Why are there holes in my laundry after washing? How to prevent holes in washing machine laundry?

Last updated 29/12/2022 17:01
To prevent holes appearing in your clothing from the washing machine, refer to the suggestions below for step by step instructions.
  • There could be several reasons for this, but it is extremely rare that your washing machine is the cause.

Stain remover:

One of the reasons for these small irritating holes in your laundry can be that you used stain remover which was left on the clothing for too long before washing.

  • It may cause the clothing to perish, which results in the small holes.
  • It is important that you read carefully the manual regarding stain removers and you follow it to the letter if you want to avoid the small holes.
  • Once the damage is done, there is no permanent solution.


Another possible cause of these holes is the use of bleach.

  • Direct contact with the laundry will eat through the clothing, creating some holes.
  • The way to avoid these holes is to ensure that the bleach is completely dissolved, before it comes into contact with the laundry.


There may also be other reasons for holes appearing in your laundry from the washing machine which are not directly self inflicted. These can be connected to e.g. silverfish and grains of sand.

  • Silverfish are also known as dermestid beetles, and these small pests are attracted to moisture and darkness. That is why the washing machine seems to be a perfect home.
  • If they cannot find any better food, they will tuck into your cotton clothing, where they will leave a small, microscopic hole.
  • As the clothes are subsequently washed and worn, these holes will become bigger and will finally become visible.
  • To avoid silverfish in your laundry, you should not put your laundry on the bathroom floor, which also is a favorite place for silverfish.
  • You should also keep the door to the washing machine open after washing, so the moisture in the washing machine can evaporate.
  • Silverfish and other bacteria can also be combated by running high temperature washes at regular intervals in the washing machine, i.e. a boil-wash.


Small holes in clothing is one of the most common signs of a moth attack – particularly if your clothes have a lot of holeshave been hidden away for a period of time or are made of a organic material e.g. wool, silk, feathers, fur, etc.

  • The holes are made from moth larvae, which feed on textiles from the point they hatch to when they pupate.
  • During this period, the larvae need a lot of food in order to be able to develop from larvae into adult moth inside their pupae
  • If you experience a moth attack, you never only see one hole, but always several holes in clothing, (moths “honeycomb” clothing).

    Moths also have a tendency to attack only particular types of clothing, while other clothing that has been stored in the same area remains completely untouched.


    Moths attack usually clothing made from materials of animal origin, e.g. wool, silk, feathers, fur, etc., but they may also attack other types of material, such as man-made materials, cotton, linen, etc. (especially if the textiles are dirty).

    Clothing in storage:

    In particular, moths attack clothing that is not often used and is stored, e.g. in a cupboard, drawers, boxes, bags, etc. It is not uncommon for clothing stored in basements, lofts etc. to be attacked. Clothing, laundry, etc. placed in storage also provides a good breeding ground for moths, because the clothing contains body oils from which the moths will draw moisture.

Other signs of moths:

You can be sure that the holes are caused by moths if you notice other signs of their presence – such as:

  • Cocoons or pupae on clothing (or around clothing).
  • Pupae in other locations around the home (e.g. in ceilings or on walls).
  • Feces on clothing (small whitish balls).
  • Moth larvae (small whitish or yellowish larvae with dark heads).
  • Adult moths in the home (either flying or running around).
  • You will not necessarily notice the adult moths as some species are furtive and prefer to run rather than fly. This applies, for example, to clothes moths and single-spotted clothes moths, which are the most common species of moths in Danish homes, and are also the species that attack clothing.
  • You will almost never see moth eggs as they are well hidden in folds in the clothing, fur, etc. Eggs are also difficult to see with the naked eye. However, moth feces are often confused with moth eggs.

Grains of sand:

Grains of sand may also be a reason for the small holes in your laundry.

  • These are likely to come from the foreign spinning mill that spun your garment.
  • The process to which the washing machine exposes clothing in combination with detergent will lead to a tenderizing of the thread due to these grains of sand, which will finally burst and leave a small hole.
  • There is unfortunately nothing you can do to prevent this bursting, as the cotton spinning mill was not careful enough with their threads.

Zips are not closed and hooks not fastened:

Open zips and hooks may become caught on the clothing and tear it as the drum spins around.

  • Close zips before washing the clothes. 
  • Wash clothes that have hooks in a laundry bag. 
  • Foreign objects left in pockets can also make holes in clothing.

Too much laundry in the machine:

If your laundry is pushed too tightly together in the drum, it may get trapped in the opening between the door seal and drum. When the drum rotates, these clothes get torn.

  • Fill the washing machine such that it is still possible to run a fist forwards and backwards over the laundry.

Note: Some clothing textiles are also of such a low quality that the clothing quickly develops holes or tears. Damage to the kind of clothing can easily occur after general use, washing, drying, etc.

The drum is broken:

Check the machine by taking a nylon stocking, roll it together, and run it around the inside of the empty drum.

  • If the stocking is not torn, the washing machine is not making holes in or tearing the clothes.
  • If the stocking is torn, the problem is caused by the washing machine, and the washing machine needs to be checked and repaired by an engineer.

Are the clothes suitable for a spin cycle?

You can check whether the clothing is suitable for a spin cycle by looking at the wash care symbols, which are found on a label on your clothing.

To help you determine the exact nature of the problem, we recommend a visit by one of our authorized engineers to check the appliance and fix the problem.

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