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Small Holes In Clothes After Wash


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Jeans can get caught in the front of the drum between the drum and the door seal, especially if overloaded.

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We had a new kitchen and white goods installed 2 years ago. In the last 3-4 months our washing machine has started to put holes in our laundry, most notably a very expensive set of high quality beddin

This is a great topic. It is clear this is happening more often, across all makes. I would always check the gap between the drum and door seal first, that is often the cause, as clothes can be forced

Hi.  I have the EXACT same situation.  It's been driving me crazy.  Contacted Samsung last year after noticing holes.  Having just bought the machine I was noticing it more and more but thought to mys

Hi

I keep finding these little holes randomly in cotton t shirts and tops too. My machine is a Zanussi with a 7kg drum and 1200 spin speed.

I wonder if it is worth contacting the manufacturer (I've had it almost a year) as stumbling on this website has made me realise it may be the machine making the holes and not something in certain washes. It has ruined some first time washed t shirts in the process which is very annoying.

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I have had my fair share of washer/dryer problems.I had the original Whirlpool washer the forerunner to the Cabrio. That plate washer machine. Holes in the clothes all the time,and lint all over my clothes. No matter what I washed,lint over all the clothes. I just gave up,gave the washer to my DD,for her new house. She said it washed great. The matching dryer,was awful. Had the repair man out every week fixing that dryer. I purchased both at Lowe's. Lowe's took back the dryer after the 14th call for repairs.

I had a washer front loader GE. It was a fabulous washer,but I had to ditch that washer too. I had to give it away. The house that I am living in now,the floor (1st floor)was not strong enough for the spinning. The machine would not spin the clothes. I was up all night trying to get the clothes to spin dry,and it wouldn't.

DH purchased me my Whirlpool washer agitator machine in 2008 and it is still going strong. Agitator machine is the only way to go. I have spent a fortune on washer/dryers that have been a big fat bust.

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It depends what's causing it. If it's definitely the washing machine the holes should be random and not always in one specific place. There could be some damage to the inside of the drum from an obstruction (carefully examine all of the drum and holes, use tights stretched over your hand to see in anything in there is snagging). It could be something like an underwire from a bra stuck between the outer tub and inner drum.

As far as I know all possible causes are eventually mentioned in my Blog article so if you haven't already I'd put aside an hour or so to read it and all the comments as the answer may be in there somewhere.

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This is a great topic. It is clear this is happening more often, across all makes. I would always check the gap between the drum and door seal first, that is often the cause, as clothes can be forced in to it and snagged / ripped. Over loading can be the cause of the gap being too large as it applies weight and forces it over. I've seen some really badly deformed seals and am amazed the user has not noticed.

As Andy also says, foriegn objects can be the cause, especially coins, pins and hairgrips. Imagine one of these being forced against the clohing whilst being spun at 1200 or above .There is an estimated 4G's of force applied to clothes at around 1200 rpm spin. I once went to a machine where they were experiencing holes all over and imagine my 'surprise' when I checked the filter and pulled out about 40 small pins !

The drums often don't seem to be the cause and as Andy suggest can be tested by running tights over the drum surface, any snags will show up.

With an increase in complaints, I had recently decided to start checking my shirts over and low and behold there are holes! Small but there, I am convinced it's not my 20 year old Miele and I genuinely believe it's poorer quality fabrics, cotton particularly. I've looked at the most of the wash labels and despite saying 100 per cent cotton the ' bucket symbol' is stating that the wash should be synthetics or in some cases delicates! The spin on these programmes is always a) reduced speed and B) reduced in time, therefore the mechanical stress on the clothing will be reduced, therefore reducing the likelihood of damage. I know check them all properly and wash in the appropriate programme.

I also know that we do a lot of walking and with the kids we scrub around in bushes, up trees, getting blackberries and are regularly getting hitched on things and I'm sure this is where a lot of holes start. I've bought some replacement shirts identical to the others and am washing them in delicates to see if they last longer.

