Holes in Clothing -part II

celticmoonSeptember 1, 2007

This discussion has been going on for over a year. The problem is tiny holes in the front of (ususally) cotton T shirts. Often but not always in a group at the lower front of the shirt.

Hypotheses as to the culprit include certain detergents, FL washers, granite counters, seatbelts, carpet beetles, belly button bugs and some manufacturing process/event that weakens fibres in that area. No clear answers yet but many investigations and experiments underway.

(Waving hands) Discuss.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holes in clothing: Help! part I

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Do you tend to lean on the counter while working in the kitchen? Are the holes at countertop height? My mom cooks a lot and all of her t-shirts have the same group of little holes you are describing - took us years to figure it out. Wearing an apron helps. If not rubbing on the counter, its most likely some other repetitive habit that you are not aware you have.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:38AM
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This is interesting. I read the original thread and my feeling is that in most cases the holes are caused by some type of mites or other type of bugs. I do agree that it is strange that they would eat holes in the same spot all the time. Someone mentioned carpet beatles. A quick check on the internet does say that they are known for these types of holes. I think the thinning material due to pretreating and stains and leaning against counters may be responsible now and then but I don't think it would cause such a consistent pattern of holes. How else can you explain holes in new clothing that hasn't even been washed yet. Best of luck to all afflicted with these mystery holes.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 5:48PM
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since I have been pulling my shirts out of my seatbealt ..I have had no holes!! I just do not think bugs would eat one part of a shirt.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Since I started consistently wearing an apron while preparing food and washing dishes, my clothes don't get holes. The tiny holes that showed up in a new t-shirt that hadn't yet been washed, lined up perfectly with my soapstone countertop.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:43PM
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I live in England and about a year ago holes were found in nearly all my 17 yr old daughter's tee shirts from GAP. She does not do any cleaning or leaning over countertops or wearing seatbelts she uses the train mostly for commuting. Then it spread to other items from other stores, but only fine knit jersey, not always cotton but lyocell and tencel too. Never on anything woollen or suiting or shirts, nor anything of my husbands, just me and my two teenage girls. I do not think it is laundry or wear and tear because new items are getting damaged. It must be the tummy button bug or rotten fabric from the outset of manufacture. But why is it always on the front at waist level?? Maybe carpet beetle, its still a mystery to me but becoming very expensive with three of us getting damaged clothing. Does anyone get this problem wo does not have a carpetted home? Also one dress from Jigsaw, fairly new, handwashed once has a pattern in a circle of about a dozen holes and also in the lining underneath identical holes in the same place but the fabric of the dress and the lining are different but both fine jersey!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:42AM
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I had this problem, but the holes also showed up at the top of the t-shirts and on the back. They were usually down low though. From what I read online, I thought it was moths. I washed all of everyone's clothes in hot water and dried them on high and ironed them. We also put foggers in the bedrooms that specifically said it would kill moths. We haven't had any holes since. The belly button bugs idea was just a theory, and I have never heard of such a thing and highly doubt they exist.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 1:59PM
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If it is bugs why only one part of the shirt? really does not make sense.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Whoa, whoa. The "belly button bug" was my frivolous name for meglizmc's imaginary critters in a post back in May 07 :
"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."

Folks don't really suspect belly button bugs.

Do we???? Ew.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:25PM
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I DO NOT think its bugs!! Never have! We asked our exterminator when he came out for our annual visit, He said no way it was bugs! I still think it is something rubbing on the clothes. Seatbelts, counters! Since I have pulled my shirts out of the seatbelt..I have had no holes?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Thank goodness I found this site. For 2 years I have been batteling the t-shirt hole problem. I had a new drum put in my 1 yr old machine to see if that was the problem and it wasn't. I then sold that machine and bought a new different type and guess what, HOLES the first time I washed. This only happens to my clothes, not my husbands or my daughters and 99% of the time the holes are always at the belly button area. Could water softeners cause this? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:53PM
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Sweet Babe in the Manger, I couldn't be more relieved to know that I'm not the only one with this "mystery-holes-in-my-thin-cotton-knitwear" dilemma! This has been happening to my shirts for a couple years now. I've read through ALL of the possibilities (rubbing against waistband of jeans, snags in the washer/dryer, too many harsh detergents, seatbelts, etc.) and none of the possible, logical explanations apply to me. These are the facts:

1) This happens typically to all my thin cotton knits (i.e. lightweight tee-shirts) but they have also occurred in cotton/rayon/poly blend knits.

2) The holes always occur in the same area on every shirt (near the belly button or lower, on the front of the shirt).

3) The holes might appear after even 1 wearing.

4) Most of the knits I've purchased are from lower-end retailers like Old Navy, The Gap, or Forever 21.

5) I'm on the brink of madness due to this mystery.

It's boggling that the holes would occur in the same area in every shirt! If this were a bug problem, you wouldn't think that they'd be so specific about where they feed (unless my belly button emits some bug-friendly pheromone that permeates the fabric!!!). I've tried using moth crystals / bug deterrents, but to no avail. I've hand-washed my clothing and line-dried - no dice. I'm at my wit's end and tired of replacing all my tank tops and tee-shirts. I know there is an explanation out there, somewhere...

I swear, I will be on my deathbed and my last thought will be "Where the hell did those holes ever come from...?"

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 4:31PM
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This is strange.

Last weekend, I openned a tshirt drawer where I keep cotton tshirts that I don't wear that much (special, lettering, etc) to get a handkerchief (which I also keep in there). The shirt on top had big holes in it which I know it didn't when I last put it in there months ago.

My first thought was 'insect damage'. I've had this happen before with items left on the floor (yep, I'm a bachelor) that were chewed on by (I think) crickets. But this didn't seem like the same thing. Though I guess it could be moths but I haven't seen any around in the house.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 5:32PM
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I just posted a thread today on holes in clothes. I obviously didn't use the right search word. But I don't always use a HE detergent and it doesn't matter. I don't think it's "wear and tear" because my daughter has a cartload of t shirts and may only wear one once in 2 weeks and I find a hole in it!! Maddening! Especially since their Hollister or some other name brand t shirt. I found one today in one of my work clothes, t-shirt type jacket and I found it on the back. A neat round tiny pin size hole! Ughhh!!!!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 8:37PM
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Oh and do you think this hole thing has anything to do with the missing sock syndrome? LOL...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 12:17PM
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nuttybunny: Are you absolutely certain it's not the seatbelt buckle?

My Dh was getting holes in his pants - all his pants - in exactly the same location near the pocket. It was driving us crazy. Then we inspected his car seat very closely and discovered that a spring was popping through. It was invisible to the eye, but when he sat on the seat, it poked his pants.

He has also been getting mysterious bleach stains on the right side of each and every tee shirt he owns. This is still a mystery but my theory is it's from pulling the spa cover off. When he pulls it off, he must rest the edge on his right side before lifting it up. And of course, the spa chlorine on the cover stains the tee shirt. This theory has not yet been confirmed. :-)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Hi jerzeegirl - I'm certain it's not a seatbelt issue. I am never, ever in a car. Also, this hole situation can occur in shirts I have barely worn. I am 99% convinced it's bugs, but...why would they only eat the area on the bottom of the shirt? Unless, it's not bugs, it's seatbelts... But it couldn't be seatbelts...

BTW, I just had to replace 3 more tank tops this past week.

*laughs like Woody Woodpecker and tears out last tuft of hair left on head*

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 9:07AM
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I am leaning towards seatbelts....as since I have been pulling my shirts out..I have had none,
The people who think its bugs..PLEASE tell me why they would only eat my clothes..not my husbands and only eat one part of the shirt??

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:20AM
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It is not that unthinkable that bugs would prefer one person's clothes over others since people have different body odors. Have you ever experienced mosquitos biting up one person but not another one that was close by? I know I always end up with a bunch of bites while my DH hardly ever gets any...and he doesn't smoke or anything obvious like that.
It makes more sense for bugs to selectively attack specific areas of a shirt than for a washer or dryer. I am not sure that bugs are the only culprit for holes though. The seatbelt theory and countertops being either rough or treated with LCB also sound very likely. Whatever it is, I am fairly sure that the washers are not to blame.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:52AM
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I just refuse to believe it's bugs. What kind of bugs would eat just the bottoms of shirts.

Wait.....how do you store these clothes? On shelves, in a dresser, hanging in the closet? Or all in different locations.

Another question. Are the holes at counter level by any chance?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:15PM
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OMG I'm not alone. New house, new carpet, never had holes in clothes before. Now... new, old, cheap, expensive, no matter, holes are appearing in the one spot, (near belly button) on many shirts (only mine, not hubbies and not the kids). Shrinks office was my next step but opted for pest control. Last night did an experiment...left one shirt on the carpet in the wardrobe overnight. This morn 8 new holes and you know the rest. Will keep you posted. meanwhile, how good is it to know you're not going crazy!!!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 10:18PM
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My wife gets these same holes in her shirts and just noticed that it's her wedding ring that keeps snagging her shirts right at the belt line. You might want to keep an eye out and see if this is the cause of your problem also.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Just a thought, do the holes appear only on womens shirts and if so perhaps it is the carpet beatle larva and something to do with hormones, smells etc that are particularly inviting to the bug. Why else only that area of the shirt ?!?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 11:11PM
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If you believe the Miele story about their honeycomb hole design,it may be the holes on your drum. When you spin at high speeds, the clothes actually get pulled into the holes and when they get pulled back out, they may get snagged on the sharp edges of the BACK side of the holes.

The Miele brochure showed close up pictures of high speed spin cycles. You can actually see a difference.

