to your house? Is it softened? From a well? Is your city water supply considered good?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you can definitely rule out seatbelts, worktops and jeans rubbing on the clothing. My 3 gym t-shirts all have holes and are only worn in the gym. I change into them at the gym and back out of them at the gym. They have never been worn anywhere else.



    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is making me crazy as well so I'll add my two cents worth. My washer is old and not a front loader. I used to think the insects that hatch out of the fabric idea made sense but not anymore. As many of you have described, mine mainly seem to be on the lower front of my tee shirts. Could the fabric be weak due to faulty production? I have used the Costco brand liquid detergent for treating spots and dirty areas on the shirts and wonder if that could be it. I put on a shirt this morning and saw no holes and after a few hours I see one. Could the detergent have eaten away at the weakest area and then as it's worn the threads separate? Could it be that the manufacturer is putting out clothing that's intended to do this so we'll have to keep purchasing more? That may sound crazy, but I remember when socks used to wear forever and then all of a sudden that stopped being the case and the toes and heels started wearing very quickly? That definitely is the built in obsolescence factor. Is it happening at the area that gets the most stretching or wear? It is a relief to hear that I'm not the only one with this problem, but it seems there should be an answer out there somewhere.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was reading an article a few days ago that said you should not use enzyme cleaners on some natural fibers like silk, they said the cleaners will basically eat the fabric. Not that I think all of you wear silk t-shirts, but are they cotton shirts that are having these problems or synthetics? And if they are cotton, do you use detergents with enzymes? Could there be a connection there?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Louis Feenstra

I was just wondering if the people who have problems with the holes at the front of the t-shirts only, are wearing them tucked into the pants, skirts, slacks, shorts etc. or over that part of clothing? Is there something rough on the inside or outside of that part of clothing? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem with tiny holes in the front of my shirts by my bellybutton. I have a theory - maybe someone with a scientific background can respond. Maybe the shirt is rubbing against the metal button/snap/zipper at the top of my pants. Then, add some sort of cleanser or detergent to the mix, and it creates a chemical reaction that eats away at the fabric.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No further holes noted here. And the holes in my tee were to the side. At the Y realized that's where I pin the locker key those rare times I take a locker. So mine maybe were locker key pin holes? Though I've worn the same 4 cotton tank tees for years and pinned lots o keys over those years...

Here's what DH's look like. Smack center, starting 6 inches up from the hem. A bit high for belts or buttons or waistbands to be the culprit, especially the two upper holes.

Is that like what the rest of you have?

I'm wondering now if some food drippings might be adding to the mix. Not that I usually feed DH battery acid. Oooo, reminds me that he has been messing with some car batteries lately...maybe this is a one time problem? Will continue to monitor and follow this thread. Did stop using any bleach at all - I'd only started using a bit in white loads with the new washer 7 months ago.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same holes in most of my t-shirts and t-shirts only! new and old
This is a MYSTERY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Its not the washing machine because my wife and children dont have any hole.it started happening 1 year ago ,even on new t-shirts that have been worn once
I work in front of a computer all day so it's not from work or anything like that.i checked everything i come in contact during the day.
The strangest thing that is happens only to T-SHIRTS,not sweat shirts or anything like that
I am very upset i had 10 new shirts ,and now all of them have holes in groups of 3-8 holes in clusters near the waist hight and in front
Will post a picture soon
All pants and jeans that i wear have been checked for sharp edges,setbelt of car ETC....
I hope some will have answers for us soon because this is driving me crazy
Bye for now

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 4:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have noticed the same thing on a few of my t-shirts (agreed with cobra50, have never noticed it on any other type of clothing). I noticed them after we bought our Kenmore FL in January, but the 2 t-shirts I've seen it on are both over 10 years old and I can't be sure that they weren't there before, b/c I started paying more attention after I saw this thread ;) ).

I wonder if it has something to do with decreased quality of the t-shirts made today, i.e. "they don't make 'em like they used to"?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 6:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MEEEE TOO!! I remember noticing this phenomenon as a high schooler, and thought it was just normal wear, until I worked in a clothing store and saw the problem on my brand new shirts. The holes really do appear randomly!! Some shirts have 3. Some have just one. All are tiny, and all are in front, on the bottom, near my belly button.

Within the past 7 years, I have moved around enough as a college student and newlywed to have used EIGHT separate pairs of washers and dryers of various conditions, not to mention several trips to random laundromats. I admit I am notorious for using a hefty scoop of detergent, HOWEVER, it has never occurred to me that this might be a laundry problem. I dont use bleach. I steer clear of harsh chemicals. AND I hang all my shirts in my closet, so folding is not the issue.

I dont think this is a matter of my rubbing my front on any countertops, tables, seatbelts, buckles, etc... My husband also wears cotton shirts, and is an electrician who crawls in attics, under houses and even wears a tool belt. He has every opportunity to rub holes into his clothes during his daily activities, yet he does not experience this problem.

I am begining to think these holes are caused by an evil microscopic bug living in my belly button who senses which shirts are my favorites and chews holes in them to drive me crazy.

OR we all need to have our bellies swabbed in order to determine whether our diets are causing us to sweat tiny beads of an acidic T-shirt dissolving perspiration.

Someone help. I am starting to feel trashy.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Belly button bugs. That's it!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am wondering if all of this has to do with the making of the T-Shirts as in the factory...maybe they tag the bundles with a plastic push thru pin to ID them and then prior to selling it they remove the tag . At that point the holes are really tiny and then as they wash they begin to enlarge to become visible .

I just seems too much for chance that the holes are where they are which makes me think that this is a routine event that takes place. Question is where...I believe these are man made...MY two cents on all this


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The belly button bug theory made me laugh out loud! Very funny! Shoot....you never know!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the Belly Bug theory is quite viable. I just checked my belly button, and I personally don't have belly button bugs, but I'm very suspicicious of some other people I know. It would explain a lot.

Has anyone seen the movie "Bug" staring Ashley Judd? This is the kind of thing I'm talking about, all very plausible.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 12:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I definitely agree with the bug theory. The holes look exactly like clothing moth holes that you'd find in a sweater, only smaller, and it's definitely a recent problem in our household. I've been doing my own laundry for over 35 years, and I've just started noticing this problem in the last year or so. I think it has to do with the type of fabric (the yarns) and where the fabric and/or clothing is made. It happened last fall to some brand-new shirts I had just bought my daughters for the new school year. Tiny holes randomly appeared after the very first washing! These weren't cheap t-shirts either -- one was from Abercrombie and the other was from Hollister. Both t-shirts were made with this really soft, fine-yarn cotton. One had a cluster of holes on the front, the other had the cluster of holes on the back, on one side. It has happened on other t-shirts since then, all of them brand new. And always t-shirts (the clothing of choice for my crew). I suspect the fabric is infested with some kind of teensy moth eggs at the factory mill where it is manufactured or at the warehouse where it is stored before shipping (isn't almost everything made somewhere in Asia nowadays?) The fabric could be made in one place, stored and shipped to another, and assembled in a garment factory somewhere else. My guess is the damage is done somewhere along the line before the clothing arrives at the store, and even minimal wear and subsequent washing causes the hole in the fabric. If the infested clothing is tossed into your laundry hamper with older clothing, whatever larvae or mite that is munching the new shirt would find its way to other clothing.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i promissed you a picture :

do all of you have the same holes
These holes appeare in front of t-shirts on waist line
please comment
WE must find the answer to the HOLES

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just dont know if I agree w/ the bug theory. I dont think bugs would only chow down on only one area of all of our shirts. My holes do look exactly like the ones that people have posted. Still a mystery and still driving me CRAZY!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oh my gosh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one with this issue! Here is my theory. I'm going to be really honest with ya'll, sometimes, my belly button gets stinky. I call it the "ear canal effect" because sluffed skin gets lodged in there, mixed with sweat, bang instant stinkyness. I think its some kind of chemical by-product from degrading skin cells. What'dayall think? I think its plausible. When I wear tanks under my knit-cotton shirts I don't notice them as much.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 4:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My holes look the same too and in same location. Does not matter what brand or label the shirts are.

