bit of research. The obvious culprit is the washing machine, but it may not necessarily be so.
The first couple of things I noticed were that the washing machines involved were of different makes and had differing drum sizes. Also the items of clothing affected varied greatly including cotton shirts, t-shirts, denim jeans and skirts and corduroy items.
Possible causes of the problem include:
• The wrong spin speed. This is often the machine manufacturer’s stock answer, that people are selecting a wash cycle with a final spin speed that is too fast. To check you are using the correct programme read the instruction manual or go to the manufacturer’s webpage.
• The drum is overloaded. People often don’t realise that different types of laundry have differing wash load capacities. If these are exceeded the overloading may lead to reduced efficiency or possibly damage to clothing. Once again check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• There may be an obstruction or damaged drum. I’ve often found loose coins or other small metallic items in with a wash. They can damage the drum or the plastic paddles that support it, resulting in small holes that may snag laundry. Zips and buckles can also cause problems so try turning those items inside out.
• The wrong detergent is used. It is thought that some biological detergents can damage clothing. This appears only to be an issue with silks and woollens though. Undiluted bleach should never be used in a washing machine as it is a corrosive. Even diluted bleach can cause problems.
• Physical wear and tear. This is particularly noticeable with t-shirts. If the holes only appear on the front of the garment then they may be the result of rubbing against jeans, belts or even kitchen worktops.