I am not saying it is or isn't but if you saw the pics it does seem plausible.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 1:06PM
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I refuse to believe its bugs to. I agree with the odor of different people and might eat one persons shirt over another, but they would not be picky where they eat! I have washed my shirts by hand, on hand wash cylce in the machine,it has happened to expensive shirts, cheap shirts, old shirts, new shirts, shirts that have not even been washed!!!!
there has to be an answer!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 4:00PM
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When I had a front loader I also saw mysterious damage to clothes. Not very often, but it did happen.

I always figured it was the high speed spins and started using cycles with slower spin speeds.

Remember those Bock extractor spinners they used to have a laundrymats? They always warned about clothing damage and not using them for anything but heavy duty clothes. Spinning delicate clothes at 1000-1400 RPMs is just asking for damage.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 5:24PM
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I have little pin holes in my clothes (tshirts also) I have well water, and I think its the high ph in my water. I had the water guy come and put something in the tank to lower the ph level and when it runs out (every other month) I see the pin holes again. They are right in the middle of the shirt around the belly button area. does anyone have anything new about this????

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Here's the thing.

It doesn't seem to happen in one area in my situation. I know for a
fact it is not cleaning, wear and tear, etc. For the entire summer,
odd little holes would appear on my jersey-knit shirts and dresses.
And not near the belly button- all over. Anywhere from the sleeves,
to the back of one of my AE t-shirts near my rear end (it was a long
shirt) and over near the neck area. But I figured it was just a case
of maybe mis-handling the items or wear and tear.

Then I went back home to see my family a couple weeks ago. Purchased
an entire new wardrobe for the fall including a few new dresses,
sweaters, etc. Last week when I returned I unpacked my luggage and
hung all my new clothes in my closet, most of which still had the tags
on, etc.

Just earlier today I reached for one of my new dresses, which keep in
mind I haven't even worn yet.. and as I put it on, I noticed a series
of small holes scattered throughout the front, from top to bottom. I
went through my closet in a frenzy.. and low and behold, nearly all my
new items that were of a cotton-jersey knit blend, were scattered with
holes. The cashmere-cotton blend cardigan from GAP had holes along
the sides and pocket areas- a wool dress with a jersey bottom had
holes along the front, and a soft t-shirt had a hole in the bust area.

And considering these items were all very, very new and were unpacked
by myself alone (as I unpacked I went over everything as I hung them
just to make sure nothing was wrinkled, etc) I am 100% convinced these
were from bugs. The holes are in various places and are of the same,
jagged, slightly uneven round shape. I know for a fact none of them
have been washed, touched or tampered with while they were in the
closet- I actually separated all my new clothes in their own area so
they wouldn't get fiddled around with and since the weather hasn't
been very cold, this is the first time I've really touched any of them
since I unpacked.

- Washing is obviously not the case.
- In my situation, it's NOT just around the belly-button, but anywhere.
- The holes are slightly jagged and pretty much the same.
- Wear and tear is not the case.
- It's not seatbelts or zippers since none of them have been worn.
- AS I put them in the closet I checked for stains, etc rom transit
so I am 100% sure they went into the closet without holes.
- And lastly, I know it's not crickets or moths as my apartment is
very small and I would have definatly heard a moth flapping around or
a cricket chirping.

Needless to say, I'm so upset- I wish I even knew where to start. I
KNOW it's some sort of bug.. I just don't know what type.

PS- A few months ago during the summer, before I suspected bugs (but
were finding holes nonetheless) my friend and I were cleaning things
out and noticed a couple of dead, brown beetle-like insects in the
corner. They definitely weren't roaches but we thought nothing of
them and tossed them in the trash.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 4:10PM
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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 10:09PM
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Okay, I just LOVE you guys. I have had a Kenmore FL since 2001. The first one ripped my clothing. There was no reason to the ripping. It happened occasionally, but we were losing clothing, towels and bedding. We replaced that washer with a newer model Kenmore FL..........same problem. We have had MANY repairmen out and all claim nothing is wrong with the washer. It is just not normal for clothes to go in without holes/rips and come out damaged. My family has owned TL's all my life and we NEVER had this happen, I purchase a FL and holes happen.........????

I was told by repairmen that:
it was my detergent, I switched.
it was zippers, bra hooks etc, I closed all 'sharp' things
I loaded the clothes wrong, I demo'd how I load..I do it right!!
I have 'old' clothes, a new sheet ripped
it is my water.....nothing done for THAT one
the washer is unbalanced, we balanced it
it is the baffles, we replace them
etc, etc, etc............

You name it, we tried it.........we STILL get holes, tears and rips in stuff we put in the washer. It doesn't happen all the time, just occasional loads. I never know when it 'might' happen. NEVER happened when I was a kid (I am 48).

I am at my wits end. I want a TL, with an agitator...but I am reading here that that does not matter....what to do???

All I know is that I cannot afford to keep replacing my clothing, bedding and towels.

Can we possibly get laundry detergent that is formulated like in the 'olden days'?

Seems like the more we 'progress' the more we harm ourselves.....

Just nice to know that I am not crazy. Sears claims I am the ONLY one with this problem. They claim they have never heard of this problem before. Well, this forum proves there are other 'hole inflicted' individuals out there. THANK YOU!!!!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 8:38AM
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MJ: that sounds like a weevil of some sort.

And only male crickets make noise. And only when their in the mood.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Hello to All

I'm all for the bug thing as a washing machine would make holes all over and not just tiny ones in the front! I sprayed my carpet and I stopped getting holes, but a month on i just noticed they are back!!! OMG !!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:04PM
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i have had my duet for almost a year and 1/2 now and have probably had 4 or 5 items get torn/ripped in the wash. after thinking about it and really inspecting the tears, i think what has happened is that a piece of an item gets trapped somehow in the closing of the washer door when i'm doing a large load... and with the speed of the spin causes a tears or holes/shredding. i'm careful now to make sure all parts of the clothes are completely in the washer and don't get caught in the door and i also turn down the spin speed on manmade fabric items (all of the damage has occured to items like tennis skirts, running shirts/shorts and once on one end of a towel.) i think this has put an end to the damage (i hope!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 5:19PM
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Sylvie, what type of spray did you use on the carpet? We seem to have the exact same problem, and I cannot figure it out! It is some type of pest, clearly to those experiencing this exact thing. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 3:59PM
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Sure would like to know what Make & model washers we are talking about here. (two holes in new underwear purchased last week) We have the new Duet aspen greens. Thanks !!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 3:42PM
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PROBLEM SOLVED Experiment Included! IÂve been reading these forums for quite some time as IÂve had the same issue since I moved into my new house. It wasnÂt until the other night while hovering around the kitchen countertop that I finally realized it is the countertops creating the holes. All of my holes have been on the front of the shirt and not in any nice dress shirts as I donÂt wear those while cooking. So to prove this theory (I admit IÂm not the first, but I do have an experiment that works!), IÂll show you how to recreate those little holes. You can either use a new cotton shirt with no holes in it, or take one with holes and wear it backwards. If you typically wear a belt as I do, wear it. Now with your experimental shirt on, lean against the countertop, specifically the edge on the bottom and begin to rub left and right. You only need to do this about 5 to 10 times each way, and you will now find your tiny holes!!! If you got large holes you need to rub less, if no holes rub more. My guess is that sometimes if there are no holes, when you throw the clothes in the wash the stressed areas no appear after the dry cycle.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 6:08PM
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See if there are screwheads or points poking through the inside of your dresser drawers.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Wow, thank you so much! This has been bugging me for so long. I thought it couldn't be the counters since I don't spend much time in the kitchen. But when I went to try it out I saw my mail, and realized that I leaned against the counter while sorting my mail! I rubbed a few times with my holed shirt on backwards, and yup - holes appeared! Before reading these posts, I'd been convinced that Gap had some flaw in their manufacturing that caused holes to appear by the belly button. It's only Gap shirts I have the problem with, but I think because they are thinner cotton than others.

Anyway, thanks again, you've saved me many t-shirts and time spent wondering about this mystery!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 1:35AM
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re: PROBLEM SOLVED posting made by dpak1:

dpak1 is absolutely right!! i was doing dishes the other night and i saw the holes as they were forming in my new shirt! so now we can all stop stressing out about bugs! i believe that the holes were caused by a combination of the sharp bottom of the lip on my formica countertops, my thin cotton tees, and the copper button on my jeans. when the shirt gets pressed and rubbed between the button and the counter, the fabric weakens in that spot, and the hole either appears then, or after washing and/or drying.

to all the skeptics of this hypothesis, answer the following questions:

Do you slouch?
-if you are a habitual sloucher like myself, you may be rubbing up
against your countertops more than you think.

do you have formica counter tops?
-check the bottom edge on the lip of of your counter. it's pretty rough, isn't it?

how tall are your counters?

are the holes in your shirts lining up with the height of the counter?

do you cook, wash dishes, wash your hands, or stand at a counter for extended periods of time?

in conclusion, i would like to point out that i have been experiencing this problem for years now. it wasnt until recently that i have become very careful as to not lean against my counters when cooking or doing dishes ESPECIALLY when i have a new shirt on. i have not noticed any new holes since i have become more mindful of the sharp counter edge.

solution for everyone:

buy granite counter tops. they dont have the rough edge!! :o)

or just buy an apron

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Oh goodness. This has been a mystery in my house too.
Just my knit t-shirts get the same holes near belly button. Not my husbands, not my children's. I even hang my t-shirts on the top bar of my closet - to prevent from being close to the floor.

I'm starting to think it's the counter thing. I spend so much time in the kitchen. However, don't think buying granite counter tops will solve the problem.

