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Tiny Holes in T-shirts

Category Laundry
When the holes in your t-shirt are near the top of your jeans, they may be caused by rubbing against metal buttons. This is a guide about tiny holes in t-shirts.
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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.

September 25, 20111 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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September 27, 20111 found this helpful
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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.

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October 18, 20160 found this helpful
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I too have had this problem for years now. I have considered every possibility. After years of literally driving myself mad over the situation, I seem to have made one conclusion. I noticed I can go a long time washing things with no holes. Then I can wash a load and have three shirts come out with holes. The last two times it happened, I can tell you that I had used a stain remover on at least one article of clothing that I threw in with the load. I am thinking it has to be something involving the stain removers, at least for me. If I noticed it twice now after using shout or Clorox 2, but not any other time I wash clothing, I am going to make sure if I use it on an article of clothing from now on, I'm not going to then throw it in the washer. I'm just going to hand wash it. I use Purex detergent, and don't seem to have problems regularly.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2011

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.

By magnolia

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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August 22, 20160 found this helpful
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OK, I think after many years of dealing with this crazy problem. ...the definitive answer has been found. It MUST be the kitchen work tops and the hob. Cleaning (with chemicals) and cooking (especially spitting fat) are at exactly the tummy level, where the holes are. The answer? Always wear an apron!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2017

A few years back there was a long thread about small holes in t-shirts. Turns out to be mostly related to cheaper fabrics or rubbing against something. But in my case, the holes appear only on gray t-shirts, not on any other color. Any idea why this might be? Thanks!

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September 5, 20170 found this helpful
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According to the CEO of American Giant one of the largest tee shirts manufactures, the holes are caused by the fabric rubbing up against the hardware such as the medal tables on your jeans. This could also be from you belt or the tops of your jeans. He is saying that over time and the constant rubbing has caused the fabric to deteriorate.

In some cases the problem is the fabric itself. Some companies use cheap fabric and make the tee shirts as cheaply as possible.

However, if you have holes in your shirt that aren't located around the bottom of the shirt this could be a moth problem. If you find small clusters of tiny holes this is a moth problem.

I have found some information that says that if the cotton shirt was made in Vietnam that they use cheap material. This was the cause of many holes in certain tee shirts. Whereas, others say it is from washing your tee shirts with jeans. Many people suggest washing them separately to avoid the holes in your shirt. The last theory that everyone is talking about is the seat belt in your car. Many people have found that their seat belts are making the tiny holes in their tee shirts.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

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

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 9, 20090 found this helpful
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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?

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April 18, 20130 found this helpful

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.

By Sharon

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April 20, 20130 found this helpful
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Possible causes include pressure from a belt buckle or pants snap and leaning up against a counter or other surface.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 25, 2016

I have read about the counters and seat belts causing these tiny holes in the front of our shirts. Has anyone thought it maybe the zippers in the front of slacks? Some of the zippers have sharp edges.

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September 10, 20170 found this helpful

The founder and CEO of American Giant, Bayard Winthrop, claim the tiny holes at the bottom of tee shirts are caused by friction. He says that the hardware and belt from your jeans is causing friction points that makes the material deteriorate.

One mother online wrote a post about the holes and what she discovered. She claims that the tiny holes at the bottom of the shirt are caused by mothers spending long hours pressed up against the kitchen counter washing dishes. The hard surface of the cupboard and the zipper and button on your jeans causes friction. The holes appear over time because the friction is breaking the tiny threads in the material.

After this discovery many people started to use the half tuck to stop the material from deteriorating. Just the front of the shirt is tucked into the jeans.

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September 27, 20070 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

I have a some ideas.

1. Bleach: Maybe you are using a bit too much? Or it's not getting diluted enough before you put your clothes in? Try filling the washer up completely before putting your clothes if you are using bleach.

2. Kittens: Do you have any kittens? Kittens claws tend to put tiny holes in t-shirts that you don't notice until you wash them.

3. Beyond that, maybe there is something on the other pieces of clothing or within the washer tub that was catching on your clothes. (12/17/2005)

By Jim

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

Patty? It might be your bras. Clothing will get caught on the clasps if they aren't hooked together before washing. (I had the same problem and boy was I stumped!!) I starting hooking my bras before washing and the holes stopped.

I hope you figure it out, I know how frustrating (not to mention EXPENSIVE!!) that can be.

Blessings,
Angie in Texas (12/17/2005)

By Angie

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

I had the same problem with my old washer. Parts of the steel drum were rusted and t-shirts were being caught on it. I sanded the spots down, and placed this enamel touch up paint for appliances on the spots and the problem stopped.
Good luck
(12/17/2005)

By Sheryl

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

My neice had this problem. She discovered that she had silverfish. Since she lived in a apartment, she notified her landlord and her place was exterminated.
(12/17/2005)

By mkymlp

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

Many years ago I read in "Hints From Heloise" that if you overload your washing machine with clothing that the friction of the clothes rubbing together can put small holes in clothes. Make sure you are using the right amount of water for the amount of laundry and don't overload. (12/18/2005)

By lovethosehounds

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

Too much bleach was my problem. (12/19/2005)

By Joanne

Tiny Holes Appearing in T-shirts After Washing

I found once I started zipping up all the zippers, hooking all the bras and other hook and eyes, the holes stopped. (10/19/2006)

By Jony

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