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What Causes Mysterious Holes in Clothes After Washing?


What Causes Mysterious Holes in Clothes After Washing?

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Question: What Causes Mysterious Holes in Clothes After Washing?

One of the questions from About.com's Laundry Forum is, "What is causing holes to appear in my laundry?" Here are steps to find the answer and fix the problem.


Holes appearing in clothing after laundering is one of those mysteries that you will have to do a process of elimination to figure out. Look at each probable cause and then you'll need to check out and resolve each one.

  • Using too much bleach or not allowing the bleach to thoroughly mix with water before putting in clothes will cause holes. If, however, the holes occur when no bleach is used, then this is not the cause.
  • Abrasive surfaces at work/home can cause holes that washing makes more evident. Have you gotten a new table, desk or countertop? Improperly installed granite countertops have a bad reputation for snagging clothing.
  • Is your clothing catching on belts, zippers or pant closures while you wear it?
  • Are you using a final spin speed that is too high for the type of fabric you are washing? Check your washer's operations manual. Cotton should not be spun higher than 600 revolutions per minute. If you don't have your manual, call the manufacturer directly and ask for a new manual or find one online. Spinning too rapidly can pull clothing into the tiny holes and crevices of a washer drum and cause wearing and tears.
  • Are you overloading the machine? This not only affects cleaning but also can cause garments to get hooked on zippers, decorations and pulls on other clothing. Always zip, button and fasten all clothing before washing.
  • Are you missing an underwire from a bra? Underwires can get caught between the drum and the side of the washer poking through the drum holes. You may not feel it when the washer is empty but the agitation of the washer may cause the wire to snag clothing.

Garments that you want to protect should be put in mesh laundry bags before placing into the washer.

Specific questions? Just ask here.

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