We have granite countertops, and its still a problem/mystery for me.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:55PM
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I am not alone with the hole mystery!!! I put way too much thinking into it of course since it is only my t-shirts that the hole munchers love, causing my husband to think that I've lost it. It is completely driving me bonkers! So I'm the same as everyone else, only holes near my belly button, only on cotton t-shirts, I've changed my detergent without success, it only happened since we moved into our new house over a year ago, the holes are tiny and range between 1-20, I have a top loader washer but hang my shirts dry. The holes do not discriminate between target brands or designer labels.
After reading all of your posts and considering my own variables, I've made a very plausible conclusion to the hole mystery. Lets face it, we can eliminate the bug theory since I would not want to meet a bug who was that smart. If they are only attracted to odor, I can safely say that my pits might be a more appealing place for them... or my husbands work shirts after a day playing sports! I've changed washers, detergents and was EXTRA attentive of snags and load sizes without any success. However, since I changed detergents, the holes are not happening as frequently (keep this in mind for my conclusion later). There is no sharp edges on my seat belt in my car, but the belt itself is capable of wearing fabric as any belt is.
The key here people is location! There is no bug, washer, or detergent smart enough to choose the same location. If you agree... read on.
So what am I exposed to, or rubbing against that my husband is not? Except occasionally the backs of his t-shirts. Yes! The kitchen counter tops, or any table top in the kitchen. Except it NOT JUST THE COUNTER TOPS! It is a mixture of any 1 or all 4 of these variables:
1.) My cotton shirts are more thin than my husbands but this only contributes, not the only cause.
2.) I wash dishes and clean counter tops more than my husband does (my dish detergent and my disinfectant is getting on my t-shirts and I'm rubbing the chemical into the shirt every time I brush against a counter top. This is the main point! Also, I have granite and no sharp edges but it only needs to be a corner of any smooth edge to rub.
3.) If you are wearing a belt with a metal clasp or jeans with a metal button than it will happen more readily. Also not the cause but a contributer.
4.) If you are using harsh chemicals to dissinfect like an antibacteria, this gets on your clothes, eats at the fabric, then in the wash the chemicals activate with heat and you will get little holes...without the help of the counter top.

So YES, my conclusion is not new but the differentiator is that it is a COMBINATION of the 4 listed OR any one of the four listed. All posts have at least one or all four in common.

Ta Daaaaa mystery solved!!! Change your cleaners to less harsh on fabric brands (think organic), wear an apron like one poster suggested, and DON'T rub against edges of anything while cleaning or cooking.

Cheers to all the t-shirt without holes wearing, bugless kitchen vixens who have been driving themselves MAD! Put away your bug zappers and wear those shirts proudly;-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 11:52AM
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We had a similiar prob with some of our older tshirts or cheaper made ones. Turns out it was just wear and tear from us pulling them on and off. The wear always occurred faster on the side of our dominant hand. You know, you pull the tshirt over your head and then kinda pull it down in the front corners at the bottom. Or when ya pull it off you kinda grab the bottom and yank it up. Finger nails just wore the fabric away little by litte leaving little holes and I do not have long nails either. Figured out what it was when my thumb finally went through the shirt completely. LOL! It's just one of those things you don't think about.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:24PM
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I'm back to say that it happened yesterday with a thin cotton shirt by Roxy that i've worn once! I cooked while wearing it and may have rubbed against the counter top, wearing a belt buckle. WOW, it only has to happen once!! Cripes!!!!!! I liked that shirt. I still keep my theory. I need to wear an apron since I'm already using mild eco friendly disinfectant on my counter tops. Grrrrrr.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 10:30AM
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For the people having trouble with their FL washer tearing clothes try tilting the machine back 1/4 inch higher in front than in back.A level machine or one thats tilts forward will bring the clothes to the door area,while a machine that has a tilt to the back will tumble the clothes against the back of the spin basket.Make sure you are level side to side or you can get a vibration.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 12:11PM
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I have the same problem! I am so happy I'm NOt alone., but the thing is I live in Uruguay, South America and the problem started once during a trip to London last year. Ever since I found the first hole in the hotel the "thing" has been eating only MY cotton shirts and in my case it is NOT the counter for I am not around the kitchen for long and have holes in shirts I only wore once and for a while
Ihave also had my waher checked as well as fumigateted against moths yet the problem doesn't go away. HELP PLEASE!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:17PM
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This is a maddening problem. I too have the same situation. Most often Cotton ribbed shirts in the front on the bottom. I can't figure it out. I have put in No Pest Strips today and a moth catcher to see if I have clothes moths. Whatever it is I hope this insecticide strip kills it because I'm tired of looking like I've smoked and dropped a ash on the bottom of my shirt!!

Any new ideas would be appreciated. And it does seem odd that any bug would eat in the same place but the other suggestions on this forum don't make any sense to be either. Counter tops,washers,dryers etc. Would love to know the answer so I can eliminate it!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 9:23PM
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I have officially gone mad! Nearly 2 months ago I noticed, cotton shirt after shirt (not just the cheap ones, some were quite costly) would randomly appear with said "mystery holes". My first reaction was gross! carpet beetles or (worse) moths.... we paid a NYC price (translation = million $$) for a "green exterminator to come, rip up carpets, treat behind light sockets with dusting powder and lay traps.

Fast forward to this week. No evidence of moths or any bugs in traps, have had ALL clothing, bags, towels, etc in Space Saver bags for nearly one month, been cooking all the time and nada. Not one sign of a hole or a bug. BUT THEN.... yesterday I was wearing a BRAND NEW-just been washed shirt all day. No holes. Not dirty. At 7pm I looked down and BOOM! - 2 perfect little holes, right near my belly area. Eww eww eww. I hope it isn't larvae!

I promptly proceeded to wash everything and as I was taking things out of the space saver bags I noticed holes in a few other shirts. Same RANDOM location ... near belly, just 1 or 2 little holes. Just now, doing MORE wash, I noticed that my husband's shirt (never happens to him) also had a hole. What the hell are these things? I've developed such a psycho-somatic response to all of this. I've lost hundreds of dollars worth of clothing and have developed an "Oh my god, is that a bug?!" response to nearly everything I see (response comes with incessant scratching).

PLEASE someone, offer another suggestion. The Exterminator is coming again this Wed but can I wait???? Eww eww eww.

PS... glad to know I'm not alone. (however, most are taking this matter quite well!) :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Going mad here too and I have only lost 5 garment to the tummy button hole phenomenon so far!

I moved home 3 months ago and this is when I noticed the holes (2 or 3) start appearing at tummy button level on the front of my t-shirts only. Is it coincidence that the kitchen in my new house has granite worktops? I don't think so!

What is weird is that the holes seem to 'develop'. They don't appear to be on the tshirt when I take it off after wearing but after washing and drying the holes have developed. I think they must be caused by some sort of corrosion rather than friction against the edge of the countertops.

Is granite strongly acid/ alkali? May be the granite harbours bacteria that eat away at the fabric over time or (my most apocalyptic theory!) the radon gas from the granite is burning holes in the fabric!!!???

Would really love to know the answer as washing up at arms length is getting a bit tiring!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:34AM
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I think the real problem here is that 1) T Shirts are now made of incredibly thin material (even though they are not cheap)and 2) Trendy t-shirts are cut smaller and tighter fitting on the body, utilizing more STRETCHHHHHHH of the material.

Now you have a thin material being stretched thinner as it goes over our curves (note this is mostly a female issue).

Add some friction to this from countertops, seat belts, fashion belts, purses, wallet zippers, kids pulling on our clothes, checkout counters at the stores, a zillion other things we girls come into contact with in a day, and bingo...here comes the holes.

Just my theory, anyway.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 12:58PM
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I have been having the same maddening problem for about a year. Namely:
-Small holes (typically 1 to 3)appearing on the lower front of cotton knit tops.
-Holes appear on my shirts, not my husband's.

I too thought that the problem might be related to the metal button on my jeans, or leaning on the kitchen counter when cooking or cleaning (we have laminate countertops with rounded edges, but rough-ish mdf underneath), or the car seatbelt. But then it happened to a new shirt I had not worn yet. Auggh!

Then it occurred to me that this is only happening to tops that I hang in my closet; no problems with the more casual t's and tanks that I keep folded in my chest of drawers.

This weekend I took everything out of my closet and inspected each item closely, and am freaked out to tell you that I did indeed find a few tiny(head of pin sized), black shell-casings and brownish active larvae that match pics I found on the internet of carpet beetles. Eeew! I know!

I am now washing everything in my closet and pulling the carpet out of the whole bedroom (luckily we were planning on replacing it anyway).

I hope washing the clothes will take care of any microscopic larvae I couldn't find--one site I read said you have to freeze your clothes for like three days. Needless to say, I can't fit the contents of my closet in my freezer! And, it's only September and might not get cold enough where I live in the desert SW for months--even then, only at night.

But if you read this in winter and you get freezing temps where you live, possibly wash everything plus buy a couple of clothing racks and hang your clothes outside for a couple of days if you can.

Also--if you have carpet in your closet, pull it out and replace with tile or wood. Heck, it may be the tipping point to updating the floors in your bedroom.

Finally, carpet beetles particularly like to munch on animal hair, feathers, and cotton fibers. My elderly cat had recently taken to sleeping in the corner of my closet, on a feather pillow. She is well-groomed and I did vacuum regularly, but it seems that wasn't enough.

Oh yeah--I still have NO explanation for the belly-button location of the holes, or the pref for my shirts over my husbands (though the kitty did sleep on my side of the closet)...but after researching, I investigated for carpet beetles and I DID find the critters.

