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Why do my clothes have holes in them after I wash them?

Why do my clothes have holes in them after I wash them?
Posted at 4:30 AM, May 18, 2023

Have you ever put on a shirt only to notice there’s a small hole in it and wondered how it got there? While it’s common for tiny tears to appear in old, well-worn clothing, they can also form in brand-new items, which can be incredibly frustrating.

There are a number of reasons holes can form in your clothes. Some include the way your particular washing machine works, how you prepare your laundry and if you over-pour bleach. We’ve curated a list of the most popular triggers so you can learn how to prevent it from happening in the future.


An Old Laundry Basket

If you’re using an older wooden laundry basket that has seen better days, it might be time for a new one. Splintered wood can poke holes in clothes as they get tossed inside. The best laundry basket will have smooth surfaces and allow for airflow to prevent odors. You could also opt for a fabric laundry bag, constructed of soft, smooth fabric which won’t be tough on clothes.

Washing Machine Mistakes

If you’ve been experiencing an increasing number of holes in your clothes, your washing machine could be to blame, especially if it’s front-loading. Door latches and damaged seals can cause snags and rip clothes during wash cycles. Other culprits might be the result of items left in pockets, like loose change or keys, which can create sharp edges in the drum that rips fabric later on.


Stuffing Too Much Laundry in The Washing Machine

Overloading the washing machine can also trigger holes to form. Too much fabric creates friction, and all the rubbing can create small tears. Not only is this bad for the machine because it unbalances it, but it also can set the stage for fabric damage. Sure, cramming every last dirty piece of laundry into one load can get you through the chore quicker, but it won’t save you from any headaches in the long run.

Mixing Fabric Textures

How you sort and wash your clothes matters. Washing delicate garments, like silky blouses, in the same load as jeans or pants with zippers, can cause tears to happen during spin and tumble cycles. The same goes for dresses with built-in belts or articles with grommets or snaps. Rough edges can rub against fine fabrics and create tears.

One handy tip is to close all fasteners before tossing a load in the wash. That means buttoning all those buttons, fastening hooks and zipping up those zippers. The bonus here is that clothing will be easier to fold and put away if it comes out of the wash in this same position.


Overdoing Bleach

A little dose of bleach can work wonders by removing dingy stains and brightening whites. However, too much chlorine bleach can weaken fabric fibers and cause damage. You can prevent this from happening by measuring out your bleach before each use.

There’s nothing more annoying than finding a tear in a favorite garment. We hope this list helps you better preserve your clothes. Good luck!

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