It is really weird isn't it? So many of us having the same problem with no idea of what is going on!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 1:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi I think that I may know what is causing these holes! I have got the same problem where I get holes in t-shirts. It tends to be items that are soft or fine fabric, sometimes i get holes in underwear but it is mainly fine cotton t-shirts. Last year I was going mad as I kept getting holes in clothes but couldn't see what was causing them. I found on inspection that the holes mostly occured whilst items were in the linen basket but also got holes in brand new items of clothing in drawers. I found 3 tops of mine with holes in hung up in the wardrobe. I spent 3 hours checking everything in the wardrobe holding each item up to the light. I eventually found 1 insect which I put into a container & got the council to investigate. They rang back saying that it was a carpet beetle larvae. That was last June & I am still having problems. I have since found only 5 of these larvae in 12 months & I am looking all the time. These insects are secretive so hide under furniture & in quiet areas where they will not be disturbed. I have had several suggestions on how to get rid of them including having the whole house sprayed. This to me is not an option as I have 4 children. Even if my house were sprayed it wouldn't get rid of these insects that were in wardrobes or drawers. I was told that vacuuming & laundering were the way to eventually get rid of them. I now hoover every other day & make sure that once a month all the furniture & beds are moved & hoovered under. I also go round the edge of the rooms with the nozzle attachment. This has been going on for months now but I am still getting holes in clothes. I have read that to get rid of these insects will take patience & perseverance. I even had all my carpets steam cleaned the other day as I have the How Clean is Your House book & this says that steam cleaning helps to get rid of carpet beetle larvae. On reading the internet it says that if you see beetles on your windowsills this is a sign that you have a problem. I have never seen carpet beetles but have seen 5 of the larvae. Would be interested in you views

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had the same problem over the last 18 months and I had blamed our gas range stove. My daughter and I both had the same problem with many shirts being ruined by holes (all the holes are at the navel level). My husband who does not cook has had no shirts with holes in them. I have had my stove replaced and the whole problem seemed to go away for a while. In the last week my daughter has two shirts with holes in them. We do have a front load washer and have just recently started using the Tide HE liquid detergent in the last month. I still suspect that the gas range as the culprit as I don't understand how a washing machine can cause holes in the same place and also avoid my husbands shirts. I also had shirts that were brand new and never had been washed that ended up with holes in them. It is a very unusual problem and I would be very interested in solving this mystery.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way, I don't have a FL but intend to buy soon, hence my following the forum. Our current machine is 20 years old. I was looking forward to FL because I thought our clothes would last longer besides being cleaner. Do others experiencing holes use a sanitation cycle (either with hot water or the Samsung Silver Care), which I currently don't have?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Add me to the list of those experiencing this problem. It's always t-shirts, always small clusters of holes, and always around the waist of the shirts. It is most often in my shirts, but it has happened with my daughter, son, and husband too. I find that shirts made of pima cotton are most susceptible.

It seems that it has been happening fairly recently, but I can recall the same thing happeneing 18-19 years ago. At that time I had a top loader, so I'm thinking that lets out the machine. The insect theory is interesting, but why would they always attack the same area of a shirt?

Personally, I would have to agree with the poster who suggested that over time fabric weakens, and the waist area tends to rub against kitchen countertops. Any type of abrasion would cause holes in already weak fabrics. Since I spend more time in the kitchen than my family, I have more holes in my shirts than they do. Maybe I should start wearing aprons.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just happened to 2 of my good cotton men's shirts. I paid over $50 for each recently! Anyway, check out the photo and tell me if you think it is from insects? I hope not! The holes are on front of one shirt and on the upper back of the other. I have not noticed this before on any other clothing and I have had the washer and dryer for over 7 years.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Since people are saying most of the holes are near the belly button, or on the back side of the shirt near the bottom, I've got to wonder whether the culprit is not anything to do with laundering, but rather, bugs. I mean, if you think about it, belly buttons and backsides are not the most sanitary or nicest smelling of areas, and maybe our cotton shirts are getting attacked because they're laden with disgusting bacteria and skin cells from those areas. And who knows whether holes are forming as we're wearing our clothes, but we're just not noticing? I mean, after laundering is probably the only time that we're really inspecting our clothes very closely.

I think I'll go take a very hot shower now.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my GOODness! This is crazy... I have been obsessing about this lately, and my boyfriend must have finally gotten tired of hearing about it, because he suggested I look it up online. I laughed, saying there couldn't POSSIBLY be another soul out there with this issue... but all of you are out there! Here is a summary:

--Starting within only the past 6 months or so, I've started to notice one or two very small holes near the bellybutton area, or just below, on nearly all my cotton shirts
--The holes sometimes are just to the right of the bellybutton line, but I have one shirt with the holes in the back
--The holes are always the same size, and always in the same place
--Happens to new shirts not yet washed, new shirts only washed once, and old shirts too -- all I know is, at some point while I'm wearing a shirt, I'll look down and see that the shirt now has a small hole in it.
--It happens to shirts from very nice stores and cheaper stores; the holes don't discriminate
--I am very tired of nearly all my cotton shirts being ruined in this way, especially since I'm a poor law student who doesn't have money to keep buying shirts like this
--I am starting to go crazy obsessing over this, trying to run through my day and think of how it happened
--It DOES NOT HAPPEN to my boyfriend, who has a very parallel life in many ways

--I don't think it's a problem related to the washing machine. I use a variety of top-loaders at my apartment building, and I use a top-loading machine at my boyfriend's. Because of the variety in machines I use, I've ruled this out
--I don't think it's a problem with a particular type of detergent, because I switch my brand often
--I wash my clothes in cold water
--I hang-dry all shirts on plastic hangers or on a drying rack
--I hang all cotton shirts in closets on plastic hangers

--I haven't noticed any rough counter edges, etc. -- and I have checked thoroughly
--I don't think it's related to seatbelts, because it happened even during the cold months, when a coat would come between the shirt and the seatbelt
--I wear jeans (with a top button) often, but not in the summer months. And not while I'm studying, which is the majority of my day
--I don't wear belts
--I don't use any sort of bag or purse which would make contact with the bellybutton region
--I don't use laundry baskets
--I don't handle any pets or children

WHAT IS GOING ON?! I'm seriously freaked out... feel like contacting 20/20 :)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Personally don't think it is carpet beetles - for one good reason. Why would they ONLY (for the most part) eat in the same spot? Holes would be in all different areas than just the front belly button area, IMO.

Same thing for washing machines - front loaders or top.

The clues are the size of the holes, the location, and material.

The majority here have said: small holes, belly button area (ish) and cotton. Age of the shirts have varied. I had one shirt get holes after wearing once.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 3:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm really glad I found this, but sad there seems to be no clear cut solution. I don't have an answer either, but this has been happening to us for over a year and it is driving me CRAZY!

- Holes in my thin t-shirts and my 1 1/2 year old baby's t-shirts and pants. On my t's I get the eerie cluster near the waistband. On my baby's clothes - they're more random on the arm or pants. And sometimes towels.

- No holes in my husband's t-shirts (both thin and hefty cotton).

- My husband's t's are normally hung dry, so I've determined the problem to probably be our GE Energy Star front loading dryer.

- I've checked all surfaces, seatbelts, everything - nothing seems abrasive enough to do this.

- I also wash all new clothes before wearing - and it happens.

- So age of clothing doesn't matter, colors, whites, prints, or baby clothes...

- The only consistent thing is that it's the thinner fabrics and sometimes towels.

- I usually use Gain (either regular or HE) and sometimes Tide. Always Gain or Downey fabric softener except on white towels.

Finally I called the GE repairman. He came and could not find a problem with the dryer or washer for that matter. I showed him the holes and he was baffled - even the other repairmen he called for backup feedback couldn't give him any advice. The woman I talked to when I booked the appt. said, "So all the holes are in the same place on your t-shirt? That's one smart dryer!" I was like - "I mean, I know it sounds bizarre. It IS bizarre!"

After reading through this entire thread I've decided I'm going to try a few things even though some people have said it didn't help them:

- hang dry more
- use less detergent
- possibly buy a top loader

If anyone comes up with a solution, please post it! Someone should contact Martha Stewart and see if she has an answer!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 1:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Now that I know I'm not crazy I plan to do a little experiment and post my results here. This is my problem right now: Clusters of tiny holes ONLY in the belly button area of my husband's and my t-shirts. I have other cotton items like panties and my husband's underwear and those do not get the clusters of holes.My kids t-shirts do not get these holes .
My experiment:
Purchase 3pk of cotton T-shirts.

#1 T-shirt wear as always put them in washer/dryer and see exactly when the holes appear.

#2 T-shirt hand wash only and airdry.

#3 T-shirt wear rolled up above my belly button so it can't rub against counters or belt buckles.Wash & Dry as always and see if I'm causing rubbing/abrasion .