If you are dealing with this, my sympathies and good luck to you!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Well, the countertop theory doesn't apply to me since the holes in my clothes appear all over my clothes, not just the belly button. So in my case, I'm 99% sure it is bugs. But, I don't see any bugs! What should I do?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 10:21PM
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I too am desperately searching for an answer to the problem of tiny holes in the front of cotton and fine woollen clothing. I do beleive it is a bug of some type.
What I would like to know is WHAT type of bug and HOW to rid of it. Seatbelts, rubbing against surfaces, detergents, etc I don't beleive are the answer in my case.
I have had this issue for some time and purchased moth strips which I put in all drawers and wardrobes, thinking the problem was solved, however I purchased a new cotton t-shirt last week, wore it for a couple of hours on a hot day so I handwashed it to freshen it up. Upon ironing it I found three holes in the belly area.
I am about to contact the Austalian pest control agency to search for clues but one interesting point someone mentioned to me was the reason that it occurs in the belly area (which is my case) is that when we eat we drop even the tiniest crumbs or food particles in this area particularly if we are sitting down. The bugs in question are protein eaters and go to the areas where protein from our food may be embedded and chew away.
Sounds logical but until I find a solution and the problem ceases I am remaining openminded.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:46PM
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I'm wondering if the type of fabric the shirts are made of are the main 'culprit'. I have a blouse which has two holes near the waist - it was fairly new when I bought it (I doubt I washed more than 3 times before this happened).

The strange thing is, I have another blouse just like it, just in a different color, bought the same day. Yet this other blouse has NO holes in it at all - and I've worn it at least as many times, if not more, by now.

So I'm thinking it must have been caused by a seat belt or rubbing against a countertop while I was cooking. Nothing else makes sense to me.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Arghh - I meant to say, the shirt was fairly new when I washed it and the holes appeared! It was BRAND new when I bought it.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 6:40PM
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This problem has to be solved. This happens to my shirts and not to my husband's shirts. The holes are always around belly button height. I am overweight. My shirts get caught between the top of my pants and my belly sometimes. I thought that was causing the problem, that's why it happens to my clothes and not my husband's. However, the holes have appeared on shirts that I haven't worn all that long... less than 15 minutes. I also steam my clothes instead of iron. Here are my questions:
1. Do the holes appear for people of all body shapes/sizes? (that would make me feel better...)
2. Does it happen to people who iron their clothes and not steam them?

Lets work to solve this problem together. I'm spending too much good money on new shirts.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 2:04PM
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This is freaking both myself and my daughter out. It happens in the same exact place every time, just below the belly button, which should debunk the bug and detergent theories. I'm starting to suspect the manufacturing process, since it's only been happening for a couple of years. Never used to. This is the most amazing mystery, but it's turning into a costly one.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 4:24PM
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We have the same problem as well and it isn't limited to any place on the garments.

My husband wears white t-shirts (undershirts) and knit underwear - I wear cotton underwear. It isn't high dollar brands though - just Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. The threads holding the elastic also just disintergrates.

It also isn't limited to only knit fabrics. I have had the same problem with a brand of 'old lady jeans' I buy at Wal Mart. This brand was once carried by a median priced department store and would last for years. When Wal Mart began carrying the brand, it seemed they began to be of lesser quality construction as well as fabric. After a couple of washes these jeans show small holes, unusual flaws in the fabric and the seams come loose.

We are gone from home quite a bit for work and I use various washing machines, various detergents, no rings, bleach/no bleach, dryer/line dry, hot/cold water.

For that reason, I'm convinced my problem is inferior quality products.

I will admit the ones who have holes only in certain places is mind boggling.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:34AM
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Sounds like the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute International lab are the ones to solve this kind of problem. Maybe their business has slowed along with everything else, and someone could convince them to take on outside cases.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Better, ask a friendly dry cleaner to send the damaged garment to the lab for you.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Am I the only one who never had problem like this? I don't even know anybody who has this problem. Since I found out about your holes, I asked friends and co-workers b/c I'm curious but we don't have holes other than rips and tears from catching on things. I had in past problem w/ moths, but they eat pretty much any part of the clothing. And they fly so you can see them.We think it must be something to do w/ rubbing against counters etc.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 11:05PM
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ive never had this problem either.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 2:07PM
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I have been getting this problem for the last few months i.e. holes appearing in jersey cotton tops around the middle front. I have lost 6 really nice tops this way and can definately link the problem to wearing jeans. It has never happened when I have worn a skirt or trousers. I have carefully monitored the situation and am 100% convinced it is caused by either the button or the waistband of the jeans I am wearing when it happens, it's the only logical link!!!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 3:36PM
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I can agree with you 100% on the cause of the holes. It is the button and zipper on the jeans. I don't tuck in my shirts and one night I was leaning over the counter wiping it down and I felt a snag I stopped, leaned back and sure enough the zipper had snagged a teeny-tiny hole in my shirt. It was an old shirt so I purposely leaned over the counter, moved around a bit and it got snagged again on the button. The button my Tommy Hilfiger jeans has a design and writting on it and it did snag holes in the shirt, right in that area. I now tuck in my shirts or wear an apron. Haven't had anymore holes in my shirts.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:51PM
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i have the holes too- same place in front of my Target, Old Navy, etc. cotton t-shirts. My husband does not have them. i think we found the answer! i carry the dirty laundry through the house in a large "basket" that easily snags things. when i carry the basket full of clothes, i rest it RIGHT WHERE THE HOLES ARE.

do you carry anything like a large laundry basket that could make the holes too? are you the only one in your home that does laundry? it only takes one tiny snag then the washer/dryer will make it larger.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:12PM
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These answers work for me. At least I think it's whats causing the holes in my shirts too. I never thought of the laundry basket but yes, that could be a cause too. I carry the basket from the laundryroom to the clothesline and then back to the house when done and I carry it in front of me. Good thinking!!!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Ok I hope I have the answer to the hole problem. Anyone note the small plastic tape used to bind tshirts in the package. I believe that the removal of this tape or the glue used in the tape must in some way be breaking down or pilling the tshirt and along with the detergents used causing the holes. Now if you bought an item that is getting hole in it off of a hanger etc it doesnt mean that the store didnt have to unpack the item from the factory packaged the same way and put it out for sale. Please foward this to any other posts as i am not a regular user of this site and happened along this question. Thanks

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 6:02AM
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I have a couple dozen Gap cotton t-shirts and many now have the same holes in the front. The cause of my holes are silverfish; I noticed the little pests in the apartment we've rented since relocating to Southern California about 8 months ago; the holes started to show up within a few weeks of our arrival.

They don't bother my other cotton and natural fiber clothing, but they love my GAP t-shirts.

Fortunately, we finally found a home to purchase, so we won't be long here.

I dont like to use pesticides, so I'm going to wait until a couple of weeks before our move date set out bait.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 9:43PM
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THANK YOU DPAK1 !!!! And thank you to everyone who has posted, confirming that I am not alone or insane!! I have RUINED many many soft cotton t's, and no wonder I am the only one in the family with this problem--I'm the only one who stands at the kitchen counter repeatedly making breakfast and dinner, packing lunches, and washing dishes!
I tried the experiment and watched the holes appear after only one pass against the kitchen counter.
So, June Cleaver I will be-- an apron at all times in the kitchen!!
Thank you again!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 7:21PM
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wow.. Two huge threads on this. My first thought was no washing machine or dryer could ever precisely create a hole in one location of a garment. I'm puzzled why people thought this was an appliance doing this. If your washer was making holes in your clothes, it would make them all over, randomly.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 3:04PM
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I had this problem about 10 years ago. I can't remember what I did to solve it. To be honest, I didn't look to see where the shirts were made but I do know they were from the lower-end stores and they were not made in Canada.

Just over the past few months, several of my casual tops have started to get these holes again. Up until now, they were all in the lower front area of my shirts. Today, I found a tiny hole starting in the back upper side of another top.
Several of the shirts are from Smart-Set. Some are from Suzy Shier. Most are 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Two are 100% cotton. ALL are made in China.

I do not believe that it is my counter top. I have only hardwood floors in my house and closets, so I don't think carpet beetles are the problem. I've had the odd silver fish in my bathrooms over the years, but never in my closets.
During the 10 years when I was "hole-free", I worked in my kitchen, I carried laundry baskets, I wore jeans with buttons and zippers and I had long ago thrown out all of my holey shirts.

