All of the postings that I have read so far haven't answered my question relating to finding the source and having a solution as to what to do about tiny holes in cotton t-shirts. If there is someone out there who can help, I would be most appreciative. I have found tiny holes in the front of thin cotton t-shirts or other fine cotton wear, like thin cotton summer wraps.
The holes that appear are always on the front of the garment, either one or in a cluster of three or four tiny holes occurring about waist high. Now, the conundrum is most, if not all, of the shirts are new. Some never having been worn, or only worn once or twice, and haven't been laundered. So, then, if I rule out laundry and cleaning agents, snags and imperfections in the fabric. What would cause these holes to suddenly appear from one day to the next, after simply hanging the shirts in my closet?
Assuming that it is some kind of moth, worm, insect, or mite eating through the cloth, does anyone have an idea of how to eradicate them? Is there some kind of moth ball or repellent that doesn't smell like a moth ball? What furthers my theory, is that prior to about three or four years ago, I never had, nor even heard, of this problem. In the past, I've had wool sweaters eaten through by a moth, leaving a telltale casing, but this has never happened with cotton. Help. I don't want to keep buying expensive shirts only to discover holes in them even before I wear them.
Alix from Tarzana, CA
Check your belts and buckles. (08/28/2008)
Question: do you smoke? As when I did, that's what I would get from the hot ashes. If not try cedar. It will keep the moths away, but it doesn't sound like moths as they eat all over the shirt, and if it's your seat belt, make a cover for it. Good luck. (08/28/2008)
By Margaret from TX
The holes could be from standing at your kitchen sink, and the rubbing against the edge of your counter top, try wearing an apron, and see what happens.
If the holes are always in the front of your shirts, they cannot be caused by an insect. Insects don't know front from back or top from bottom. It has to be from something that is coming in contact with the front of this shirt, car seatbelt, edge of your sink, belt buckle? Perhaps it is something that you are using that is splashing onto this area of the shirt, some bleach product? some cosmetic that works the same as bleach? Acne medicine? What about something on your purse or a watch or a bracelet that catches and snags on this area? You will have to do some sort of detective work to figure this out. (08/29/2008)
Another thought, if this is something in the closet, which I doubt, one way to fix that is to keep the shirts in a drawer or in a Rubbermaid tub under the bed, or anywhere else, just not in the closet. If the holes continue to appear, it is not something in the closet. Are you sure these holes are appearing in shirts that have never been worn? Does anyone else in the family living in the house have these same problems, or is it just shirts belonging to you? Could they be getting snagged on something in the closet, a sharp area on the door? (08/29/2008)
Mice can climb anywhere and on anything and you find signs of them (not just feces) everywhere. Yellow stains on items that have been hanging in the closet, tiny bite holes, and the awful smell they leave behind. You might want to check little used drawers and cubbyholes for more definite proof. Good luck. (09/02/2008)
I managed to match the tiny holes in all of my shirts with the little buttons on the pocket of my jeans, try that.
I am having the same problem, tiny holes around the waist area of my T shirts and spoke with a friend of mine who was having this problem to a greater degree. She says the tiny holes are caused by carpet beetles. She called a pest control company and took all rugs, draperies, and clothing to be dry cleaned. (09/07/2008)
About 20 years ago I lived in an apartment and I had a nice walk in closet. It had a hanging rack on both sides. On one side I hung jeans and slacks and on the other side were shirts, blouses, dresses, etc. I started noticing tiny holes in many of my shirts, all in the same area (left shoulder). At first I blew it off, but it was randomly on shirts throughout the line. Finally I noticed a black line moving on my clothes. It was ants. I know that's not normal, but after the ants left the holes stopped. It seems more realistic that yours may be getting snagged on pants or seatbelt or something. When you figure it out, do tell. (09/16/2008)
I have the same problem, and I found that the holes line up with the top flap at the snap or button of my jeans. The top tip of the flap usually curls outward. This is lining up perfectly with the holes in my T-shirts which I wear on the outside of my jeans. I am too short for it to be rubbing on the counter, besides this would more than likely make a long tear in the fabric. Hope this helps. (09/20/2008)
Sarah is correct. It is the fabric and the newer detergents. The fabric quality, even in expensive items, is not the same as it has been in the past. So when your clothes rubbed the pant area or something, it wasn't noticeable before. But now it is. I am not switching to Tide. I just deal with it. Gives me a little air conditioning. It is not an insect. Or the holes wouldn't be in the same areas. (10/04/2008)
Just did the granite top test. Put my damaged t-shirt on back to front and rubbed my belly on the granite. 3 holes, yes they have appeared out of nowhere. I can certainly say those holes always around the belly area are from my granite surface. My granite is smooth, it's the small undetected "chips" that cut a small hole. What to do about it, hold my belly in? Wear an apron? (10/08/2008)
You won't believe this, but I just spoke with my daughter, she was complaining about holes in her "good" t- shirts hanging in her closet. I suggested cedar. The holes could possibly be from moth larvae. The moth has laid eggs and the larvae are eating (little holes) in the natural fabrics, usually cotton, wool.