I do not believe this is related to any kind of bugs because the holes would be random and would be on all our cotton shirts not just mine and my hubby's. I also really don't believe it's the washer/dryer because my kids shirts would get these holes also.I don't think its any detergent because again,it would be random holes and everyone's cotton shirts would get the holes. I'm going to keep a very close eye on my new shirts and wash them alone and finish my little experiment and see what results I get...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gennel --

Love your experiment!

Do you perchance have a fourth shirt to use as a sort of a control? The fourth shirt would live in the drawer or closet with the other shirts (when they're not on you or in the laundry) but would not be worn until the experiment was over. That might test the bug hypothesis.

Are all your t-shirts the same color?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow. I didn't think I could find so many other people with this problem. There might be some people who have gotten holes in their t-shirts because of washers, bugs, etc. but I know that the tiny holes in my t-shirts are neither. I have 2 t-shirts and one tank top with these holes near the belly button that have never been washed. They are all in the same area. One t-shirt, the one I've worn the most, has a lot of holes whereas the other two have just started. All in the same place!
My hypothesis is that something like pH levels in our body oils that are high in acid combined with those in metal (our jean buttons) and these cotton blends are causing these holes. I checked ALL of the buttons, zippers, 'sharp' parts of my jeans to see where my shirts could've gotten caught and am unable to find any.
The person who suggested going to 20/20 had a great idea.
Arghhh...hope someone finds out! Maybe I should go to a chemist...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 12:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I willl get a 4th shirt and keep in the drawers or put in the closet, in hamper but not wear or wash it. Just to see if bugs could be the problem . But like Isaid I highly doubt it's bugs because then these bugs only like eating the belly button area on the shirts! lol

Yes the shirts are all white t-shirts.
What made me decide to do this experiment and hopefully solve this mystery : I bought a nice fitted Roxy shirt and paid $30 for this t-shirt! Well I've only had it for 6-7 weeks and it already has like 4 tiny holes in the belly area! :(


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 12:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think its the front loading washer/dryer and here's why. I moved from the US to the UK about 6 months ago and here all our washer/dryers are combos and front loading. I too started getting holes in my thin t-shirts around the belly. I thought it might be the detergent until I read this posting, but it can't be since here we don't have Tide HE or Gain. It must be the front loading washers but I still don't understand why.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can't blame it on the FLs. We have a TL and we also get occasional little holes in clothes (not really in the belly button area though). Several other people here who use TLs also report this problem. I don't think it is a washer issue. Some people experienced holes in new shirts that haven't even been through the washer.
It could be bugs or certain body oils...or a combination of both. Maybe the bugs prefer the area around the belly button because there are certain oils, smells or skin cells getting onto the shirt in that area.
It sure would be interesting to find the exact cause of this issue.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At last. I am not the only one. Holes appeared in my cotton (T-shirt) material clothes last year and it also occured when friends were staying on their tops. Had Rentokil out who said it was carpet beetle so had room treated and all clothes washed - still holes appeared. Not a washing machine problem as it has occured in new clothes. Yesterday I wore a new t-shirt as an experiment - no holes in the morning by 2pm 2 holes appeared at front in the middle and by 5pm 5 holes in a cluster around belly area. I am wearing the top back to front today to see what happens.... watch this space .....

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 3:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lets call MythBusters or Discovery channel, LOL! Until I know whats up I am not buying any tshirts for awhile unless they are on sale for like $5 or less!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I sent a email to the NCC - National Cotton Council ..... if they don't think I am totally nuts maybe we will get some help!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am glad Iam not the only one with this problem! there has to be an answer!!!! I do not think its bugs as I think there would be other places, then down by the waist line! Thin shirts, heavy shirts , cheap shirts, expensive shirts, even loose shirts! it does not matter I get holes! I have tryed everything. changing soap, I now use woolite....it does not matter. We just bought a new washer and it is still doing it! I hang dry them so I know its not the dryer!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 2:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


A friend and I have been having the same problems. We read over the entire forum to see what everyone else thought, and we were thinking the same thing. I couldn't understand why our cotton shirts were happening in the front, and for our other halves having holes in the back showing up. We checked with others we knew, and there seemed to be a common link to what was happening with ours. We were told by several people that they thought it was being caused by our kitchen countertops. My friend realized that hers began happening after they moved into their new home with granite countertops. After more discussion, I found that mine started when I moved into our new home, that also has granite countertops. We checked with others that had laminate tops, and they did not have the problems with the holes as we did. Also, it happened only with cotton shirts, whether new or old, and when we felt around the area, especially around our sinks, there were some rough spots to where it could be possible that our shirts were rubbing against it. As for those who lean their back against the countertops, theirs are having holes created on the back of their shirt. This is the only thing that we could come up with as a possibility for the holes being created, but let me know if anyone else out there has checked this out. It has definitely baffled us for a while now, and I have been more careful around the countertops on not leaning against them so much when I'm cooking or washing dishes, that's for sure. So far, there have been no more holes appearing....I was almost to the point of contacting Whirlpool about it, thinking that it was the washer, but it actually happened to shirts prior to buying the Duet when I had my top loader, but it started when we moved in, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think that the holes are caused when the shirts are pressed against jeans zippers via seat belts. If your tummy hangs over the pants a bit when your are driving/sitting I think that the shirts get snagged in the zippers. Gap jeans and target jeans seem to cause the most damage. Still experimenting though...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is not only granite..we have lamite and I have holes in shirts all the time! I thought maybe it was belts or zipper to.. but even when I where loose shirts it does it. I think something is breaking the material down in the washer..then when you lean on something it causes a hole.
Do any of you use Downy wrinkle reducer? I do..I was wonder if that what it could be?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You know something else that is strange. I wear extermely thin night shirts to bed and they have no holes.. so maybe it is the seatbelt and zipper theory? Today I had a shirt from the gap..when I left this morning there were no holes. When I was making dinner I noticed a hole! It is going to drive me CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE HAS TO BE An ANSWER!! I refuse to wear shirts with holes!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have this problem, and it's driving me crazy! It started 7 months ago, and unfortunately, I have a number of different variables, which makes it harding to figure out the cause. We moved to a new house in Dec., and at the same time, we got a new FL washer and dryer. I also started using a new detergent, TideHE, liquid. I only fill the cup halfway to line 1, otherwise I gets a sudsy build-up at the end of the wash cycle.

Our clothes only get one hole, and it's small, but it's detectable when it's being worn. My kids' t-shirts mostly get them, and I just had a t-shirt get one. A few have appeared on underpants. Here's something else to make this whole thing even more confusing - we don't get them in the belly button area! The one on my shirt was about chest high, near the armpit. The kids get their about chest high, on the front OR the back of the shirt. Sometimes they're a few inches above the bottom of the shirt, but they're not near the middle for the belly-button problem theorists. What in the world??!!!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I posted my problem a couple of weeks ago. Since then a friend who I lent clothes to has now got holes in her t-shirt material tops (never experienced this before). The clothes I lent her were not affected but could they have carried bugs on?? Also a friend came to stay and had a top in a suitcase - this also had holes in the same belly button area after 2 days of staying in my - infected house ?? It really is making me go ever so potty!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There has to be a answer... 95 percent of mine are around the waist, belly button, belt area. I did notice a few in my night shirts...but these have been woren for along time so this could just be wear. I did have FL, but now have TL but they are the HE kind?? But my daughter has the same washer and her clothes do not do it. I am so frustrated. I have tryed eveything I can think ok. PLEASE someone help!!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've read this thread with interest. We are not experiencing this problem, but I thought I'd throw something out there.

Suppose an article of clothing (let's say, a cotton T-shirt) is becoming worn. The most likely areas to show wear would be the "rub" areas...under the arms, and at the waist, where the waistband of your pants and/or belt rub on your shirt.

Some laundry detergents now contain an ingredient that digests "pilling" on fabric to keep it "looking new". Could this magic chemical possibly cause damage to fibers in your clothing? I wonder if perhaps it is not being completely rinsed away in the wash, and "re-activates" as clothing is worn and absorbs a little moisture as one perspires? Something to think about, and frankly, I'd prefer that it be this sort of thing rather than "bugs".

So, what detergent and additives are you guys using?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well it's happening in newer and older shirts for us. I did notice a shirt today has two holes near where it hits the waist of my pants. But on the kids' shirts, it's much higher up near the chest on the front and back.

I'd also like to add that we don't have granite countertops or anything else that would snag clothing, and my clothes hang in a cedar closet.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree... I think it has something to do with the detergent breaking down the fabric. I was using Cheer or Tide. I now use woolite on my shirts. But it does not seem to make much difference. Besides that all I use is Downy wrinkle reducer. I have even putting my shirts in a laundry bag!I wash my shirts on delicate by themselves. I just wonder if that is it. to much soap in a small load is breaking down the fabric....

