Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I didn't know where to post this, but have read many comments about the tiny holes in the front of thin tee shirts, mostly by the bottom of the shirt. None of my kids' or hubby's clothes are affected. I have a walk in closet and it has only happened since we moved here in 2003.
I never saw these holes in my former house. So how could it be the jean button or seat belt of my car, if it never happened until we moved into this house?
By Ltb3105 from Bedford, TX
Actually what is happening is that the material that they are making the clothes from now days is thinner than it used to be. This is starting to be very irritating now that 2 of my favorite shirts from Express has developed holes and my boyfriends Express Underwear. I have sewed up a few things but I'm very unhappy with this quality of cotton. It's one thing to have cute little light shirts but entirely unacceptable when you pay 50.00 for a shirt and it starts falling apart! That is what is happening. That's why all your experiments have the same outcome. Not because it's your belly button, jean button or seat belt. This is why it doesn't happen as often to your husband or son's clothes. They do not wear the thinner clothing. And just as an added note. I ALWAYS wash my clothes after wearing them, I never hang them back up. I wash them and usually because the clothes that are affected are thinner shirts, I never dry them, because I don't want wrinkles and it's less wear and tear on the material.
It's from the kitchen counter rubbing on the fabric and cleaning chemicals. Wear an apron!
I have tiny holes on my shirts too. My husbands don't seem to be affected in our walk-in closet. I thought it was from "silverfish" and have tried mothballs, cedar blocks , having our pest control company spray, getting out all paper or cardboard away fro closet, and still continues to be a problem. But I get new shirts every 6-12 months ! If anyone has successfully cured the problem, I'd be happy to hear HOW.
I've been noticing these tiny holes all over the front of my t-shirts. I've looked inside the washer and dryer and there's nothing there that could be causing this. Plus my son and husband clothes are washed in the same machines and they are not experiencing these tiny holes in their t-shirts. It's not my detergent. I've used the same one for years. I don't think it's moths because it's happening to all my t-shirts old and even new ones. It's getting really frustrating.
I just bought four new t-shirts by Levi, Adidas, Calvin Klein, and Old Navy. Three of these shirts already have holes in the front of them. Its not just in the same areas it's all over the front of them. Please help!
By Barbara R.
Because they're on the front only, and not on your husband's or son's, I don't think it's due to insects or your washing machine. I've read some pretty interesting posts about this problem, and experienced it myself. It's probably because of a hard object pressing against your t-shirt and wearing the small hole, or your t-shirt rubbing between 2 hard objects. Situations like your belt buckle, the metal button on your jeans, your seat belt, etc.; or rubbing the front of your shirt up against the edge of a counter or table, especially if you have a metal belt buckle or metal button on your jeans. I think metal belt buckles, metal jean buttons and seat belts come up a lot when other people are talking about this. Pay attention to the area some of the holes are, what you were doing and what else you were wearing, and something may come to mind.
Not possible. Mites or insects do not know to only chew holes in the FRONT of a top. It's cheapo fabric.
I also get holes in my t-shirts. It not from anything I'm doing or wearing. Just got a shirt and after one wash a hold. This only happens to my cotton shirts. I hate it
Please can someone answer my question? Why are there tiny holes appearing on all of mine and my son's cotton tee shirts. They appear in exactly the same spot once they are a couple of weeks old.
I have cleaned out wardrobes and drawers and sprayed with neat lavender oil, but no luck. I have owned t-shirts down through the years and I have never seen the likes of it until the last year. The funny thing is I live in a newly built house so that rules out damp or moths.
I will be looking forward to some answers hopefully.
I have no answer for you, but I have found that some kinds of soft cotton shirts get small holes, usually on the tummy area very quickly, whereas I have some t-shirts that are over 15 years old, and they don't seem to develop holes. I suspect it is the quality of the cotton. The softer the shirt, the easier it seems to have developed holes. It does not seem to have anything to do with the price of the shirt - the soft shirts are no less expensive.
