Last updated on February 2nd, 2017
See the main article on holes in clothes and possible causes
Holes in cottons
The damage in these clothes looks different to the holes described by many others. These holes are more tears or cuts, and it looks like the fabric has been forced through something and cleanly cut. The description of the problem was as follows – (Blue card used to make holes stand out)
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. I’ve been careful to wash on the right speeds and not fill the drum 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)
Holes in polyester and acrylic
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 in the photos just above and a couple of general points to mention
- Bold detergent is biological (even though it’s not obvious on the box), and shouldn’t be used on woollens and delicates Biological washing machine detergents can damage woollens & silks (cause holes)
- 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.
- 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 underpants
These cotton underpants have several big tears round the back and near the leg. It’s safe to say these holes are not really related to the holes in clothes issue because those holes are usually very small. These cotton underpants appear to have been badly torn in the washing machine and may have been caught in the gap between the door seal and revolving drum and dragged round.
Holes in bed sheet
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 might have somehow caught on something in the drum such as the end of an under-wire from a bra. Objects can get caught underneath the drum (especially on the heating element and bracket). Then when the drum spins round at speed and centrifugal force pushes parts of the fabric through the drum holes they can snag on the object.
Holes in t-shirts
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? ”
I have to admit I’m struggling to see how these holes could have been caused by a Miele Honeycomb drum because they don’t have normal round holes, and the drum is specifically designed to be extra gentle on laundry. It might be fairer to say that the holes have happened despite having a Honeycomb drum. As my main article and the comments reveal, many of the holes are not actually caused by the washing machine – holes in clothes and possible causes
More small holes
Here are links to the story so far on 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 an open mind on the subject and trying to collate enough information to be able to get to the bottom of this problem.
Links to more articles on holes and tears in laundry
- Holes in clothes and possible causes (The main article that this page accompanies)
- Small holes in clothes after washing – my washing machine is slowly eating my clothes (Forum topic)
- Biological washing machine detergents can damage woollens & silks (cause holes)