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I took one of my shirts to the pool today so I could show my friends to see if they would have any insights. Right away three of them said - oh, we've had that problem before, it's moths. They all were very positive that it was moths! I've seen a few moths in our house from time to time, but that's about it. So I guess I'll try something to repel the moths in our drawers and closets. They also asked me if the cedar closet had a smell to it - I said no. It's an old house, and they said I'd have to file it down to reactivate it - I did not know that!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If it was moths..why only in the front of shirts..thats hard for me to believe! I was reading some other websites today. and everyone has a HE washer. This makes me believe the detergent is the cause. The material becomes weak and when we rub against it it causes a hole.what does everyone else think?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At our house the holes are on the front and the back, at different places.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had two different washers - same problems. It could not be bugs..they would have to be pretty smart to only attack the belly button area (and only my clothes). I have started pulling my shirts out in front of the seat belt when I'm driving and no new holes. Anyone else want to try?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


"This is probably not good enough for a show idea but maybe y'all could help figure this problem out.

I and many others it seems, are getting small holes in our cotton shirts. The holes are located in the "belly-button" area, with all different clothing labels and prices. They appear in new and older shirts at random. There is a current discussion at


under the Laundry Forum. Someone started the discussion asking if bugs were the culprit. Many theories have been eliminated (type of washing machine, soap used, moths etc.) due to the main common factor .... location, location, location. Other things in common with the location have also been ruled out such as seat belts, blue jean zippers & counter top rough spots to name a few. Pictures of shirts showing the holes have been posted there as well.

Please visit this site first to see what has been tested etc. already. I have sent a letter to the National Cotton Council but have not received a response.

This is really a problem that is extremely aggrivating. I found holes after washing a shirt once and was able to return it for a refund but they don't always show up that fast.

And yes, we can just not buy cotton shirts anymore but that is not very realistic."

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went and bought some blouses the other day.. cause I was so frustrated.The seat belt? I am thinking thats what is to..but I think something is weaking the fabric 1st. Iam going to try the samething pull my shirt away..
Thanks for everyones input and help.. I hope WE can find an answer.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I looked up some information online and found a picture of a garment that was very moth-eaten. I do think the problem is moths. The large holes looked like the large one on my son's shirt, and there were small, almost perfectly round holes as well.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I couldn't figure out how to put up the pictures I found online, but if you go back up this thread to the picture with the shirt that shows a penny next to the holes - look at the tiny, very round holes to the left of the big holes. That's what the online pic looked like - big, irregular holes, surrounded by small, pin sized and shaped holes. It's moths. That explains why people found the holes even before washing a garment.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't see how it could be moths. Wouldn't moths attack different areas of the shirts? Why only the belly button area? Wouldn't my husband (who shares a closet with me) have the same problem? Moths don't make sense to me. Maybe they are special belly button moths? Perhaps they are attracted to belly button lint?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Its not moths! The pictures with the penny next to it does not look like the ones I am getting.Mine are like the other pictres just tiny holes by the waist ..belt, zipper belly button area. Moths would not only attack one part of a shirt. And my husband does not get any either.. Do moths only attack womens shirts? OK!!???

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The picture with the penny - I'm talking about looking next to the big holes - there are round, tiny, pin-prick like holes next to the big ones. That's what most of mine are like. When I found the picture online of a very moth-eaten military jacket, it had the big holes everywhere, like the penny picture, and it also had the tiny, round holes too - like the pic of the blue shirt on this site. I don't know why they mostly go to one area - I figure they have to start somewhere. If the infestation got worse (like on the military jacket pic), there would eventually be holes all over the shirts. I also read that moths do eat cotton, not just wool.

I'm going to do what the internet says to do for moths, and I'll let you all know. I'm going to vaccuum and Swiffer the closets and drawers where the holes are occurring, and I'm going to wash ALL the clothes in those areas in hot water. Then I'm going to put something in those closets, but I haven't decided what yet. There are lots of recommendations from moth balls (which stink) to lavender.

Poster by the name of Holes - you don't have to believe me if you don't want to, but you don't have to get all bent either with your capitalized "OK!!???" and exclaiming "It's not moths!"

As far as not all clothes in a closet being affected - not all the cotton shirts in my closet have been affected - but I believe over time if it became an infestation, more shirts would be affected - that's why just the wife's shirts got it and not the husband's. This also explains why some people got the holes before they even wore or washed the garment.

I'll follow up here after treating the moths, with my results.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have tryed the lavender. I just do not think MINE are moths. I have never seen any in the house. and why would they just attack my shirts? Not all mine either.. but it is the ones I wear the most. Do any of you haver a HE washer?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

On another website..someone said carpet beetles? Why would they only attack one side of the closet?
My husbands clothes are only feet away? I am still leaning toward the seatbelt theory. Cause my husband tucks his shirts in.. I do not! Hmmmm??

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

this has been happening to me too. i thought i was going crazy or some sort of bug was eatting just the lower half of my thin t-shirts or that i had just snagged something and then it started happening to my DH's underwear as well. at first i thought it was because of the thinness of the cotton fabric. i don't think it's bugs (i've never seen any and i'm very clean and i have cedar in my closet). i don't think it's the FL washers (i've only used TL in 2 different apts). don't think it's the detergent as i used cheer, tide, never any HE, kirkland, now gain. also, i wear my t-shirts outside of my jeans

OK, here's my theory. i've heard that some fabrics have some sort of chemical (i think it was formaldahyde sp???) applied to it when new as it keeps it fresh(so no mildew)and fade proof when it's being shipped to the stores for sale. (that's why it's a good idea to wash all new clothes beforehand) i was thinking maybe this chemcial in combination with it rubbing on maybe certain buttons/studs (maybe a certain type of metal stud/button/zipper (nickel based??)) on jeans/belts/seatbelts causes some sort of chemical wearing/deterioration of the fabric. this would explain how even new shirts may suddenly have holes before washing. and if it occurs after washing, maybe the fabric from the waistline area has already been weakened so when it comes out of the wash there are holes in that area. as for underwear, maybe it comes in contact with the inside of the metal studs/zippers on jeans. do the kids or hubby wear their shirts outside or tucked in. my DH wears his tucked in and he never gets holes in his tshirts whereas i wear my tshirts out and i have them. did that make sense to anyone? well, that's just my 2cents worth theory.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 2:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These holes you are getting are caused by carpet beetle not moths. As far as I am aware moths tend to go for wool. If you have a problem with moths you would see them. Carpet beetle larvae are very secretive and hide in cracks etc so the only thing that you are likely to see is the hole but no insect. Unless you have alot of them you are unlikely to see them. They are the size of a grain of rice. They like dirty clothes but will attack new clothes. I think that people who think that the washing machine is doing the damage may find that the damage is being done when the clothes are in the linen basket or if you have kids like me on the floor in their bedroom! Check your clothes before they go in the washing machine & see if this is the case. For people who say it cannot be carpet beetle as it is only happening at the front belly button area well I also have this problem with some t-shirts being damaged there but have had holes in other locations & I know that it is carpet beetle as I have found about 5 larvae in my house.I don't think that it is seatbelts or granite tops as too many people are having the same problem. I do not think it is washing machines or detergent as people have posted from Australia, England & America. We all have different washing machines & different powder. I have been told that the way to get rid of them is to keep vacuuming especially round the edges of rooms and to be patient as getting rid of them is difficult.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have found that most of the clothes that are damaged are soft & fine so this is why some people will find that their husbands clothes are ok & their's are damaged. This is the case in our house but my husbands t-shirts are made of thicker fabric. I think the reason why the clothes that are being damaged are the ones that are being worn instead of the ones in storage is that carpet beetle like dirty clothes they are after something called keratin which they get from sweat etc.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 4:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really do not think its any kind of bug! I just do think they would eat only the front of clothing! In the same spot!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree. It is not bugs. Why do they attack only the fronts of the shirts. If you think it's bugs it must be a new breed of belly button attacking bugs! Think about it, bugs are not that smart. Moths would most likely eat your husbands wool jackets before your tee shirts. Since I've been pulling my shirts out of my seatbeat I've had no new holes. Would anyone else be willing to try? We really need to put the belly button bug theory aside now.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have my own theory about what might be causing the holes in my tee shirts. I noticed that I tend to lean against our counters a lot whenever I am doing the dishes or washing my hands. It dawned on me that the tiny holes in my shirts are in the same area where my shirts come in contact with the counter and it is possible that I might be picking up chemical residue left behind from previously used cleaners. This doesn't have to even be at home, but it could happen in public restrooms like at the mall, gym, etc. I further suspect that the cleaner doesn't produce instant holes in my clothes, which I am sure that I would notice, but that it could weaken the fabric in this area enough so that minimal friction from a seat belt or from the top of my jeans might cause the holes to form.

