Why Do Your Shirts Get Tiny Holes In Them?
This website is dedicated to solving the mystery of those tiny holes that suddenly appear on your shirts. They are almost always located just below the belly button area, and most people assume it is the washing machine causing the problem. What makes it so strange is that other people in your household don't usually have the same holes, even though you wash all the clothes together. There have been reports of the shirt hole phenemenon from all over the world, so it is not geographically specific, and although it happens mostly to women, some men have reported it also. It tends to occur most often with thin, cotton shirts.
The following is a summary of all of the known causes of these tiny shirt holes:
- Cooking - Leaning against the kitchen counter while cooking/baking or washing dishes, which causes your shirt to rub against the waist (button, belt buckle, edge of the jeans that is beside the button, etc.) of your pants or against the counter top (especially granite ones). Wearing a kitchen apron can help solve this problem.
- Zippers - Putting pants with a metal zipper or button in the laundry with your shirts, causing damage when they come in contact with each other. Try closing the zippers on all the pants before you wash them. Or, try using a wash bag to put your shirts in to protect them, and see if that stops new holes from appearing.
- Seat Belts - The pressure of the seat belt pushing a shirt against the closure at the top of jeans. Try lifting your shirt over the top of the seat belt to stop this abrasion. If the holes also happen with your pajamas though, seat belts are not the problem.
- Manufacturer Error - Unintentional mechanical damage during manufacturing, or from chemicals placed on the shirt by the manufacturer. The holes start off so small the are unnoticeable, and then grow larger over time.
- Stomach Size - If you have a large stomach, it may be making the button and/or zipper of your pants protrude, causing friction against your shirt.
- Zipper Bites - Sometimes when you zip up your pants, your shirt may rub against the zipper and you might not even notice.
- Washing Machines - There may be something with your washing machine that is causing the problem, such as a torn drum (causing a sharp edge), obstructions, or overloading. Try putting your shirts in a wash bag to keep them separate and see if that fixes it. Shirts made of thin fabrics sometimes get sucked through the sharp holes in the washing drum. When the machine stops, the suction stops, and the shirts go back into the normal washing area so you would not know this happened. If this is true though, why are the litle holes always in the same place on the shirts?
- Beer - The holes can be caused by using your shirt when opening twist top beer bottles, or hard to open jars.
- Kids - If you have young kids, it could be from the rubbing of the belt buckle against the shirt when you carry them.
- Chemicals - Disinfectant cleaners, bleach, and antibacterial lotions that you use in your household can get on your clothes, eat away at the fabric, and then activate with the heat in the wash, causing small holes.
- Cats - They like to play with fresh laundry.
- Wear and Tear - When you pull your shirt over your head to take it on or off, your finger nails wear the fabric away little by little.
- Salt - New fabrics don't deal very well with saltwater, so if you cook with salt (sea salt is the worst), it might get on your shirt, and then it reacts with washing powder in your washing machine.
- Pant Buttons - One person said that the copper (and maybe also brass) from pant buttons oxidizes over time and causes an acidic compound to form, which eats through your shirt.
- Spin Cycle Speed - Try lowering the spin cycle speed on your washing machine.
- Detergents - They weaken the natural fibers, mostly in areas that have a lot of skin acids that also get more physical abrasion from being tucked in or rubbed. Synthetic fibers are resistant to strong acids and alkalis, so that is why those types of shirts don't have this problem.
- Laundry Baskets - Do you put your dirty clothes in a laundry basket? When you carry the basket, it probably rests right against your waist, so the shirt you are wearing rubs against the basket, snagging on the edges of the basket holes. The same thing applies to carrying trash cans.
- Putting On Makeup - Do you lean over the sink to look in the mirror? Try using a towel on the edge so you don't rub against the sink. The small holes become larger ones once you do the laundry.
- Harsh Detergents - If this is the cause, why are the holes all in one area?
- Bra Wires - The ends of bra wires can be sharp, and clothes can get snagged on them in the wash. A bra washing net will solve this problem.
- Water PH Level - This one is hard to test, but it does not seem logical that a high PH level would cause the holes all in the same area of the shirt.
- Wedding Ring - Your wedding ring may be snagging your shirts right at the belt line.
- Bugs/Insects - Moths, carpet beetle larvae, or silver fish. There is a theory that moth larvae are attracted to the belly button scent, especially if you do not wash your clothes immediately. 70% of all houses have carpet beetles, which are usually too small to see and live off clothes, furniture, carpets. Silverfish are a small, nocturnal wingless insect. One theory as to why the holes occur in the belly area is that when we eat, we drop tiny crumbs/food particles in this area particularly if we are sitting down. Bugs and insects eat protein, so they are attracted to the area with the crumbs.
- Conspiracy Theory - Some people speculate t-shirt manufacturers have been poking holes in their shirts just before shipping them out. These holes are so small you don't even know they are there. But, as the shirts get washed more, the holes get larger. The reason for this shirt sabotage is to sell more shirts, since the holes cause people to buy new shirts.