My daughter nearly tore her hair out with the same problem. Do you have Caesar Stone or marble benches. We even tried a stocking on the edge of the benches and it didn't snag. A friend of her had the same problem so they got the people out who made the bench tops and they smoothed the edges and no more holes in tops (They looked just as though something was eating them).
Thanks very much for such great suggestions. Just forgot to mention that the holes are in exactly the same spot on every tee-shirt. Its just below the belly button area. I thought about the quality of the cotton also. I wouldn't wonder at the holes if they were randomly spread around.
I have also noticed the same on two my cotton tee shirts in the very same area in the last 2 days so this is now getting very frustrating!
Thanks again everyone.
What causes small holes in my shirts?
By Tommy from Youngsville, LA
This is such a mystery! I've been dealing with this I'll say for the past 6or 7 years now! Tiny pin holes in the same identical area across the stomach area more to the right side of the shirt. I don't wear jeans all the time I wear a lot of exercise pants that do not have any zippers or snaps or belt buckles that would wear on these tops. Brand new top put on for the second time yesterday and by the end of the day....Wella what do you know !!! I look down and to my amazement in my new shirt more tiny holes. Also I've never in the past had this happen. I have old Gap shirts from years ago that have been worn and washed dozens of times and no holes. Most of my tops are all from the Loft , banana republic and Gap and event shirts from VS. and they all have tiny holes in them and they are all releatively new! It shouldn't matter how thin or what the material is made out of this should not be happening! And if it was the so called material then why aren't these holes else where in the shirts/tops? It remains a mystery and I have had it. Can't afford for good clothes to wear once or twice and then they look like old rags!
But how do you know if you don't see insects?
I have the same problem. The tops are usually good quality but are soft cotton. I think it's either from the shirt rubbing on the button of my jeans or the seatbelt pressing the shirt onto the jacket zipper or jeans zipper,
None of these answers explains the holes which I am increasingly finding in the seats of my pants. They are in the pattern of a round hole about the size of a pencil eraser with a smaller hole next to it. Have also found similar holes in tops and even panties.
By Carolyn M.
I get them from cramming clothes into a drawer. Stuffing the drawer makes items catch between the drawer and cabinet causing a small hole or cut in the fabric. Sometimes the hole doesn't become apparent until after laundering. And I still do it. When will I ever learn?
Almost every t-shirt I have either out of my dresser drawer or hanging on my door have about 3 holes around the lower part of a shirt.
Possible causes include pressure from a belt buckle or pants snap and leaning up against a counter or other surface.
I've noticed that when I wash my tee-shirts (which were new) I have tiny holes in them, not just one, but a lot of them. What am I doing wrong?
Patty from Hyattsville, MD
I have been having the same problem for about a year and it has driven me crazy. I'll wear a new t-shirt for a few hours and it has all these holes around the waist. I finally discovered it was caused by the waistband of my pants where it buttons or snaps there is a little part that sticks out and at the point it is sharp. If you notice after an hour or so there will be little white spots and a few hours later there are holes. They are only at that spot. I tried switching from jeans to a more casual pant and they all do it. I'm wondering if it because all the newer fabrics have a stretch in them and maybe the threads are sharper?
I have been reading on these posts about granite countertops and rubbing the shirt between your jeans button and the counter. My problem is not in the kitchen, but in the bathroom. I realized that when I put my makeup on in the morning, I am leaning way over to get close to the mirror. My tee shirts are pulled tight and rubbed against the side of the counter top! I'll try to be aware of this from now on to alleviate the problem because, like everyone else, this is making me crazy irritated!