At least this could explain why people are seeing holes in both brand new and older clothing (sometimes before the clothes are even washed), why it occurs to some family members and not others (maybe others in the house don't actually lean agaist the counters as often or the counters don't hit them in the same place), and why people who share the same closet space do not always have holes in both sets of clothing. We have a TL washer, I use Tide w/bleach alternative, and this has happened to tees that I have purchased from target, as well as more expensive brands like JJill, Eddie Bauer, and Lands End. The bug theory just doesn't seem to really fit with our situation b/c these holes only occur in one area (where my shirt hits the top of my shorts/pants) and it only happens to my clothing (my husband and son sweat and get a lot dirtier than I ever could so one would think that bugs would find their clothing more appealing). In addition, we wash everyone's clothes together and I do not see the same problem in their tee shirts or in clothes that I don't wear regularly, but that are hanging right next to all my tees in the closet. This leads me to believe that it can't be bugs, at least not in our case.

It is an idea - any thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am leaning towards the seatbelt.. I too have been pulling my shirts out and have had no new holes, YEAH!!! I do not think its cleaners or counters as I got a hole in a new one I had bought @ the beach. and never came near cleaner or our counters. But if the seat belt theory does not work I am willing to try anything!The bug theory has got to go! I have Harley shirts that just wear on our bike no HOLES! Do the bugs not like Harleys?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Holes, why bother asking for feedback or advice if you're going to be obnoxious when you receive the answer? Seat belt - why aren't all people getting them, and why haven't we all had them since we were 16 when we started driving? Good luck with that.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mom of boys..you are the only one that gets upset.. you are the one that obnoxious!!!BUGS do not eat just one part of a shirt..Why would they not eat my Harley shirts? as the other lady said they are not that smart! I did not say it was the seatbelt..I said I was leaning towards the seatbelt..I dont think its only the seatbelt. I think the fabric is wearing down from detergent and when it rubs against something it gets a hole! I don NOT think its bugs..that my opinion. You have yours. You didnt get upset about about the one said we need to but the belly button bugs theory aside!! I think we need to. If you want to do that all work go ahead! We had the Orkin out here last week to do our annual thing and he said we do not have moths or carpet beetles!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am glad Iam not the only one with this problem! I have been getting holes in my shirts on and off for about a year now!!! I thought it was only me. We even bought a new washer and dryer. Thats not it. Its still doing it! It is only my cotton shirts (bottom) by waist. I know its not bugs. We have looked and seen none. I also think it could be the seatbelt. Shirts are so thin now a days. That the button on the seatbelt could be wearing on the cotton. No belly button bugs here!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Holes, I'm not upset that not everyone agrees with me at all. It's your rude comebacks that are obnoxious. Just because you don't think my theory is correct, which is fine, doesn't mean you have to act sarcastic (do bugs not like Harleys, etc.) and yell by capitalizing. That's all.

I got the info I needed here. Best to all.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

boysmom3, do you think we are all infested with belly button bugs?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also think that cleaning solution containing bleach that is sprayed on counters my be a possibility. If the sides were not wiped down completely it may be burning the shirts in the spots that we are leaning against. I still believe though it is seatbelts and only with jeans from target/gap. The holes look more like rips to me. Still experimenting....

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with sparklegirl. I got holes in the belly button area before I ever washed my t-shirts. It just can't be from washing. Perhaps washing makes holes worse, but how can washing cause holes when I never washed them? I think it has to do with chemical reactions and stuff. In the shirts, in our metal buttons, zippers, etc. and our body pH levels... I highly doubt it's bugs. It happens to brand new tshirts. And I doubt these bugs are smart enough to go the exact same spot every time...the belly button...chew away and then stop. Just doubt it...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG Those are the same exact holes...I thought I was just bonkers or my family was just the worst holy family around. I must have been a horrid wife and mother not to keep holes out of my familys clothes. Right about the same area almost all of our tshirts have holes...Drives me totally bonkers. I am constantly looking at my hubby and kids when we go out and then find myself asking them...couldn't you find a shirt without holes. Just to look at myself to see the same thing. I am just glad I am not the only one with this problem. I don't have to feel like I have totally failed at the whole laundry thing anymore...ha ha Love the theories...the belly button bugs are my favorite...can't wait to use that one around the house :)


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The seatbelt idea sounds like a good one although, like someone else said, not everyone that wears seat belts have this problem. The holes in the shirt I posted with the penny was nowhere near a seat belt and I only wore the shirt a few times. It was cotton, not wool and it was stored in a hamper near the washing machine for a day or two before it got laundered.

Our laundry room is just inside the garage door in a home that is very new and sealed very well. It is possible, however, that bugs can get inside that room.

Although I think it was an insect, I can't help but wonder it maybe if it was defective cotton fiber. I replaced the shirt with another one, same brand and type, only different color and I am hanging it after wearing prior to laundry. I am not allowing it to touch the floor just to see what happens.

Yes, I think this would be a great topic for Mythbusters. Give them any myth to get the research started, like... Myth: Belly Button lint causes holes in shirts...or... Myth: Poor laundering habits create pinholes in shirts...or... Myth: Microscopic aliens are eating our cotton shirts..(haha)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been following this thread for some time now. Everyone has great theories.
I am convinced that is a combo of a few things.
I wear a lot of jeans and I drive alot. I think it is from my tshirts or other thin cotton shirts constantly rubbing up against the little part of the jeans above the button that flips out a tiny bit and the seat belt always putting pressure against the 2. My family members sometimes get holes in their clothes as well, but just one here or there, never in clusters in the belly button area.
So thats my story and Im stickin to it!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with the seatbelt theory.. I have pulling my shirts out of the seatbelt for sometime now... and have not seen any holes untill the other day. I was wearing a brand new shirt..was in a hurry and forgot to pull it out from the seatbelt and sure enough a HOLE!!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seat Belts were the first thing I thought of when this started for me years ago. I checked each belt (ours have plastic buttons that touch near the belly area) and filed down any part that felt rough. I wear different size t-shirts tho - depending on what I am doing, as I am sure we all do - from regular fitting to nice and loose perhaps. The seat belt button thingie does not touch the same area on the loose ones cuz the material shifts around. So that theory went out the window for me.

Question ~ I cannot remember if asked/answered prior .... are the majority of y'alls shirts 100% cotton or a mix with something else? Can't remember if this has any bearing.

We used to live in Dallas, now in Houston. Just in case anyone is tracking the geographics of our mystery.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2007 at 3:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I still think it is the seatbelts. I think the material is so thin...that the seatbelts rub against it and cause a hole. since I have been pulling my shirts I have had no holes.Might be wrong. But I am going to keep on pulling my shirts out for now. If I get another one..will have to try something else. mine are all knit shirts. live in atlanta.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 6:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have also seen holes like this in my clothing. However, not as often as most of you. I do agree w/ the bug theory. I read that some posters lent out clothing and then the borrowers started getting holes. Sounds like larva or something is being transferred to other houses. Also, several posters mentioned spring or summer, which is the best time for bugs. And, if these carpet beetles are coming from the floor, hence the name carpet beetles, they would probably stop @ the closest place possible to eat and/or lay eggs, however, several posters have mentioned holes elsewhere, not just @ the bottom. Also, you've said 1 persons clothes are effected and not anothers, possibly b/c the clothes are kept in another closet that isn't yet infected. I haven't had near the 'outbreak' of holes that many of you have, but here's an idea. Go to Dollar General, Wal-Mart or any general merchandise store and buy some bug bombs. You can get single cans or multi-packs, and the cheap brand works just as well. Put these in just a closet or bedroom and see if that helps. You'd be amazed at the bugs you find after setting one of these off. But, please read the directions carefully before doing so! Another question I have is where do all of you keep your dirty laundry? Do you have a hamper or basket or just a pile? Maybe you should also investigate these areas too. Also, do you have basements? If you have a damp basement or one that's not used much, i.e. dark & secluded, many insects love this kind of environment. I will also recommend another product which may or may not help in this situation, but I love it: Hot Shot bug killer that lasts for 3 months. This stuff does work very well and doesn't have that horrible bug spray smell. These are just my opinions, but I do honestly think the culprit is an insect of some sort.