There are abundant cedar products at stores like Home Depot, hardware stores, etc. Either clean out your closet and hang cedar planks, balls, etc. or pull out the items in your closet and toss them in your drier with good heat to kill the little buggers and then hang, or put in drawers with the cedar product.
You can get spray refills to re-cedar planks you purchase, but don't spray directly on your clothing; these items you care about. I don't think you want the cedar touching the clothing, but read directions on the cedar products you purchase. This has worked for me. Good luck. (11/09/2008)
I don't know if I have solved everyone's problem, but I can't believe I've solved mine. I was to the point where I was blaming the manufacturer of the jeans for putting holes in my t-shirts as well as thinking it might be my seat belt, but I now have a new vehicle. I wore a brand new long sleeve t only once, guess what, 4 holes in it.
I knew it had to be the jeans so the next day I wore the same jeans with a belt, which covered the button and button hole of the jean. The corner of the button hole seems to not lay flat and it had to have been either that rubbing on my tees or the button, but I wore another new shirt today with the belt on my jeans and presto no holes. I would suggest trying to wear a belt. (11/21/2008)
I suspect that it may be the Velcro fastener on the front of my shorts. Does that ring any bells with anyone? Do you have Velcro on your pants? I am systematically killing all my T shirts with little holes just under my belly button. I am very concerned. (01/19/2009)
I would put moth balls where the clothes are also put some all over the house, hope this helps, good luck. (03/06/2009)
It is definitely the seat belt. I actually did a week long "test" because so many of my tanks and tees have been ruined in the same spot, same exact tiny holes. It has been driving me crazy. No front-loader washer, no moths. When your shirt hangs over the button and waistband of jeans, and you put on your seat belt over it, the movement of your body combined with the pressure from the seat belt creates a friction every time you move; thus, the holes.
I found the only way to eliminate this (minus not wearing your seat belt which is ridiculous and unsafe) is to pull your shirt up above your waistband prior to putting on your seat belt. That way the lap belt will only be against you/your pants and not your shirt. Hope this helps. (09/09/2009)
This mystery has been solved for me. Just the other day, I was wearing a brand new cotton shirt with jeans. Standing at my kitchen sink washing dishes, I heard a scraping sound at my waist. I looked down at my shirt and noticed tiny holes and realized I had been leaning against my granite counter top. Sure enough, the metal button on my jeans had worn these tiny holes in my shirt from the friction of the granite. Case closed. Now I'm in the market for some aprons. (12/05/2009)
I too had this problem and six months later found the culprit. Only cotton shirts were affected, as polyester is too slippery, I discovered my car seat belt had a crack in the underside of plastic button that rests on my lap. Since covering the button no more holes. My car is not old so why not check your seat belt. (01/11/2010)
The first time I noticed the tiny holes after 1 wearing, I actually took the shirt back to NY & Co and said it must have been damaged when I bought it or maybe from the sensor! Well about 5 years later practically every one of my summer tee shirts have tiny holes & most end up as rags. Just recently I wore a brand new shirt & took it off that evening & it had holes. That particular day there could have been 3 possible culprits. One, I did drive my car that day. There is a small stopper on the seat belt that could have caused it. Two, I did lean up against my granite counter top several times that day. Finally, I had on jean shorts with a metal snap that could have rubbed up against the seat belt or the counter. I do have some older shirts made of a better cotton that do not have holes. I even noticed that the girl who does my nails also had the holes in her tee shirt. She laughed and said most of her shirts had these holes. I was happy to see so many posts about this issue, as I thought I was the only one!
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