Last year, I decided to buy this exact type of shirt again, and voila. Holes! My guess is that it IS some sort of bug.
I'm not sure where to go from here other than to get rid of all of my holey shirts again and refrain from buying anything similar.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 12:29PM
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After posting my previous message, I went to my closet and pulled out every top that is of this same casual t-shirt type of style/material. All in all, I have 15. I have some that carry the Cherokee brand name (Zellers), I have some from Old Navy, I have 8 from Smart Set and one from Suzy Shier.
All are made in China. Most are a 95% cotton, 5% spandex mix.
All 8 from Smart Set have a series of holes in the front, at belly-button height of lower! The Suzy Shier top has a hole in the back upper side.
NONE of the others have any holes at all. They were all in my closet in the same section and all were purchased within the past year. None of my other clothes have any of these holes. I've pulled the Smart-Set shirts and will wash them and then segregate/isoloate them, and place them in plastic garment bags for a few months of careful observation! The others are all in the wash as I type. When dry, they will also be segregated, and watched carefully.
My daughter who lives in her own place also purchased Smart-Set shirts at the same time as myself. I have asked her to check hers when she gets home and let me know if there are any holes in hers.
I will report my findings in the near future.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 1:15PM
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OMG! I can't believe that other people have this same problem! I have been dealing with this for over two years now and it has been driving me insane. I cannot figure out what it is. I have a husband and two children, and I am the only one with the holes in my shirts. Same as the rest of you.....tiny holes around the belly button or a bit lower on the front of a lot of my shirts in my closet. It seems to only happen to t-shirts or knit shirts. I thought it was our granite counters, so I had all chips and flaws around the edges repaired and smoothed out...but still got holes in new shirts. Can't be the washing machine or bugs, because no one else in the house has the problem but me. It has nothing to do with being overweight (I am tall and thin). I do wear zippered hoodies sometimes unzipped, but never noticed the zippers to be sharp at all. I inspected all of my belts and zippers and found nothing sharp. My seatbelt also does not have anything on it to cause this. I gave up trying to figure it out and accepted that I would have to wear shirts with holes. I was not going to keep buying new clothes because they end up the same way. I just keep sewing the holes until they are too noticeable, then I have to toss out the shirt. I would definitely pay someone to solve this mystery for me. HELP!!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:52PM
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NOW I AM GETTING ANNOYED!!!!! I emptied my wardrobe a few months ago disinfected it, vaccuumed it washed the clothes etc etc filled every spare corner with moth killing devices and yes, no holes for a month or 2. NOW? THE LITTLE ******** ARE BACK!!! MY NEW T-SHIRTS HAVE LOTS OF HOLES AROUND THE BELLY BUTTON AREA!! IT'S DRIVING ME INSANE, NOT TO MENTION COSTING ME A FORTUNE IN CLOTHES - WHAT CAN I DO?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 10:08AM
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This thread is just too funny! But I know those of you who are losing clothing don't think so!
For those of you with pets- especially small dogs or cats- when you pick up the dog/cat, their back feet tend to be at the belly area- could the claws be making snags on the material?
I doubt if any bugs are going after just one area of clothing- they just don't work that- trust me- I live very, very rural in the Northern Rockies, where there are lots of bugs- and every spring/summer MANYFor those of you who have larger holes and the clothing is in a drawer- could you have a mouse- they usually make quite a mess though- they take fabric 'fuzz', threads from clothing, towels to make nests. You don't always know if you actually do have a mouse. I seem to have an access from behind a kitchen counter- even though when the new kitchen was put in we checked carefully for any openings, pipe area/wall outlets- everything. I just wait with a loaded 22g for the little skanky thing....
Those of you with snags/holes only on the belly area MUST be rubbing up against something! Like the other poster's who figured it out- countertops, laundry baskets...
What do you do in your daily life?
Carry the trash container
Lean over 'something', such as the dog food container to get food
Carry groceries on your hip or in ront of you.
Carry your children
Have a dog/cat/pet on your lap or pick them up/carry
What do you do at work/home?
SOMETHING in your routine is doing this.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 1:01PM
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I think the countertop is the culprit, however it's prolly the one in the bathroom, not the kitchen. Seems to be a common thread in this thread that this afflicts the women of the household more than men. While I'd like to not stereotype, ladies can spend quite a bit of time in front of the mirror and not just looking, they lean close to the mirror to pick, tweeze, apply, etc.

(Strange but true story)
A few years ago my wife noticed a horizontal "dent" across the front of her thighs about 4 inches below her beltline and we just though it was a weird thing. However I remodeled the bathroom and through the course of that raised the countertops 6 inches since we're both taller. After it was complete within a few weeks of use the "ripple" in her thighs moved up by the same amount. In the grand scheme of things she doesn't spend a lot of time in the bathroom and I would classify her as lower maintenance than some but she does religiously spend 15 minutes EVERY night before bed doing her thing mostly leaning in to get closer to the mirror. Doesn't sound like much but its was enough time and force to physically deform her thigh......

I would suggest checking the bottom edge of the countertop in the bath for snags since its usually an unfinished edge. That's prolly causing the fabric to pick and eventually hole. If this could reshape flesh it could definitely cause a hole in clothing.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 1:32PM
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OMg...thank goodness I have found you guys...i have exact same problem...pin holes in same location (waistline) in 95% of only my t-shirts...I have frontload washer and noticed this prob only since this washer...read all kinds of helpful hints here but have not found my solution yet...please keep posting updates...i feel like i am losing my mind...and money! Thanks

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 11:45AM
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I have a HE Kenmore compact washer and after reading this forum, maybe my washer is the cause. I have found these small holes imperfect circles all over my baby's bamboo cotton bedding (it is thin, so maybe?)... it didn't have holes when I bought it and I couldn't find any cause looking at the dresser, laundry bag, etc. I found holes in a new baby gap cotton shirt at waist level and in a pair of her leggings. I am puzzled. I thought it was some sort of cotton eating bug from wherever these clothes are manufactured. Very odd. I put cedar blocks and cedar balls in all the dressers and haven't had a problem since.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 7:53AM
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I have one blouse where I've seen these type holes. However, I have another blouse just like it -- same fabric, same style, different color -- and there is not one hole in it. I have washed both blouses many times, often in the same wash load.

My dryer cannot have caused the holes, because I do not dry those blouses in the dryer. I hang them on plastic hangers and air-dry.

Bugs cannot be the cause, because I noticed the holes in the one blouse after it had dried on the hanger, in the laundry room.

If the washer had caused it, it seems both blouses would have the holes.

Thus far, I have no particular theory about what caused the holes in the one blouse. It seems to me it would have to be something that happened while I was wearing the blouse.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:07AM
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maybe open zippers in the same load ?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:37AM
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hidroman, I always zip zippers before putting items in the washing machine.

The blouse(s) I mentioned are knits, I wash them on the Delicate cycle, and I don't wash them with any items which zip.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:55AM
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I kinda have a little different experience regarding pinholes in the t-shirts; I liked it!

I've always used either a laundrymat, apt complex laundry room, or the stacked washer/dryer that was part of the apt; every one was a top loader & have "always" used Tide.

The holes on the t-shirts allowed me to use them for polishing/waxing the car; very good for that.

The past 5 yrs I haven't had any holes on any t-shirt & had to buy cheese-cloths or "polishing" cloths for when waxing the car.

This apt had a washer/dryer hookup even tho the complex had a laundry room. So, after reading here, I got the Maytag MAH2400 which fitted into the laundry closet nicely & no bruised/skinned/cut knuckles when getting tangled sheets & towels from the top-loader washers.

And NO MORE holes on t-shirts for waxing as it doesn't happen with FL washers? or not using Tide?

Solution in that I just got the large sized t-shirts believing that the medium ones had shrunk so that the large t-shirts will allow for the shrinkage factor (couldn't have gained that much weight..). The shrunk t-shirts will now be used for polishing the car even if I didn't have that many.

So, holes on t-shirts are good!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 4:36PM
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I also had a problem with holes on the front of my shirts. It took several months to figure it out. Was it bugs, laundry, etc? It was the velcro on my 3-yr-old's shoes when carrying her around!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 10:15AM
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Holes are recent phenomenon for my family, although we have had a FL and soapstone counters for about five years. Holes have started to appear in my husband's T-shirts in the past year and in a few of my teen's Ts. I, however, have pretty much been spared. What's the difference? My husband, (our family's cook) stopped wearing an apron for much of the time probably starting about a year ago; same with daughter. I wear one most of the time. Some of those t-shirts needed to be ditched anyway, but I know DH wants to keep his favorites, and DD wears those flimsy Ts that are particularly vulnerable to holes so she quickly returned to wearing an apron.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 8:20PM
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Do I have holes in most of my T shirts? yes
Are they all located in the lower front of my shirts? yes
Is is driving me insane? YES

I was complaining about my issue when my friend suggested I look on line. Not for a second did I think anyone else in the world had this problem. I went on line to humor her and could not believe it when this site popped up with hundreds of entries with my EXACT problem. Thanks to all these posts I think I have solved the problem, at least for myself.

Someone posted that when her jeans button rubbed against her kitchen counter it made a hole in her shirt. (Thank you for that post, I think it changed my life!) So I ran home to try it out and Oh My God, I could not believe how easily I could make a hole in my shirt. In the past I thought leaning against a counter might be my problem, but I was looking for a counter that had some sort of rough patch that my shirt got caught on. No, that is not how it happens. I lean against my kitchen counter when I make dinner or wash dishes. If the edge of the button on my jeans, is leaning against the counter and then I move back and forth a bit (if I reach for something, wash a dish etc.) then I get a hole. I am 5 feet tall, many counters come to my waist level. So many places where I can run into trouble. Most of my holes are around the lower center (button area) of my shirt. But I do have many to the right and left of center. I think the little metal snappy things around the pockets cause the same problems.

Perhaps this is why one person in a household can have the holes and everyone else's shirts are fine. Do you lean and no one else does? Do they lean, but they are taller or shorter than you are so they are not leaning on any metal in the jeans?

So, metal on the pants, leaning against a hard surface (counter, bus stop, seat belt, door jamb, whatever) a little movement back and forth, equals holes in your shirt!!!!

Now I just have to break my habit of leaning!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:45PM
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This probably doesn't help but I have holes in my clothing because of my cats. I hug them (they don't really like it) or pick them up. And I call them cat holes.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 12:43PM
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You know, I'm beginning to think that the little holes that appear are a result of poor quality fabrics these days, or bug issues before being fumigated for import into this country.

I was told by a Victoria's Secret store manager that all new clothing should be washed before wearing them, because the U.S. requires chemical fumigation of all clothing products coming into the country.

I do a great deal of sewing, (so I know fabrics well), and I do not feel the quality of ready made blouses and tee shirts is very good anymore.