PS~ Everyone gets bugs in their house, so if you're embarrassed, don't be.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just do not see how a bug would only eat one part of the clothing?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm laughing so hard I'm crying here. I love the belly button moth theory. I was haunting the laundry forum today because I'm waiting for my new washer to be delivered in a couple of hours. I had NO idea anyone else had this problem until just now. It's been driving me CRAZY and making me so mad to lose some favorite t-shirts. This is awesome to have a group of us trying to figure this out. I've been totally stumped. The seat belt or jeans make the most sense I guess since location is so constant. Does anywone have this problem who doesn't wear a seatbelt or doesn't wear jeans???

Here's my stats on the problem.

Only my t-shirts (old and new alike) getting tiny holes in belly button area.

Moved to this house in Jan and I didn't notice any before that....hmmmm. New house has granite, old one didn't. Different water supplier.

Until my washer arrives today I've only used an older TL with tide powder. I'm getting a new TL with no agitator and will switch to the HE liquied detergent (Whirlpool Cabrio).

I wear my shirts out, hubby tucks his in.

I wash them in warm/warm or warm/cold normal cycle but all our t-shirts get washed together.

I have had silverfish problems in years past but I don't think I do in this house and back then I didn't have the hole problem.

I live in Tennessee (is the problem in certain parts of the country?)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've been getting the same holes for years. One thing to add to the post here is that I don't get more and more holes with continued wear and washing. The holes also don't get bigger with continued wear and washing. Once the bug, or moth, or seatlbelt, or tucking in, or washing has created the holes, there appears to be no addtional damage. If it were any of these culprits, wouldn't the amount/size of holes increase?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too have had this problem for many months. Only my t-shirts are affected-not my son's or husbands, so it can't be the detergent. At first I thought it was bugs but it didn't completely make sense since they weren't affecting my husband's t-shirts(we share a closet-why would the only go after my shirts and always in the same area-belly button and hem?)Also, I store new clothes in bags on the floor of my closet and they don't get holes. Finally, only the shirts I wear with jeans get the holes (the shirts I only wear to work with skirts don't get holes and these shirts are also cotton.) I started looking at what is on the front of the jeans I wear with the shirts that are getting holes. I found a metal button and many pairs are a copper color. I wonder if a reaction from the metal is causing the holes and washing makes it worse. A new shirt I wore on the weekend ended up with new holes. So I checked what I was wearing with it on the bottom and it was a pair of jeans with a copper and metal button. Also, a belt I wear with my jeans also has a metal buckle. What does anyone else think, could this cause the holes? - HELP!!! I will check back for input. I am going crazy over this and my husband thinks I'm crazy. I'm tired of throwing out new shirts worn once.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 8:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been taking some time experimenting. I have narrowed the problem down to a combination of zippers and seat belts. Some pants (Target, Gap) the zippers do not go all the way up. This very small gap combined with my seat belt causes the fabric to snag. The small gap on the zipper tears the fabric (that's why there is no other damage once a hole is made - it's the same spot!). I have been pulling my shirts out of the seat belt and don't have any more damage, but if I forget - holes. Bugs...no way!!! Target pants..no more!!!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I noticed that the tiny pinholes cluster around the bellybutton, but also slightly to the left. We have a marble kitchen countertop (and I often do the dishes). My theory is that it's caused by a combination of my belt buckle insert grinding the T-shirt against the marble countertop.

Belly-button bugs makes no sense: the holes wouldn't be isolated to such a precise area.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, we spend big bucks buying stretchy comfy THIN cotton shirts that are so transparent we have to layer them to be decent enough to go out in public. It's like wearing colored pantyhose as a shirt and we wonder why they get holes. Well, as I told my 14-year-old daughter who has these mysterious holes...someone is laughing all the way to the bank because I spent my hard-earned money on pantyhose t-shirts that don't last past the first wash. It's no mystery...the thin fabric rubs against the area where jeans fasten and duh, it's gonna rub a hole! Or two or seven!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 12:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I read through all of the postings and here are my thoughts...

1. Only I get them, not my husband (we share a closet).
2. Only happens in shirts with thin 100% cotton -- not always t-shirts, I have some nice "designer" type shirts that this has happened to as well.
3. Holes appear in the same general area - around the midriff, front of my shirt.
4. Holes are tiny (like many of the pics in this thread).
5. Sometimes one hole, sometimes multiple.
6. Use FL washer. Use Tide Free HE...SUPPOSE to be free of harsh chemicals :-)
7. Use very minimal amounts of detergent and wash most everything using cold water only and delicate cycles.
8. I wear a lot of jeans with belts and have my shirts untucked.
9. I live in sunny southern California.

My conclusion -- this happens only in thin, weak fabrics from either rubbing against things (like belts, seat belts, jean snaps) or from chemical residue that remains behind after I clean counter tops. I'm not completely sold on the laundry detergent hypothesis but perhaps it could contribute to weakening the fabric. This is still a lot of variables but I have definitely ruled out bugs (moths, silverfish, carpet beetles), location (e.g., part of the country) and washers/dryers.
Thanks for everyone who has contributed thus far. A lot of great info to help us all make our own conclusions. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For whatever reason, I just feel better knowing I'm not the only person having this problem. Mine started probably two years ago. I am the only one in my family who gets the holes. It happens primarily in my soft, thin cotton shirts, but I've also had a lot of problems from one particular tank tops that I have several of, in a variety of colors. It does seem like the lighter the color, the more holes I get. Just today, I put on one of my new shirts and noticed one hole. By the end of the day when I went to show my husband the hole, there were probably 20! I' not sure I'd agree with the seat belt theory. If that were the case, why don't we get holes where the shoulder harness rubs. I don't think it has anything to do with washers or bugs. I don't think either of them are smart enough to chew on the same area of all my cotton shirts... . This is pretty interesting, to say the least. I do think this is worthy of some sort of formal research.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 2:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Glad I am not the only one. Mine are always right around where the waist of my pants would fall. But I always wear a cami under all my shirts so it cannot be snagging on the zipperr/button of the pants. No holes ever appear anywhere else and my husband never gets the small holes in any of his shirts. It's quite frustrating as it is expensive to have to replace shirts. I bought a fairly expensive shirt and not even a month later, the infamous little holes have appeared. It is getting too much to replace and it is very irritating when someo of my favorite (and new) shirts are being ruined. I can see that there is no definative answer over the years of this thread. I wish I could solve the mystery, but at least now I realize I'm not the only one experiencing this. Any other theories on how to eliminate this problem would be great.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh my God I'm so pleased to read this.

I've had this problem for about 18 months and yes, it coincides with new kitchen and granite worktop (though I hadn't thought of that before). I also thought it was the jeans rubbing but surely that shouldn't happen on just 2 or 3 wears?

I'm in New Zealand so it is world wide!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 7:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used to find holes in most of my favorite t-shirts, also right at the belly-button area, close to my waistline. Lately, however, I haven't really had that problem and was trying to think about why they seem to have gone away. Then I realized that it is probably the result of the tshirt rubbing between the seatbelt and jeans while driving or sitting in a car. (It may not be the case for all of the random holes...I sometimes snag a shirt and don't realize it till later.) This is the only explanation that would explain why unwashed or washed clothing would get holes, and why in the same spot every time. I know a seatbelt seems smooth. But if you think about it, you might spend a good half an hour (at least) sitting in the car with that belt (which is made of VERY strong material) rubbing right against your tshirt, which is also pushed up against your relatively rough jeans. Not only that, but the act of putting on and taking off the seatbelt rubs it directly across your belly.
I have started to pull my shirt my shirt over the seatbelt (so the belt is only across my jeans) so that it doesn't rub. I don't have nearly as many holes in my shirts now. If I do get one, it's in a random spot, and not at my belly.

So these holes have to be the result of friction/rubbing (either seatbelt or rough countertops). I can't see bugs eating away at just your belly area, or detergent targeting a specific area of a shirt. Those random holes may be the result of insects/detergent/washer, but not the belly-area holes.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I too have had this problem in both our last home and now this home. Last home had granite - this home only tile. and counter tops are at a different height so I don't think that is the cause. No one has talked about the manufacturer of these t-shirts . . . mine, interestingly enough are all GAP and Banana republic. The seat belt theory, although interesting, is highly unlikely because all my seat belts are the same for each passenger and driver - yet this is only happening to my t-shirts. Also, I just got a brand new banana rep t-shirt . . . thin, $40 later, and one wearing I just pulled it out of the dryer and there is that little hole at the bottom. I can't believe it is the washer, dryer or chemical because why in the same place - it would be all over . . . I can't explain it other than when they roll out the fabric and perhaps there is a mechanical process that is degrading the fabric?? Not sure. crazy and frustrating . . .