So my advice would be make sure the 100 per cent cotton can be washed in cottons, if it can but the fabric is 'thin' reduce the speed if you can. Always check for foreign objects in the pockets. Think if the clothing has been any under mechanical stress outside of the wash (cat claws?) and check the gap between the drum and door seal, if you can get a finger in there without forcing it, it's too big!

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What drum capacity are these washing machines please? I'm wondering if it's related to bigger than standard drums such as 6, 7, 8 kg etc. where the clearance between the drum and the tub may have been reduced.

A bigger diameter drum would develop higher centrifugal forces for a given spin speed.

Also, I'd be interested whether the offending machines have bigger holes in the drum, thus allowing clothing to get through?

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  • 2 months later...

I've almost been going insane on the holes. New $50 T Shirts with holes after one wash. Appears to be on outside of fabric, edges to the little rips at times rather than just a hole. Today, a new T Shirt with the hole on the back along the bottom edge where the cloth is folded for the trim, but the hole did not go through to the folded cloth under it. Holes are on front or back, most often front, and anywhere up to several inches up the height of the fabric, not up the top. $3k washing machine, 5.5kg, well known brand. I've read all forum, blog notes, and cannot locate the cause. I had one night T Shirt - good brand, first wash a hole, so it was not caused by belt buckle, kitchen tops etc. Have eliminated silverfish etc. Did not happen on previous front loader. Appears on any reputable quality of cotton, and spin speeds below 1000. I am trying 500 speed just in case but that won't be the cause. Not related to overloading or other fabrics in the wash from my tests. Eventually holes on good quality business shirts when cotton is fairly light weight. No detectable sharpness on drum outer holes. I don't see how drum door would do this, but who knows. Loader includes dryer, so have tested it is not the separate tumble dryer that came with the apartment. I'll do further tests to see if the dryer function is doing it. The continual loss of clothing is just at breaking point of tossing the machine, but the thing is, something is causing it. Thanks for all the tips, will update if I discover a cause.

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Hello Lovyan. It's a very difficult problem because the holes tend to be so intermittent you can't just try something different on a wash and see if it cures the issue. Whatever new thing you tried it would have to be over a long period to see if the holes stop. If you can turn down the spin speed it would be worth a try but it would mean putting up with wetter laundry for a long time. If it only happens on certain things though you may not need to reduce spin speed for everything. Have you read the article I linked to and the comments? There's a lot of information on there.

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Thanks Andy. I'll know in a couple of months how the slower speed performs. I hadn't thought of your suggestion which is good. I read a lot on the forum but sounds like I haven't seen all the links. I was wondering too why the manufacturers don't come to the party, resolve it and take advantage of holeless clothes for their sales pitch or why consumer authorities don't get them to fix things like razor sharp edges on the underside of drums. I'll see how things go before getting feedback from the local distributor and an engineer etc. Cheers, Laurie

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Well it is easy & very helpful to wash cloth with washing macine but some time it is giving bad result like clothes are get shrink, holes in the clothes, lastic get larg & clothes are take large shape which give ugly look. so for preventing all these problem it is necessary that we should chek all the clothes stander & wash them according to their standard.

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Thanks. I did a check on clothing symbols and washer documentation on settings as per your note on standards, and they are all ok, and have had simple mixes of just whites. So that all seems to check out ok, but I have had other clothes lose shape at times and wondered why. On the hole in the trim of a shirt I mentioned, one can clearly see how threads have been pulled, as the hole is smaller and not as developed where the cloth only has a single layer. I'll add to this post if I discover more, or what the outcome is. I am happy to follow through on tips as they arrive in the forum here. Cheers.

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Have been doing some reading about this and one of the suggestions is that the material gets forced through the holes by the centrifugal force. Whilst the inside of the drum is smooth, the holes are produced by punching, thus the outside of the drum is like a cheesegrater! Higher speeds and bigger drum holes can mean that more fabric gets pulled through.