In the past year I have noticed these tiny holes appearing, mostly in knit fabrics. I never had this problem before, and nothing has changed in my laundry (or other) habits.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 6:33PM
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OK I THINK I HAVE FIGURED OUT THE SOLUTION!!! we have had a rediculous amount of silverfish in my house lately... So I decided to do a little research on what they eat... I found that they love starches and organic material SUCH AS DUST or dead skin cells... I noticed I walk around a lot with my hands in my jeans pockets and my hands are always touching the bottom of my shirt when I do this..SO this lead me to believe that there in fact should be more dead skin cells or resadue there from my hands. With that being said, the only thing that made sense to me was that more skin cells in one area = more of a chance for the insects to eat through the clothing there. And leather belts aswell may cause this because they will resort to munching on leather and well leather is skin cells. NOTE the silverfish do not eat or digest cotton or wool, but have been know to chew through clothing if there is a lack in there food source. LASTLY like many others my shirts ONLY, are the ones with holes and I think I know the reason for this as well. I'm not the tidiest person ever and being only 16 I leave my clothes on the ground much, much more than everyone else in my family. I have brandnew expensive cotton clothing that this happens to too. It all adds up to me and I think it's time to go get some silverfish bait. Good luck everyone!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 2:29AM
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NEW ANGLE ON THIS PROBLEM could this be caused by the emission of stomach acid from the belly button cos.. it aint bugs and it aint detergent and it aint dryer snagging and it aint cats.. but my wife is going crazy with this same problem I am just a guy who gets it in the neck every time the holes appear as if I PUT THEM THERE! just trying to get a quieter life i guess ..your thoughts America...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 1:06PM
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I believe the issue is with detergent. We have used a top loader and Melaleuca detergent for over ten years. Recently, I switched to All Free & Clear, because we weren't able to get Melaleuca for a short time. The holes around the navel area began appearing only after using AF&C. Also, AF&C has a note that it reduces pilling of fabrics in verbage on back of package. My personal opinion is that this area rubs against a lot of different surfaces, thereby causing the pilling. If the detergent "reduces" pilling, couldn't it be causing these holes? We received the Melaleuca detergent this week, so I will be conducting my experiment with new shirts this weekend!

Thanks for a great forum, GardenWeb!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:47AM
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This question is one that has puzzled me for a long time as well.

Since the statute of limitations is long past, I know what caused the holes when I was a teenager many, many, many years ago but today I just ain't sure. The theory of the high-speed extraction pulling the fabric through the holes and causing wear seems plausible. In a TL machine it would likely be the agitator causing them...?

Since I now have a Miele W4842 with the honeycomb drum and uber-small drum holes, it remains to be seen whether the holes in my T-shirts no longer appear... I think whoever mentioned the drum-hole theory may be correct, at least for us front-loader aficionados.

I also thought maybe my stomach acid was eating through them...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:24PM
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wow I cannot believe how many people are having this same problem.... I do not know what is causing these small holes in my clothes- and only my clothes not my daughter's or boyfriend's, but they are mostly in the same area--front lower middle around the belly button area. I have never had this problem before- that is until I moved to AZ 2 months ago. I had the same car, same clothes, same washer and detergents, same belly ring- nothing changed except the location. We thought moths and put the stinky moth balls in the closet- I'm going bug hunting!!! I was so upset today just about every shirt I put on had a small hole in it- I don't know about you all but I can't afford to buy new clothes every day!!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:25AM
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It is definitely not because of a seatbelt or rubbing my stomach on the counter. The holes in my shirt tend to be in the bottom half of the FRONT and BACK of my cotton shirts.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 5:30PM
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My best guess would be that you are wearing these shirts while cleaning with bleach-based products. Perhaps cleaning the kitchen or bathroom sinks, countertops, etc. and little tiny drops are splashed up or left along the edge of the sink/countertop. You lean over to clean and wipe it all up and the bleach gets on your shirts. While it sits in your laundry hamper, the bleach eats away the fibers and washing the shirts stretches the fibers enough that the holes open up.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:59AM
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I too have had this problem, and I know it's not from bleach.

I recently had a linen shirt go into the machine without any holes, and emerge with a small hole in the placket right below the waist. The FL might be partly to blame, but I don't think it's a major factor. I was getting these same small holes with my TL too.

I've been researching detergents a lot, and I believe that the holes are mainly caused by ingredients in the detergents weakening natural fibers, most likely
- enzymes, and/or
- citric acid or other water-softening acids, and/or
- pH adjusters, and/or
- the alkaline ingredients reacting with the acidic ones...

I think one or more of these weaken fibers, much more so in areas that have a lot of acid when they go into the machine, plus more abrasion or pressure while being worn. Healthy skin has a barrier that's pretty acidic, 5.5 IIRC. The areas getting holes probably have more skin acids plus more physical abrasion from being tucked in, rubbed, etc.

And even now, I think the holes are occurring only in natural fibers, not synthetics. Synthetics are related to plastics, and plastics are impervious to strong acids and alkalis.

That's my best guess right now anyway.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:49PM
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I stumbled on this information today and thought it might be helpful for someone with the "holes" issue.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 11:59PM
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If you have t-shirts with holes of different sizes in scattered locations from mid chest area or lower edge , in front or back, its an insect problem. Moths or carpet beetle, something along those lines. Obviously if all holes are in a line or in a general area friction is answer. If you have 1 hole in a shirt and a week later you have 5 more on same shirt you have a bug problem.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:13AM
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Woodlore ceder sprey ....
None toxic but a very good insect repellant for wardrobes cuboards. And even shoes. You can spray around the house toget rid of ouders aswell .
I have used all kinds moth balls stinky things .permethrin spray just as bad as mothballs .

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:20AM
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All those cotton shirts must have been worn with Jeans and with belts. The level at which the holes are in my shirts are exactly where they hit the belt/zipper at the waist (or a little lower). launder those shirts on gentle cycle separatly and use them as undershirts to protect future shirts from these 'hole-ly' issues. I was ready to scream as well until I realized its not the detergents or the machines, its just the jeans and belts I've been wearing.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 1:34PM
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I am having this hole problem also. It has been happening ever since I bought a front loader washing maching. I have never had this problem before. It only happens to soft cotton t-shirts or underwear, or thin fabrics. I thought I was going crazy.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 11:01PM
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I don't think everyone posting has the same cause. I think mine are bugs...
These are my facts:
-only my 17-year-old's shirts have holes, not mine
-generally cotton t-shirts
-holes are small, almost circular, quantity 1-a few in random places, not just front by stomach
-child is rarely in the kitchen
-can't be washer/dryer, open zipper, or laundry detergent if it's only his clothes
-his room is absolutely disgusting, in some places the clothes (who knows if they are dirty or clean) are piled a foot high on the floor
-there probably is food under the clothes piles, too, as he eats a candy bar, granola bar, chips (for instance)
-can't be snap/button on pants or his belt since the holes are not confined to the stomach area
-holes are on both cheaper shirts and more expensive ones, thicker or thinner fabric
-Can't be seat belt since they are various places on the shirt
-he doesn't wear jewelry, not even a watch
-can't be a mouse; the holes are tiny, circular, and not jagged like mice holes
-his floor is carpeted, closet included
-he has needed to clean his room for a very long time. I don't know when it was last vacummed or dusted, food wrappers removed, etc.
Now he doesn't want to clean room because he is creeped out thinking it is bugs.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:46PM
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I had this SAME problem!!! I had no idea what it was from, but only happened to my "around the house" t-shirts. Then when I had my 3rd child (c-section) my mom stayed with us for a week to help out. We are both just over 5 feet. She noticed after the second day her t-shirt had this worn away hole in the front by the belly button. She said it seems like it happened while she was at the sink, because she came with a perfectly fine shirt and noticed it shortly after washing a sink full of dishes. After a couple of more days the SAME thing!! I had granite counters then and the rubbing of button on the granite only took 5 minutes to wear away!! (her counters are formica and a bit taller) We are both thin but petite so the button hit the counter top at just the right spot on my counter to eat little holes away!

Problem solved! I now have a stainless apron front sink. NO MORE HOLES!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 8:46AM
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I still need to know why I have these holes on all my blouse

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:16AM
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I have been having this problem for at least ten years. The holes are always front and center near the waistline. Over that time, I have used two different sets of laundry machines and lived in two different states. It happens with my husband's t-shirts as well as mine. It has happened with tile, formica, and granite countertops in the house. I never use bleach.

I personally believe the belt buckle/jeans button and seatbelt theories, but have yet to solve the mystery.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:54PM
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I extensively read the first 150 messages regarding this. I also tend to lean towards the abrasion from the seat belt theory. It is a common denominator for all of us, as a source of friction in the same place as the darned holes. I also checked my pajama tops (all cotton and all heavily laundered in the same equipment & detergent as my other clothes) and guess what??? No holes, there. Only those clothes that I wear in the car tend to become holy. :) How are your pajama tops faring? Forgive me if this has been covered already in the extensive communications....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 12:03AM
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I have this problem (AND A SOLUTION-read on)with holes in my wool, cashmere, and 100% cotton t-shirts as well is in some blended shirts. Holes range from at the bellybutton to anywhere on the garmet, and have a shaved like appearance or look like a small round hole. After 4 weeks of going back and forth with Terminix trying to identify what we are up against, I took matters into my own hands and started exploring. I have a large closet and a lot of clothes and it gets cleaned weekly, vaccumed. I found two larvae munching away on a beautiful Tory Burch cashmere sweater! I peeled those suckers off, threw them in a ziploc bag and sent them off to be evaluated by Terminix. They are CARPET BEETLES.

If you think you have this problem with holes, call an exterminator before they get out of control. The adults lay a lot of eggs that you can visibly see on clothing. I had Terminix come today, he used a special vacuum for the cracks and crevices and sprayed. I also took all items out of my closet and sent to the dry cleaners (the cost is...ahem...yes, very pricey!) so I could be 110% certain I am doing everything to fight these damn beetles. We even had Terminix install TAP insulation treated with boric acid in our entire attic to insulate the house and fight bugs at the same time. Hopefully, this will work. Waiting a few days to put items back in the closet. SIGH. I generally don't mind bugs but dudes...don't mess with my clothes! Wish me luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:05PM
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I know the answer when it comes to my shirts, but, perhaps, others on this forum have a different reason for the holes in their shirts.