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oddly enough, I just removed a sock from the dryer and it had a hole through and through BOTH SIDES!! It's been happening for awhile now-tshirts, thin kitchen towels, sheets but I also noticed my favorite hoodie sweatshirt had a hold on the sleeve! Is it a result of overloading? Laundry soap? (I use Tide with Downey) It seems that a lot of previous posts have used some sort of Tide....

So what has everyone done to alleviate this problem? Pretty soon we won't have any clothes left without holes in them! Do they make large laundry net bags? Has anyone tried those? What can I do?? HELP!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our LG washer was making perfectly round quarter-size holes in everything. This happens on the spin cycle, when fabric get sucked into the drums holes and sheared off.
It destroyed thousands of dollars worth of clothes, work attire, towels, and all my Ralph Lauren bedding, some of it irreplaceable collectibles!
LG never heard of the problem even tho there are several class action suits against them. I am fuming mad!
Home Depot replaced it with a new Maytag. Now I have the same problem. Holes in my new Ralph Lauren sheets, and new clothes. Back to Home Depot!!!
It would have been cheaper to have all my laundry professionally cleaned. At least they have insurance that would have replaced items their equipment destroyed!!!!
Everyone with this problem needs to join the class action suits!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has anyone discovered the reason yet?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Its a couple things, seatbelts rubbing on clothing and the the evolution of wearing hoodies with zippers, where the zipper is constantly wearing on the fabric of your undershirt.. If you are wearing a hoodie over a shirt and a seatbelt putting pressure on the zipper area, it is going to wear and snag on small fibres wearing holes in your shirts. Women tend to wear more hoodies, so they will experience more holes. You wont find holes in nightshirts or dresses because you aren't wearing them with seatbelts or hoodies. And, as the belly tends to stick out more, the more likely this area will wear on things like hoodie or jacket zippers, seatbelts, and experience the holes! Thx.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 3:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have been getting holes in the front of mine and my husbands t-shirts. I also thought it could be my machine ( front load whirlpool duet) the other day I wore a brand new shirt that had never been washed or hung in my closet (where the moths would be) and right after I got it out of the washer I saw 3 tiny little holes in the bellybutton area...this is bizzar! The only reason I though it was moths is bc it doesn't happen to my childrens clothes??? I just WISH IT WOULD STOP!!!!!! We don't have any pets and I have just recently put moth traps and these little moth repellant things you hang in your closet...so we'll see if it helps!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So funny and relieving to read the same entries that I could write about my own situation. My husband's comments are that you have to eliminate anything that is similar for both of us. I use the same detergent, we share a closet, wash all of our clothes together and it's only mine that have these holes that appear in wool or cotton tops only at the waist level. Therefore, seems as though it something to do with how I actually do things. Will pay more attention and post if something happens.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 1:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Misery loves company? Same problem for me. It just started about a year ago. Same story - front loader, granite counters, maybe just that shirts are now made of thinner fabric? I don't know, I'm had to throw away tons of shirts, so depressing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am from England and I have this same problem. Not just t-shirts but jersey knit tops at the front waist and sometimes near the collar. It is also trousers. I just discovered one now the elastic panel in my black cotton jeans (these are not washed with anything else as they run and they have no zip). I use a front loader washer but I am convinced it is the detergent somehow eating them. It is not bugs or the older undisturbed clothes in the wardrobe would be the most effected, not ones that are washed often.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So glad to see this is happening to others this problem has been driving my hubby and I mad for a couple of years! Endless amount of clothes ruined (mainly cotton t shirts) and yes bizarrely all around the belly button/waistband area! It is truly driving me nuts! Now for my theory: I am pretty convinced that it could be carpet beetle larvae as we have only experienced this problem since having new carpets laid when moving into this house (maybe they came from the warehouse where the rolls of carpet were stored?), and as a very busy working Mum I am a bit ashamed to admit but often our clothes get dumped and left on the floor for a bit before they make their way into the machine also piles of cleaned ironed laundry gets left on the bedroom floor whilst it waits for the laundry fairy to put it away in the wardrobe! Now I know this doesn't answer why the holes are all in the same place but my theory behind this is they like to eat the sweaty bits? (around the belly/waistband area and also near armpit/shoulder area) could this be what it is? Also to add my 3 year old's clothes get treated in the same way as ours e.g washed the same left on the floor etc etc and her clothes are NOT affected? Could this be that she doesn't sweat in the same way as an adult? I am hoovering meticulously and very regularly and I am also tempted to get a steam cleaner in. I am now avoiding leaving clothing on the floor and I live in hope that the holes stop!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use bleach wipes at school - I teach - this is the only thing that has not been mentioned and a product that is fairly new but used by many. No other chemicals at home though.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm wondering about the floor theory as well. My husband has been seeing alot of these small holes on his cotton teeshirts, and a giant hole in the knee of his jeans. My clothes are all hole-free.

Looking through everyone's theories, to me it seems the storage of clothes waiting for the wash might have some weight. My husband and I store clothes in different rooms. His are strewn across the floor, waiting for the wash, while I put mine in a laundry hamper.

Does anyone else leave clothes on the floor and this happens?


    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 12:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok after months of observation and reading through every forum online.
I see holes in the tees i wear the most
I actually did an experiment by seperating some tees and not wearing them for a while and wearing another seperated pile frequently. guess what they have holes in them.
I thought about the jeans causing them but I have some holes on my sleeves which does not make sense
Its not the seat belts because I don't have a car.never had it.
I have been seeing them only since i had the washer and dryer. I used to hand wash all my clothes before.
I have come to a conclusion that its the combination of the detergent and the washer. anybody think so too?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 1:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Australia and have had the same problem, noticed recently. New clothes old clothes you name it. Mainly tshirts and always in the same spot. Naval area a cluster of a few holes, starting as pin pricks, now bigger. I use Radiant powder same I have for 20 years. Same fischerpaykel washing machine, top loader. Same cuddly fabric softener, a little vinegar to soften. My clothes are being ruined, Im so angry and cant figure it out!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's the buttons on your jeans girls for the t-shirts and tops that have holes at the center front bottom. The metal in the button rubs against the shirt leaving a film which when exposed to detergent becomes an acid which eats the material. Coat your buttons with clear nail polish and your shirts will be saved. After all the frustration and ruined tshirts, it feels like a miracle to have solve this problem!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have this same issue! It has been happening to me for about 1 year. I have a front loader and used Tide HE but switched to Mrs. Meyers and the problem continues. It is mostly my thinner T shirts and occasionally pants. I have 2 brand new shirts that have them after 1 wash. One is in the sleeve, the other the lower front. I really believe it is happening in the washer or dryer. The weird thing to me is that the holes tend to look like a small section is missing! I honestly don't think it's bugs or carpet beatles (we have NO CARPET). I think it must be snagging. I wonder if it happens when the washer is packed full uf clothes. I like the idea of a bra or zipper snagging the clothes and wonder if there's something inside my washer that is rough? I have had my washer for about 6 years and it's the Kenmore Duet (like a whirlpool) sounds like a bunch of us are using the same set? But oddly it hasn't always happened, just recently?? I don't know. I need answers, I am tired of throwing away clothes!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Everyone, OMG I am so annoyed with this problem, my neighbor and I figured it out that for us it's the button on our jeans rubbing against the shirts and causing a hole. I have so many newer shirts that have this problem. I think clothes are not being made as well and also tucking in a shirt isn't the fashion anymore, since we are all wearing longer t-shirts and tunics I have noticed it. Such a pain in the neck!! I am trying to wear more pants and jeans with a flat front closure rather than a regular button on the jean. Good luck to everyone!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 12:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This has been happening to me for a couple of years. My husband has tried to convince me that I was causing this to happen by rubbing up against something but I have felt all my countertop edges and they are smooth. I have read other reports that my Whirlpool Cabrio washer is the problem. The washer spins so fast that it sucks the shirts through the drainholes causing small holes. It is weird that all the small holes are always in the front at the waistband. It is only my shirts and always in the same spot. I recycle my clothes faster than my husband so mine are getting washed alot more often. I do not have bugs in my closet or house and it only happens to my clothes that are washed not taken to the dry cleaners. As soon as I wash something twice it starts having holes in it. I am sick of having ALL my t-shirts full of holes in the middle at the waist. Ugh!!!!! I'm just so glad to find this sight so that I know I'm not going CRAZY!!Oh this did not start until I bought the new washer. My new washer is a top loader but it doesnt have the middle post for clothes to spin around. I wonder if that could be part of the problem along with the spin cycle sucking my clothes through the drain holes?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in New Zealand and drive a right hand drive car and my holes are always on the left.
I would be interested to see if people who drive left hand drive cars get the holes on the right.
I mostly wear jeans with button flies rather than zippers.
It can't be anything to do with washing powder or washing machines as the holes are always on the same place.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We currently live in Belgium and have had the problem since living here. Someone recently suggested to us the cause is the hard water. The water is very hard here and we do not have a softener. Anyone have any thoughts on this? My husband and I have tons of clothes that have been ruined. His dress shirts begin coming apart on the collar after just a few washes.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 4:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it is some sort of moth or beetle, carpet beetle perhaps. I just moved into a home with carpet that has been empty for a while. these holes started showing up in cotton shirts...new and old. Something is eating them I am on a mission to find out what...but it's not the washer!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter in law researched this issue since we both have had problems with these little holes appearing in our T's and other shirts. We too thought it could be the kitchen counters but are now convinced otherwise. She found that there are reports that the copper buttons or snaps used on jeans, capri's or shorts are erroding the shirt fabric. (look in other areas of your shirts where copper studs are used for embellishment) Some of the clothing designers are now using coated or plastic closures on their pants. No publicity is given to this problem, but slowly I'm noticing manufacturers use different snaps, buttons, etc. We should be compensated for all the clothes that have been ruined if this is the case or replacement given for the copper closures on the clothing we own.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same problem with my families' clothing and thought I was going nuts ! Thank goodness I found this and glad to seee that I am not nuts. I get the little holes as shown in the pictures earlier in the forum shows -only I get them all over; not only where buttons and clips go. I don't wear jeans , mainly hang out in sweats.
I too, have a LG TROMM front loader. I have used the HE detergent and regular and still the same. .