Whilst you have checked the holes in the drum, check the welds for sharp parts. Also check the rolled edge where the drum meets the rubber seal.

Try eliminating a few things. Check the filter for foreign objects and also check round the seal. Next, I'd by some £2 white t-shirts and run them through the machine a few times by themselves, without any detergent, to see if any damage occurs.

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Hi - found this forum while looking for help with same problem.

My washer has been putting little holes in everything and fraying things with hems such as sheets, towels and teat-towels.

This is a different model han what the others have mentioned here.

A stackable unit. Definitely the washer as it is hurting the things I air-dry .

Mst of my clothes are of tshirt material and the latest casualty was just washed one time.

Seems to occur whether on regular, permanent press or delicate.

I'm looking online for a manual so as maybe to take the drum apart and try to fix it.

Anyone here having any luck ?

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Yeah, I wouldn't take a machine apart - at all - electrical safety in particular, and too much potential for mechanical issues or safety.

I have continued on the tests and looking at a rough matrix of issues, and pitting them against pages and pages of user' s data on the forums. If I exclude genuine cases where holes occur from over spinning, moths eggs, belts, zips, detergents, granite bench tops etc, and valid comments from engineers, poor quality weave etc., I find firstly there is too much evidence to ignore, this is a real issue, and as there is no definitive answer it causes frustration and tears over loss of hundreds of dollars in new clothing damage, let alone attachment to favourite clothes, and that as the cause exists in the machine, it is hidden, that's why we can't capture it.

All it takes is one mechanical part or rough edged hole, or other mentioned possible causes, like worn out bearings to continually destroy garments, just one, and as the mechanisms are all hidden from sight we don't get the answer. You'd basically need a team of NASA scientists to design a machine that produces no holes! What I am therefore saying is the problems won't go away unless the owners, i.e. the manufacturer designers, FIX IT :-) so, in the context of what I mentioned above, I have found no holes if I wash, spin, or dry, at 600rpm. I have by the way a top brand machine. And I suspect my machine has only one tiny piece somewhere doing the deed as it is consistent, and not multiple hole types.

I believe certain fabrics are weaved in a way to be more susceptible. Even a firm cotton weave of a business shirt can eventually get one of these ripped holes. The holes always have the same shapes in my case in particular directions with the weave, and holes to the side of the garments near stronger areas of the shirt's construction are always a bit smaller. I have two cheap T-Shirts that actually have a finer stronger fabric weave, and one has a hole located to the side join area, rather than the general area of the shirt.

I can see where fabric patterns are maintained with the rip, rather than eaten by a hole. My new jeans at 900rpm show an attempt at a hole, but I can't prove that, and somehow parts of the shirts are more frequently in the zone for a hole, which suggests to me we don't really understand the way clothes tumble according to weight distribution and shape and what happens during the "destruction" process. As it is in my view the machine at fault, it is not correct to say that because holes aggregate in certain areas of garments that it is not the machine.

I have one example where I can see threads actually pulled, and I think this is where the fabric resisted the rip due to the location with a second layer of fabric underneath it.

My matrix basically indicates shows the following.

Mostly T-Shirts, but also other fabrics and garment types.

Usually in similar areas of T-Shrts, but not so with other garments.

I suspect it happens to sox. I've had almost new high quality sox with suspect holes that don't make sense.

Have not seen it with my brand of u-wear.

I did not notice holes in the initial life of the machine. It seems it has escalated to an unusable point now.

Will occur on expensive brands without me wearing the shirt first, as I wash first after purchase.

I thought it possible for friction on surface and effect of spattered cooking oil, but the holes on night shirts are also present and they are only worn when I go to bed, and on new shirts washed before wear, all purchased from differing department stores.

As said, holes on new shirts not worn first, so that debunks unfortunately the idea of the friction at the gym with weights etc.

We obviously are not imagining this.