In my case the problem began when we moved into the new home we built in 2006. I had never had little holes in my cotton t-shirts. I had read about the problem on this forum a few months earlier, before moving, and suddenly I was faced with the same problem. The holes are made by my granite counter top. We had formica in the old house. Our granite was chosen for its vivid colors and swirling pattern. In areas, the stone is a bit porous. If I run a knit rag along the edge, I can feel an occasional "tug" where the stone is less solid. This problem may not occur if you have a very dense, consistent type of granite. In my case, I have begun to wear only old holey shirts in the kitchen (and I have quite a few of them now) or I put on an apron. I never get holes in my apron, only in cotton knit shirts. I can also avoid holes if I put a dish towel across the counter's edge as I wash dishes. Washing dishes is the most common activity to cause them, although food prep can do it too---depends upon how close my belly gets to the counter's edge. If I come home from work and forget to change and go right to preparing dinner, I consider myself lucky if I don't have a hole in my shirt. If I hold it up to the light, I usually find one and each careless wearing in the kitchen gives me another and another.

Now, you must understand that this is the cause for tiny holes across the abdomen at counter-height. Those of you with holes all over your clothing, MAY have bugs or other problems. I am just addressing the cotton knit tummy holes.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 7:17PM
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I believe the granite counter top causes it from leaning against it when doing dishes.
Never had it before getting the granite.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 8:21AM
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I don't know that this will help anyone here because my issues sound MUCH bigger than yours, but just in case it helps....

I have a Whirlpool Duet Frontloader. Previously I had a cheapo, low end Frigidaire front loader and never had an issue. I've discovered that my problem is that dh will overload the washer. Previously you could not do this with the Frigidaire because the door wouldn't close and it would leak. I have had tons of clothes come out of the washer ripped to shreds. Brand new things!!! I've encouraged him to be a little less enthusiastic about loading and things have worked out much better. I think my Duet is poorly designed and I sure wish I could send them the bill for all of the clothes and towels that have been ruined. My theory is that clothes get down in between the metal tub and the gasket or between the door and the gasket. I had my Frigidaire FL for almost 10 years and NEVER had a piece of clothing come out with holds or shredded to bits!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Just wanted to add....
The clothes he was loading ran just fine. No leaking. Clothes were moving around in the load. I just think it is too full for the Duet not actually overloaded. Which means I have to just tell him, "Put a little less in" rather than an actual usable guideline that he was used to with the Frigidaire.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 12:47PM
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I have meile. It started when we had electrolux front loaders. I had a kennmore elite frontloader 4t and had no problems. kennmore used tide liquid and sears powder. The electrolux. I used persil, sears, etc.
I have bought lilly pulitzer tees. Some had a hole right away and others took a while. gap, old navy, talbots, lands end, llbean. janie and jack and tommy bahama and lily pulitzer took the longest to get the holes. My shirts are the worst. My hubby's get them after a year. janie and jack out of all their clothes only one or two. All the rest are no holes. I have tried downy watered down vinegar makes things worse. I have tried sauvtel watered down. I have quartz countertops. I had granite when it started. seatbelts winter t shirts also have holes. I never take my coat off in the car in the winter. Never! We have hadseatbelt wise all different cars brands an expedition, Honda minivan, Volvo car, volvo suv (xc90 loved it by the way) and a subaru tribeca. I put ortho around my home and D.E. powder around all my surbases. I do get stinks bugs maybe that is the issue. I use rubbermaid wash baskets. No hamper. I do put clothes on the floor of bedroom at night. We live in pa suburbs for geographic info.
I use natural cleaners. like ecover and method and vinegar and baking soda. I no longer use borax and washing soda made all our socks fall apart clean but didn't last. My hubby's under cotton boxers and kids last longer than my cotton vs undies. They get holes quick. I am trying to post all the variables. Does anyone else have stink bugs sometimes? I only found maybe ten tops in my home. Never in my laundry room. No moths, no silverfish, etc. All carpets are new and vaccumed daily. Clothes are folded on sealed maple table. No rough spots. My husbands and my clothes are hung and folded. little guy who has only two holes in three years go in his burea none hung. I think its either hard water and detergent. cheaply made cotton now. I don't really think it bugs cause we have organic sheets than have only been washed in persil and they became very thin and ripped on our kids beds and ours. I am not going to use henkel detergents. I may buy lingerie bags for all the t shirts to see if it stops. I spent 4000. on new washer and dryer meile to stop this from happening and it still happens. My husband and I have noticed the t shirts are thinner. We stopped buying old navy a few years ago cause of it. Old navy socks after a few washed the elastic is bad. I wear mostly jeans. Sometimes I wear yoga pants they have no buttons. My husbands holes are by a shirt pocket in the back or top or bottom. My lilly jeans ripped after I went back to persil with in two months like they were dry rotted. I think the detergents are breaking down the clothes and they are made cheaper. I am seeeking a detergent that will not break down the clothes no optical brightner. no washing soad borax oci clean etc. I was making my own soap with fels napa and borax and washing soda. I didn't use it long so I can't say if that is better. I have never found stink bugs in my closet just at windows sills. I separate all the jeans and undoes and t shirts into different loads towels also. We use all natural soaps like california baby and cleary natural body soaps. So I don't think its chemicals from body washes. Any other ideas? Is it hard water? Is it detergent? Is it manufacturing? Lower on the list countertops, seat belts, bugs.It happens in summer and winter so coat or no coat zippers. We have five kids and this is getting crazy expensive. I don;t want my family walking aorund with holes. My son came home from school and said everyone t shirts are like that. I said great!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 12:10AM
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Never ever come across this before... but yes please do try a washing powder thats designed like ours and optical brightener free - if you lived nearer I'd let you try a pack but the postage to America is very pricey. What are Stink Bugs? I've not heard of them in the UK?
Presume you've tried hanging moth prevention things in wardrobes etc. How very strange, I doubt its the washing powder or machine at all. Has any one tried putting these questions to any of the bigger laundry manufacturers I am sure they will have seen it all. We have never experienced this I'm afraid. I'll go off to google what eats cotton?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Found this http://www.buzzle.com/articles/bugs-that-eat-clothes.html - sounds like your problem!

Thanks for teaching me something :)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Well, I live in Spain and since moving here I've had the problem of little holes in cotton Tshirts, always in the same place, around the waist. I don't have rough edges to my kitchen worktops, my house floors are all marble and it's not the seatbelts in my car as my partner doesn't have this problem and we share driving.

I'm at my wits end over this as I'm afraid to buy new stuff.
So: it's not counter edges, belt buckles, carpets or detergents.
What the **** can it be????

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Hubby and I both have experienced this. Both of us have shirts that have holes behind the neck and around the belly button and below. Hubby rarely is at the counter.
When did clothing become so delicate and fragile that they cant hold up to simple household chores? I don't know the answer as to what is causing it, but I sure would love to know!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Read the story at the following link. This is what I'm going to try -

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 11:44PM
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Why is everyone so convinced that it could not possibly be the fault of the manufacturer? Abrasion does not create small holes in clothes, it causes wear and thinning. And if the clothes haven't even been washed yet, how could they conceivably be affected by wear? I have had this problem many times recently with clothes from various manufacturers. One of my daughter's dresses had a series of HUGE holes all through one tier of a multi-tiered dress. I would suggest that the problem is moth damage to the fabric prior to being sewn at the factory. The reason why it would occur on specific parts of the clothes is that the pieces are laid out and cut in a row in exactly the same way. If one area of the fabric that was exposed for longest at the factory happened to be the part that was used for this area of the clothing, this is the pattern one would see. Sometimes the holes probably don't show until the clothes have been washed a worn a few times - when the weakened fabric finally tears. Don't let it come out of your own pocketbook! We all need to return these clothes to the store where we bought them immediately and demand a refund. This is the fault of the producers (not belly button bugs - come on, people!) and they need to be accountable. Now that I see how common this problem is, I am that much more determined not to put up with it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:06PM
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One more thing - many people have posted on the web that they have found the culprit to be kitchen counter tops or some other abrasive surface that they are leaning against. I find this hard to believe. I've been cooking for years that this only began happening in the past 5 or so. All my older shirts are fine. If these holes are from factory moth damage, it is likely that they are showing up more in areas of high abrasion. The weakened fabric tears more easily in those places because it endures extra wear. This is the manufacturer's problem folks. It makes me angry that we are so willing find any way to blame ourselves even when it doesn't make sense. I wish we could identify the country or origin that this is most commonly a problem with. Or perhaps the country that the fabric was manufactured in (an almost impossible task).

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:21PM
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I am wondering if anybody can help me. We recently moved to a rural part of north/east Florida and have a well. The water is terrible here. It has high levels of iron and manganese. We also found thru formal testing that chloramines were present. Now, I'm not sure if they are naturally occuring or if someone shocked the well with a strong chlorine mixture. There is no chlorine odor in our water (but it smells like iron).