I am having this same problem. I have read on this site that car seat belts may be causing this, but is your son old enough to drive? also, I noticed it happened to one of my undershirts, which is unlikely to be exposed to the seat belt of my car. But, I am having the same problem and it only happens to my shirts, not my wife or kids. I drive a Cadillac CTS 2010. Let me know if this helps or if you have other information.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Leslie from Columbus, OH
Are the holes in front about waist high? My guys have ALWAYS had little holes there and I finally decided it was because that area rubs on the front fasteners of their pants. No difference for us in our old top load and new front load. (06/25/2008)
Make sure you are zipping up all zippers and buttons because with front loaders the clothes rub together. (06/25/2008)
No. I have a top loading washer and have tiny holes all through my t-shirts! Very annoying! I embroider small flowers over the holes in my granddaughter's t-shirts and she loves them. No one else in her class has the same shirt! (06/25/2008)
It is probably from using too much bleach, or using bleach too often, which eats through clothes over time and weakens and destroys the fibers. (06/26/2008)
I was told that on the more inexpensive t shirts, the little holes are where the machine making them starts a new thread. They unravel a little at that point and, I don't know if this is true or not, but my more expensive t-shirts don't seem to have the little hole problem. (06/26/2008)
I have the same frustrating issue of tiny holes in the front waist line of my t shirts, which happened within the last month. Same washer/dryer so that's not the issue. Then I thought "moths!", but it's not all my clothes, and they usually don't attack cotton, and how can it be a coincidence that the bugs would always eat the same place on the T shirts. Is it my seatbelt?
I've "lost" 7 shirts over the past few weeks, some cheap, some expensive, some new, some are old. I think it might be my detergent. I've read that biological detergents with enzymes (purposes of the enzymes is to break down protein, starches and fat that may be found in dirt and stains upon clothing to be laundered, for example food stains, sweat or mud) might attack shirts, specifically proteins on a shirt, so if you have a bit of silk or a splatter of grease or a bit of wool in a T shirt, the enzymes can differentiate a stain from the fabric of the shirt, so it attacks & causes the hole. I've tried to become more "environmentally friendly" using non-toxic, natural laundry detergent, but I think this is the cause of my holes in my T shirts. So, I'm switching back to tide, getting some new shirts, and hoping for the best. (08/18/2008)
I have been having the same problem. Tiny holes in the front bottom of my shirts. I have read most of the comments on this subject and can tell you that I have always had a top loading washer so it is not because you have a front loader. The problem had started when I had the quartz countertops in the kitchen installed. It feels smooth so I don't know if it is just a coincidence or not. The holes are right where you would lean up to do the dishes. I have been wearing an apron now but the holes are still appearing. It cannot be the washer because none of my husband's clothes are affected. My other thoughts were moths...I used the two different traps and nothing. No moths flying, nothing in the traps. There are clothes hanging in the closet with no holes and also in the drawers. Have cedar, chips, etc.. hanging in there also. Then I thought, the cat lays in my lap and kneads with her nails in my shirt. Could it be that? I started throwing a blanket over my shirt when she lays on my lap...still new holes. Could it be the cheap material they are using? Why are the holes always only in the same area? If it was a moth or bug problem...again, why only are the holes in the same limited area? I really doubt it could be the seat belts. If it was a seat belt problem, then why doesn't my husband and daughter have this problem? The detergent I am using, I have used for years. Again, if it were the detergent, why aren't the holes everywhere and not just in the one same area? Maybe we need a professional to seriously look into this problem. I would welcome them to come and research my closet, drawers, countertop, seat belts, etc... This is crazy and everybody has thoughts on it but NOBODY really knows...or do they? Maybe the clothes manufacturers are making more money because we have to keep buying more clothes because of the little holes that are front and center for everyone to see. Of course, that is probably silly to think that way because still, they are only in the one small area. This just happened again today to me. Brand new shirt that I just put on after being freshly washed for the very first time. Five new holes right in the lower front of the shirt! So very frustrating!
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!
I keep finding tiny round holes in my clothing and think it may be caused by moths. Should I be able to see these moths? If so what do they look like? Thanks.
There are tiny holes showing up at the top of my blouse and t-shirts. Does anyone have an answer as to why? These were fairly new clothes.