My current conclusion is to put up with 600rpm which I really do not like, until I can afford to replace the machine. I am too hesitant to get an engineer to replace seals, font door, and drum, and bearings, or to expect resolution with the supplier after all the customer testimonials on that aspect. The forums provide very helpful suggestions, but even after all that, there is this ongoing category of damage. If your neighbour doesn't have it, simple, it's mechanical. I learnt in computing after many years experience, if it is hardware, the problem never resolves itself by itself, and grows worse.

I don't see a fix to this without consumer enforcement on the manufacturers. Statistically, a certain number of machines will behave a certain way, just the same as any other commercial product. If anyone has holes within the first week of a purchase I would personally consider asking a full refund or exchange on the grounds of dissatisfaction, rather than guessing, hoping, or extending a discussion with a supplier. The damage to my few amount of clothes would be up towards $1,000. There is nothing in my "matrix" to show this is just one thing or another, other than the machine, and because we can't see it with cameras! we have the many many consumers who have statistically proven it, but who can't visually prove it. This is why the forums reach a stale mate, reading the same frustrations over and over. If I learn any more I'll add a post. Cheers, Laurie

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I live in Toronto, Canada and I used to have the same problem. My hunch is that it's NOT the washing machine causing the problem (small holes), but rather the washing detergent. 30 years ago washing machines had heaters in them to boil the water over 100C and very mild detergent, because the hot water did most of the work. These days detergents are more like acid(s), in Canada they advertise them as being able to wash clothes at 40C.

Take some of this 40C type detergent in your hand, squeeze your fingers, and put your hand under running water. If you hold the detergent more than 2-3 seconds in your hand, you'll get burnt! I might as well use dilluted sulphuric battery acid to wash my clothes.

I also find color fading happening just after 2-3 washes, no wonder...

Try getting a washer that heats up water (like in the old days) and some high quality detergent (Persil or something) and you won't get holes anymore.

Oh, one more thing. Use liquid detergent, instead of powder, if you can. The powder detergent gets washed down right onto the clothes, and stays there for some time before it gets dissolved by water. That's when the damage occurs, in my oppinion.

Cheers

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That's pretty shocking about detergents being so harsh. I'll have an update I think in a few weeks. I've used mainly the earth friendly liquids, and years ago I used a powder that made the fabric feel harsher, even though whiter, which is why I ended up on liquid, and the last few months also trying a "baby" soft type liquid detergent. Thanks. Laurie

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  • 1 month later...

Hi. I bought a new washing machine and no longer have the holes occuring in my clothes. It was the only way I could see to resolve this. Very happy with getting back to normal spin cycles too.

Thanks for everyone's comments on the Forum. There is more to washing than I ever thought :-). Cheers, Laurie

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Thanks Laurie. Researching small holes in clothes has revealed it's a problem with many possible causes, and the washer is just one of them. It seems to have been the culprit in your case though. It's always good to get follow up information

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This is happening to me too. It's always my clothes at the front. I rarely wear a belt and it's happened to clothes that I know don't have holes when I put them in the machine and they do when they come out. I do chuck everything in the same wash, so maybe should try putting my clothes in a delicates cycle. But having read everything I'm thinking of just going and buying a Miele. Is that a bit too rash and expensive? It's driving me mad and ruining all my clothes!! Help!!

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Andy (Administrator) has collated a lot of information from differing view points and experiences in the Forum. So, I went through the content and tried different things out to make sure. I reached a point where in my case there was only one way to solve the problem which was via my bank account. What I can say, is that after I made that decision, I can't tell you how relieved I have been to have things back to normal, and that was worth it. Something else may go wrong down the track, but this time around, my purchase decision was based on country of origin, hopefully parts availabiity here in Australia across a range of brands, and not tying in an engineer to one brand. I can't comment on this aspect correctly though as I am not experienced in the ins and outs of it. The Forum does not discuss machine brands, so I may not comment on the brand you mentioned. I might add, it is kind of funny, my friends have washing machines that have been going on for years and years, and years!

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  • 2 months later...

I too have a problem with my Siemens washing machine creating small holes in mainly t-shirt type fabrics. I think I have resolved the problem and would like to share my ideas with you all.