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the same issue. After reading all the above and asking family members, I have concluded that 99% of the clothes affected with these tiny holes have been purchased from a particulat store. Primark in the UK. I know they are cheaper alternatives to the expensive brands but they should not have holes appearing after 1 wash. Maybe the cotton is inferior and doesnt like being spun at high speed in the washer. I wonder which country makes the cotton? Also where they are made? Maybe we are impoting bugs with them? I am going to try to check new clothes before going into the washer and again after, for damage. Not sure where I stand legally to get compensation for the high number of clothes thrown away because of holes. I have an LG washer with a 1600 spin speed. Going to slow that down and see if it helps.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use Tide HD liquid. I have for years. My fav short sleeve shirt looks like I've been shot with a scatter gun. I thought I had silverfish at first. I was talking to my cousin, a few weeks ago, about this problem. I never mentioned what soap I was using. The first question she asked "Do you use Tide?" She had the same issue years before. She stopped using Tide and the problem went away. Now, I'm just waiting for my Tide to run out.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok. I hope that this is not an offensive question. I have had this problem for a few months now and it is driving me nuts. I have started just wearing the clothes with holes in them but they look so sloppy.

It only makes sense that the holes are caused by friction from, seatbelts, countertops, desks, etc. The holes are right in front of the button, zipper, corner, so I am sure that one or a few of these must be the culprit.

Now, my maybe slighty strange question. Is anyone who is having this problem very thin with a flat stomache? I have recenlty lost about fifteen pounds and noticed a dramatic difference. I think my little buddha bellie may have been the culprit.

Any Thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes another - me too post.

What I have noticed in my own clothing.

Holes around belly button to groin area depending on how low the t-shirt hangs.
I never tuck my t-shirts into my pants.
I rarely wear belts.
I suffer from cloths claustrophobia and rarely wear closed front jumpers or jackets over my t-shirts.
So I do wear zip up jumpers and jackets but usually leave them open.
Only affects t-shirts (short or long sleeve). None of my dress shirts are affected.
Age of t-shirt is not important. I have some that I have worn only a handful of times which still show no signs of washing deterioration that are riddled with holes. While I have very old t-shirts that still have no holes.
Only affects my t-shirts. My wife�s t-shirts are immune.
The t-shirts most affected are my expensive name brand fine knitted stretchy material t-shirts.
We both wash our t-shirts in the same machine with the same detergent at the same time.
I have checked things like loose wires in vehicle seat belts, loose splitters on table edges.
At one stage I thought I figured it out because I found myself using that same spot on my t-shirt to protect my fingers when opening twist top beer bottles!!! I have since stopped this behaviour but the holes still continue to appear.
It has been impossible to date to explain anything that would single out my t-shirts on the same area time and time again.
It�s hard to image a bug that would only target the same area of one type of clothing.
The only thing I can guess would be an adverse chemical reaction to something. The chemical must be isolated to the groin area and either attract certain bugs or react with washing detergents.
I am a male and so it is possible microscopic quantities of urine affect this area. However you would expect all my clothing to be affected if this was the case. I leave my dirty underwear, jeans, etc lying around on the ground and in the wash basket and they are made from the same materials and they are unaffected.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've had the same issue with tiny holes on the front of my T shirts (doesn't matter if cotton, or a blend) for a few years. They all appear in the same place; a few inches below the top of my waistband. I am now thinking it's a combination of things. I did not have this issue until we moved 6 years ago. I am short (5' 1") and the counters in our house are high. I usually lean into the sink and the island counter tops when I'm working there. The counter tops are Corian and have a smooth but very hard straight line along the bottom of the counters. I typically wear bottoms with a button and fly. The holes in my shirts are all appearing at the same point I lean into the counter. I think the shirt fabric is being rubbed/pulled between my waist band and the counter bottom while I wash dishes or prepare a meal, and the fabric becomes compromised. The material on most of my shirts is certainly thinner than it used to be as well. Once the fabric begins to wear, I think it's then susceptible to more wear from the seat belt, (the shirts are rubbed between the buttons of my waistband and and the belt)and probably from the detergent, too. I have a few new ones with no holes, so i'm going to try not leaning against the counters when I'm working and see if this solves my problem.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am having the same problem. Mostly with Under Armour or similiar material. I never had the problem until I got my front load HE GE. This is costing me a fortune. Maybe this needs to be a recall issue . It won't be the first one for my washer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have read through this entire thread on all the different theories as to the little holes in new and old t-shirt type material. I just bought a new LG top loader washer and dryer a year ago...which is when I noticed this happening. I totally think it is the washer pulling the fabric into the tiny drain holes. Why it just happens at the belly-button area is a mystery to me though. I have been wearing zip up hoodies for several years now with my t-shirts, but didn't notice holes until I got the new washer. If you have a stainless steel drum...get out a flashlight and look at the drain holes in your washer...you can see a round metal flashing inside them that appears rough and sharp. I totally believe this is what is cutting holesin shirts that are soft enough to be pulled through. The hole size is so uniform...that I believe that has to be it. If one could only look behind the drum to see if there are shards of fabric...we might have an answer as to whether it really is the washer. Someone please find an answer to this problem...this post is a couple of years old....hasn't anyone found the real reason for all the little holes????

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have whirlpool duet washer n dryer...same issue here HOLES IN TSHIRTS...uuuggg!! expensive stuff getting wasted, panties, sports bra...so many clothes spoiled. I am using tide which doesnt say HE. so i am not sure what is causing the problem but for sure its not but surely its not belts nor countertops. its only tshirts. I have also noticed the hooks of my bras getting torn like, i mean out of shape. before we lived in a different place. never ever anything like this happened. i am not sure if its washer or dryer which is culprit . I changed spin mode to medium but no help.I am not using any bleach or softener. only acti-lift tide. my friends think tht it cldnt happen. pls help somebody if u know the cause n solution.!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2015 at 6:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

rakh2,first of all you should be using HE detergent. As far as your bras go, make sure they are hooked and placed in a good quality laundry bag. Look for one that covers the zipper and do not put them in the dryer. Maybe look some of the larger bags and try washing your tee shirts in them and see what happens. Thankfully, I never had that problem, even when I had a fl washer. But I can see it happening when clothes are "pulled" against the outside of the drum.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 5:21AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
LG/Kenmore Elite 5.2 washer & 9.0 Dryer
Hey everyone! Happy New Year!! Does anyone have any...
essentials you can't live without in your front load washing machine?
I am trying to purchase a new washing machine for our...
Electrolux 70 series....where's Larsi
A friend of mine is looking at Electrolux 70 series...
New Tide Turbo Clean HE
Seeing coupons for this in my paper. Is it their response...
Does Persil Liquid ProClean from Walmart USA contain....
optical brighteners. Their website is next to useless...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™