The water, for some reason, is eating holes in my son's cloth diapers. It is mostly the cotton prefolds. For some reason, the microfiber inserts are fine. There is also a lot of blackish staining on our light colored clothes, towells and the diapers as well. Dark clothes seem to be fine, although my husband did a load of laundry last week and several garmets came out with what looked like bleach spots. We don't use bleach anymore because it oxidizes the iron in the water. And I never used to use much bleach when we lived in town. Never more than 1/4 cup diluted in 1 cup of water in our top loader HE for linnens and once or twice a month on the diapers. My hubby thought I was crazy at first. I am also starting to see some holes in my hubby's Tshirts and some towells.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 1:14PM
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I have this problem in almost every top I wear. I think it is from the tops/shirt rubbing on jeans or pants with front zipper. The top of waistband right above the button hole area is a corner of fabric that is stiff, sometimes curls forward. Also it is an area where one frequently sprays stain treatments. It happens mostly on knits, they are stretchy therefore maintain snugness against that pointy area. Now what is a solution?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 9:23AM
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I don't think it has anything to do with laundry, maybe another article of clothing that is rough. I would think about something around the home or your job that you lean against that is making the holes.

I make sure my zippers are closed and my bras snapped. I have nothing with Velcro on them. Maybe it is those cloths that have the little hooks all over them.. Sorry I have forgotten what you call them. LOL

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 7:03PM
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It has to be the washing machine, I just discovered this thread after posting about just purchasing a TL Speed Queen washer. I have read elsewhere that the speed of the spin cycles and pushes thin materials into the holes of the drums and this causes the tears. One must definitely rule out countertops as last I checked our 4 month old cant do dishes yet and a lot of her clothes have gotten holes in them only after washing them. I guess we'll find out if our old FL was the culprit as we just purchased a TL machine.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 1:31AM
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I think it is a combo of fine spray of bleach or related cleaner, or battery acid is a possibility. While changing or checking oil in the car some fine particles of the corrosive powder sometimes on the battery terminals can inadvertently get on a mechanics or your clothing, be transferred to a seatbelt Bd go invisibly unnoticed until it eats away tiny holes.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:11PM
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I have some friends that were having this issue. They thought it was their laundry detergent, so switched. Then thought it was their washer or drier, but have since bought new. Now they believe is is the ogee edge on their granite. They noticed the upper square portion wasn't as polished as another friend's counter and believe that to be the cause. They are going to see if they can get someone to come polish it better. I'll post the outcome here :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:55PM
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I have had the holes in shirts problem for years. I think my problem is part of two habits I have. I pull my shirts to stretch them out a bit because I don't like them to be too tight in the waist area and I lean on the counter when I do my makeup and dishes. I have worked to change my habits and always place a hand towel on the counter when I do my makeup to lean on it to get closer to the mirror and I try not to stretch at my shirts. I have noticed a considerable difference since changing my behavior. Just seems to work for me.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Used to happen to me also. It stopped when I stopped washing anything with zippers in the same wash load. Don't understand why it was always at the waistline though. But it hasn't happened since I made the change years ago!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:06PM
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I've been reading all these posts and some of them are quite entertaining. Yeah, I know, I could be out in the garden, but it's raining okay? But that rain is another topic I plan to discuss because we've been getting a lot of it and my tomato leaves are curling. Back to the holes in shirts. I get those holes too, right at where I lean against the sink to wash dishes, etc. I use bleach water to wipe down all the formica counters after all is cleaned up. I honestly think that's it. So now, I have about six T-shirts that I use around the house and garden. I wear no other shirts so I no longer have the problem. I love the belly button bugs the best.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:27AM
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It's not from granite counter tops or any other counters, my daughter is 5 months old and last I checked she didn't do dishes yet managed to get holes in a bunch of her pajamas.

It's those damn FL machines with their horrible interior design and their high RPM speeds.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Not the solution, but I wanted to clear something up - apologies if someone has done so already. It's not moths who eat your clothing - it's their larvae. They may never make it to "mothhood," so you won't see them. It only takes one small moth slipping into the house - you may never notice it. They don't live that long. Cedar blocks in the closets and drawers help, but you need sand them occasionally. Doesn't answer the "why only in one spot" question, unless you fold in a specific way - if they're stacked so that's the most accessible area.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:58AM
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I've seen this same post here a few times now, and the thread is long.
I'm wondering if anyone has figured out that it is from the top corner of your jeans or chinos where they button....It's constant friction. When you button your jeans look at how the top the corner pops out. Its rough material on thin material. The thinner the shirt the bigger the hole gets. Always the same place ? Small tiny holes?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 12:27PM
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I remember getting these holes and (in my case at least) it HAD to be related to the washing machine because that was the only factor that really changed. The holes were always in the same spot (belly button area), never anywhere else.

I got them on nearly every every shirt I owned while I was living in a certain apartment, where I had to go to the laundromat. The machines I used there were commercial front-loaders. Every other washing machine I've ever used, before and after, has been the traditional top loader with an agitator. That's really the only difference between then and now that I could see contributing... I've been buying the same brand/quality level of clothes, I and all my countertops have been the same height and material (laminate), I've driven the same amount, I store things the same way, and I've never seen any evidence of any kind of bug/moth problem anywhere I've lived, unless you're counting those little holes.

My theory: the clothes constantly rubbing over where your pants button is weakens the fabric in that area, and then the holes in the drum of the washer tear the weakened fabric.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Silverfish can be the problem. They love to eat paper, fabric, etc. Very hard to detect and harder to get rid of.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 11:23AM
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My friend had holes in all her T shirts at the waist.

Turns out, when she opened a bottle of beer, she would cover the bottle top with her shirt for a better grip.

That was why she had the holes.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 9:35PM
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I had granite countertops installed last year. This year when I installed new tops in my bathroom, I asked the granite man about the holes and he sanded
the edges around the kitchen and made them smoother. It has solved the holes in my tops problem.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Abdominal sweat could play a factor as well as counter tops, set belts and saltwater-water softener all add salt or friction causing the fabric to weeken
And bugs yes bugs, sweat has oils and can break down plastic type clothing as well as finely woven cotton and bleach, color safe bleach weak in the fabric as well

Hope this helps !!!, (-.-) (HI-5)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:18PM
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I figured out that mine was from the zippers on my jackets grabbing my shirts as I zip up.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I noticed these holes a couple of years ago mostly in a certain brand of t shirt I have worn for many years. I think it is due to cheaper fabric with less quality control on thread used to make the fabric. Laundry chemicals cause the weak spots to be revealed and any wear and tear on the fabric also build on that. That would commonly happen any place that gets stretched or abraded from seat belts. counter tops etc. I am sure there are instances of bugs that account for some holes as well. My sister also has this problem with the same brand of t shirt.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:08AM
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I'm so glad I found this forum! I, too, thought I was the only one experiencing this problem!

Three years ago, we purchased a new, Maytag Bravo top-loading HE washer. This is the first HE washer I have ever owned. Since then, I have been finding clusters of pin-head-size holes in the center of my shirts at waist level. There are always three to four, tiny holes. At first, I blamed the clothing for being made cheaply and not holding up as long. However, I recently bought several new shirts that have only been worn/washed a couple of times, and they already have these holes!

My husband and I believe that this is being caused by the HE detergents. The oxidizing/cleaning agents that manufacturers now use in order to get clothes clean with as little water and detergent as possible, is ruining the fabrics. I also believe the clothes are actually not getting cleaned as well. The clothes don't even smell clean! I have to use lots of scented fabric softener and dryer sheets just to feel like they are clean!

I have been doing laundry for 40 years and never had this problem until I bought an HE washing machine. My clothes (even cheaper ones) have always lasted years and years. Now I wear them twice and they have holes! This can't be a coincidence!

I intend to contact Maytag and see what they tell me. I think this is a valid issue to be investigated further. If necessary, I will contact my state's attorney general and file a consumer complaint.

In the meantime, I'm washing all my good clothes in the sink with Woolite!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Agree with everyone re frustrations, but think it has more to do with fabric, either content or sizing or manufacturing process, than possible bugs, etc. this just didn't happen several years ago, so think it's probably a combination of manufacturing changes plus normal abrasion. I have taken clothing back because of holes only in front and not had problem, which makes me think they know more than they are letting on. Has anyone else tried returning merchandise with holes in front?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 10:29AM
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I have read many of these excellent and informative posts, and would like to throw out a few thoughts. Forgive me if I have repeated what others have said (there are SO MANY postings!)

It's clear there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people may have holes due to bugs. Some may have holes due to fabric stress (from wear and tear), which may be from washing machines, or leaning against counters, or seat belts, etc. But I also would think it's possible that some may have holes from some combination of these three (or any other likely) culprits. For example, if you lean against that rough-edged counter consistently, you may be wearing down the fabric in that spot, and when it hits the washer, the agitation (or the presence of bras or other items with hooks, etc.) may be sufficient to weaken the area enough so that the next time you lean against that counter - voila - hole(s). You get the idea.

I myself have experienced these mystery holes for years in cotton tank tops and rayon tops - all in the same location (belly-button general area), and nowhere else. So in my situation, it makes sense that they are being caused by local wear and tear (like seat belts, countertops) and/or washing with items that have hooks or something else snag-worthy, as opposed to bugs (why would they eat holes in the same spot on my tops?).

Good luck with the sleuthing!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 1:50PM
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" Some may have holes due to fabric stress (from wear and tear), which may be from ... leaning against counters, or seat belts, etc."

I think the problem may be a combination of this and the cheaper quality of cotton tops in general. Pull your t-shirts up a little when you are doing dishes, leaning over the countertop to put on make-up, buckling your seat belt, etc. and you will likely see the problem go away. All of my t-shirts had this issue until I started this preventive practice and it seems to be working.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Ok like alot of you i have the same problem with little holes on my tshirts some of which have NEVER been worn. It started happening about a year ago. I went on a shopping holiday came home and becuase of the season didnt wera what i got. Went to put the first tshirt on and there were little holes. I had never worn them. I dont have a belly button and i wear aprons in the kitchen. Its getting a very expensive problem for me. My other half isnt having the same bproblem ts just mine.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 1:49AM
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