Irrespective of spin speed, the fabric should not be pushed through the drum holes where it can be snagged or caught and my Siemens washing machine which is around 5 years old started to do this a few weeks ago having never done it before, so I knew a fault had developed; but perhaps not an obvious one to an engineer such as a sharp area in the drum etc.

The fabric was subject to an additional force, other than the centrifugal action of the drum spinning, in order to pull it through the hole in the drum and I now believe I have linked this to a blocked vent tube on the water drain hose, that would create a vacuum in the drum area, caused by the water exiting under pressure from the drain pump.

If you do not have the skills to attempt this then please don't, but make this suggestion to your engineer.

With the top of the machine removed, trace back the drain hose and near to where the hose exits the chassis, there is a feedback hose approximately 8 mm diameter and 120 mm long connected to the outer drum casing and also the water drain hose. I assume this allows a small amount of water to enter the drum area whilst the water is being pumped out so a vacuum is not created. Guess what, my hose was blocked with gunge like detergent and conditioner and water could not flow back into the drum so a vacuum strong enough to pull fabric through the drum holes was being created.

I removed the small tube and cleaned it out, blew on one end to ensure that air and water could enter the drum and I have not had the problem since. This hose may not be something an engineer would check as there doesn't appear to be a fault and it is unlikely that he would measure for a vacuum being created in the drum as the water exits.

I would be interested to see if there is a pattern across all machines as I am sure they will all share this design, so please let me know if you or your engineer checks this tube and it is blocked and whether this solves the long-standing mystery of small holes in t-shirt fabrics.

Good luck!

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Very interesting theory thanks. It can't account for all the holes as there are many different causes but it might account for some. I have a comprehensive help article on checking the pump for blockages

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  • 2 months later...

I just found this website after being frustrated with my washing machine. I bought it almost two years ago and thought I was going crazy. After my boyfriend moved in and started using my machine, he also started noticing small holes in his clothes. The holes are all the same size and shape and occur on items like knit tops and lightweight cottons.

I am resigned to the idea of buying a new washing machine, but reading these forums makes me wonder what kind I should buy? Without mentioning a specific brand, can you recommend a specific type like a top loader vs a front loader?

Thanks in advance,

Suzy

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Miele should be the gentlest of washers, especially models with their honeycomb drum, but even the odd Miele owner has complained of holes in laundry. However, we don't know if they were caused by the washing machine or one of the other causes not related to washing machine or not.

Front loader or top loader?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one experiencing holes in my clothes due to a front loader. I have a 10 kg Eco bubble smart front loader of a brand mentioned in earlier posts. The machine is causing damage to everything and anything from towels, cotton t-shirts, my daughters tutu dresses, woollen blend socks you name it. New, old, never worn, never used, first wash and I'm finding more holes with each wash.

My machine is under warranty so I have had the manufacturer send out a technician to assess and repair, the technician found "no fault" by the machine but still sent the manufacturer photos of my damaged clothes. The outcome was that I was told to drop the water temperature and spin speed. If I was to experience any more holes I need to document the wash cycle used and photograph the damage.

Well I now use a cold wash with a spin speed of 400rpm and guess what yep you guessed it it is still putting holes in my washing! arrgh

The latest damage was just this morning. I hung on the line a brand new Gym towel only to find not a small hole but a huge rip! Now this item has never been used, it was straight out of the pack and going through its first wash! (Cold wash and spin speed of 400rpm)

I was back on the phone to the manufacturer only to find myself more frustrated than ever when they tried telling me there was nothing wrong with my washing machine. Long story short, I now have the technician returning to assess and "fix" my washer in a few days.

I am determined to not let this big manufacturing company sweep this issue under the rug or drag it out until my warranty is up. I paid $1300+ for this machine and believe that no matter what cycle chosen a washer should not be causing this much damage to clothes. There has to be a fault with the machine and not the user.

I will keep updating as this issue progresses.

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