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Holes in clothes photos

Full Washerhelp article: This page is part of an article on holes in clothes from washing machines

Holes in clothes photos 1

NOTE: There is blue card under the holes to help them stand out

These are the first photos I received since requesting them on my blog article Holes in washing (laundry). Thanks Kristin. Her description of the problem is as follows -

"For several months now I've been finding small holes in clothing - mostly in cotton t-shirt type material.  At first I assumed it was something I was doing wrong. So, I no longer buy any off brand detergent.  I've been careful to wash on the right speeds and not fill the tub too full.  The holes remain and they appear even in clothing worn only once. 

I know the holes were not there prior to washing.  Some of the holes are small and some almost look like small tear.  It doesn't seem to matter what brand of clothing - Old Navy, Target, Aeropostale, GAP.  This is frustrating!" (washer/dryer - drum capacity size not reported)

The damage in the above laundry is different to the holes described by many others. These holes could be described more as tears or cuts. Remember that holes and damage to laundry can be caused by disparate things and can manifest in different ways. We need more photos to try and find out if there is a common new explanation for the unusually high incidences of damage to laundry currently being reported.

These holes look like the fabric has been forced through something and cleanly cut.

Holes in clothes photos 2

These were sent in by Brian. His description of the problem is as follows -

"My machine (Zanussi ZWF 1221W) is 1 year old.  I have noticed small holes have appeared in some items of clothing when washed in this machine.  Each of the holes is about 1cm in size. The jacket is polyester and was washed as a single item with no other items in the machine (program selected = synthetics, 40 deg, spin selector set at 1200 which for synthetics results in an actual spin speed of 900).

The pullover is acrylic and was washed with one other similar pullover (program selected = synthetics, 40 deg, half load, 'Quick' option, spin selector set at 1200 which for synthetics, results in an actual spin speed of 900).

The jeans are new, cotton denim, being washed for the first time, with three other pairs of similar jeans (program selected = coloureds economy E40, spin 1200).

Detergent used was Bold 2 in 1, no other additives, bleach, etc.

There are different articles of clothing with holes here and a couple of general points to mention -

  • All Bold detergent is biological (even though it's not obvious on the box), and shouldn't be used on woollens and delicates - Quote from Bold web site - "None of the Bold products are recommended for special care items. For woollens and silks, Dreft Fibrocare (Automatic) and Dreft Handwash powders are ideal." ( Related articles: Biological washing machine detergents can damage woollens & silks (cause holes) | You don't just use one detergent do you? )
  • Most manufactures say that spinning delicate fabrics too fast will result in damage to clothes. Make sure that laundry items are only spun at the recommended spin speeds for the fabric. It's surprising how slow some fabrics should be spun at (see chart on my Holes in clothes article), only cottons are recommended to be spun at full spin speeds. This may be inconvenient, but if you are suffering damage to clothes you must rule out all possible causes and should stick to the recommended spin speeds stated in your instruction book to at least eliminate it as a cause. ( Related: How to download or obtain a washing machine instruction book / booklet / manual for various white goods (where available) )
  • Having mentioned the two points above, the denim jeans are cotton and should stand up to a 1200 spin and biological powder, plus the laundry appears to have been spun at the correct speeds including a very slow 900 rpm so the damage does not appear to be attributed to these user errors.

Holes in clothes photos 3

These cotton underpants have several tears round the back and near the leg but the damage is not the result of just one wash incident. For some reason they were still being worn and washed after the holes developed resulting in their current state.

However, the suspicion remains that the damage has been caused by washing.

I can't make out if the holes are in the front or the back, but I wonder if it's possible for urine to break down the fibres and start the holes?

Holes in clothes photos 4

This photo of a hole in a sheet was sent in by Henri who says the hole occurred after the first time it was washed.

The hole has fraying all round the edges which is conducive with friction or being snagged on something sharp.

This was the only hole in the sheet so it looks like it somehow caught on something in the drum such as the end of an underwire from a bra



Holes in clothes photos 5

These photos were sent in by Jackie.

The one on the bottom right looks like a cut. It's as though it's been forced through a hole and cut. The others are much smaller. Jackie said -

"Even my Miele (with a honeycomb drum) is causing damage to my laundry, much to my surprise! Did a light, coloured wash yesterday and out came a relatively new t-shirt with a hole at the front just below the neck line. I used a 40 wash with 1200 spin speed-makes no difference in my experience what programme or speed is used. Some holes are fairly tiny, but enough to ruin an item of clothing, others are quite sizeable chunks ripped from the garment. Have now invested in a huge net laundry bag-but we shouldn't have to use one for every wash should we?"

Small holes in cottons

Many of the previous photos are of quote large holes but a lot of people are experiencing very small holes in cottons and here are some examples.

Links to more articles on holes and tears in laundry

Here are links to the story so far at Washerhelp and Whitegoodshelp. If you have random holes appearing in your laundry items then you need to carefully read all the information there - particularly where I mention several possible causes which could be attributable to user faults.

Don't be too keen to blame the washing machine until you have ruled out all the other causes. I currently keep a totally open mind on the subject and am trying to collate enough information to be able to help anyone with this problem.


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