Tiny Holes at the Bottom of Shirts? The Culprit May Be In Your Kitchen

tiny holes in shirt

A while ago I discovered tiny holes at the bottom of my shirts. At first I suspected clothes moths and went crazy looking for them in all of our closets, of course I found none. I then realized the holes were all at hip-level only. What was ripping tiny holes in all my shirts, all in the same area? It was a total mystery…

I went online and researched a bit. I found many forums and sites talking about the reasons why the holes were appearing. Some people said it was their washer, some blamed the button and snaps from their jeans rubbing against the shirt, some even said the seatbelt in their vehicle was rubbing against their shirt coupled with the button from the jeans underneath. There were some people that even blamed it on the poor quality of the fabrics.

tiny holes in shirt

Then I came across people discussing granite countertops and how rubbing against the counter tops could be the issue.  Some natural granites have small pits, fissures, and “rough” spots to the touch where it’s crystalline structure is exposed when cut. Some granite counter tops are more rounded on the edges and wouldn’t have that same issue. The tiny holes were happening because I was leaning on my granite counters while I cooked, cleaned dishes or baked!

The holes all appeared after we moved to a house with granite countertops and my children’s clothes had no holes. This was happening only to my husband’s and my shirts. I believe we found the culprit in our kitchen! The solution? Wearing an apron made of thick material to protect our shirts, or cooking and cleaning wearing old shirts only.

Yes, friends, I am happy to say that after wearing an apron regularly we have seen no more holes appear on our new shirts!

Have you ever experienced the “mysterious” tiny holes? Did you find the culprit or are you still finding annoying tiny holes in your clothes? Share your story below!

UPDATE: We have moved to a new home with no granite countertops and there are NO new holes appearing on our clothing. After six months, I think this proves the counters were to blame at the old place!

Ps. If you are STILL having issues with the little holes even with no granite countertops in your home, then the culprit may be your jeans button. You can try getting silicone covers to cover the buttons and protect from the friction when you lean on hard surfaces (like kitchen counters). They are from Holé and I am getting some in the mail to try on my jeans. Direct link to get some is HERE.

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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32 responses to “Tiny Holes at the Bottom of Shirts? The Culprit May Be In Your Kitchen”

  1. Elaine — March 17, 2016 @ 7:22 am (#)

    OMG yes!!! I totally get the annoying tiny holes and they must be from our counters too!!!

    • Nathan Anstiss — January 27, 2020 @ 5:19 pm (#)

      Maybe the granite is conducting electricity and its arcing on cloths
      and making small holes..
      Might be static

  2. kathy downey — March 17, 2016 @ 9:07 am (#)

    Omg,im reading this thinking to myself you have solved my problem thats been going on for a long time all my tees have this..

  3. kathy downey — March 17, 2016 @ 9:20 am (#)

    OOps,i had to come back and share thisd on FB for my friends,we had this conversation a few times

  4. Laurie P — March 17, 2016 @ 3:32 pm (#)

    Totally been there…..definitely something most people don’t think of!

  5. Brent — March 17, 2016 @ 7:16 pm (#)

    I would never in a million years have thought that. I have had these ‘mystery holes’ in my shirts for years. BTW – my counters are corian.

  6. Kala S. — March 18, 2016 @ 11:58 am (#)

    I’ve been blaming my belt. We have laminate counters, so likely not that.

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen — March 20, 2016 @ 4:24 pm (#)

    I also have granite counters which do have holes in them, in fact I called back the firm thinking they were defect and I must admit had I known they’d be with holes I’d have chosen a different granite! Luckily this hasn’t happened to me yet but if it does then I’ll just have to start wearing an apron. Thanks for posting 🙂

  8. Treen Goodwin — March 22, 2016 @ 6:05 am (#)

    I have old counter tops and there is nails holding on the side pieces one , i have caught myself a hundred times , i cant stop it either , its a pain in the butt :/

  9. Melinda Contreras — March 28, 2016 @ 5:35 pm (#)

    I currently don’t spend too much time in the kitchen, but I’ll keep this in mind in case that changes! Thanks for the info!!!

  10. Maria McLachlan — March 28, 2016 @ 6:49 pm (#)

    OMG, I was going crazy and so annoyed by these holes. My granite counter is the culprit too! I’ve ruined like 10 shirts.

  11. Kristina Scott — March 30, 2016 @ 7:16 am (#)

    This drives me CRAZY and we totally have granite. Thank you! I had no idea.

  12. MaryAnn — March 30, 2016 @ 11:03 am (#)

    I would have never guessed the granite countertops.

  13. AD — March 30, 2016 @ 5:15 pm (#)

    Huh, I did not know this! Makes sense… I have these tiny holes in my T-Shirts too and now the mystery is solved.

  14. Rosie — April 17, 2016 @ 12:15 pm (#)

    I have had these mystery holes for years! what is hard they start so small, if you are busy, you don’t notice, until that area of your shirt looks like a metal grater of small holes. I’ve been sewing mine up for the umpteenth time, I have to start wearing my cute handmade apron!

  15. kathy downey — July 18, 2016 @ 7:23 am (#)

    Most of my tees have this

  16. Laurie P — July 24, 2016 @ 6:02 am (#)

    This just happened to a kinda new shirt…..we literally had two moths in the house so naturally I thought it was them. But this totally makes sense.

  17. Joan — September 14, 2017 @ 5:05 pm (#)

    I have had this problem as well only since we got granite countertops and the seam is right at the sink. Not sure if it would have happened if the seam was not at the sink, but it’s been a pain. I have ruined many, many, shirts! I guess it’s apron time for me as well, though a pain to have to use it for a 5 minute chore in front of the sink. Maybe I need to learn to not lean against the sink like my husband!

  18. Jennifer rehmert — September 19, 2018 @ 8:02 pm (#)

    We do not have granite countertops and my husband is over 6 ft and I am under 5 ft and we both have these holes in the same spot. Still stumped

    • M Henke — October 29, 2018 @ 8:54 am (#)

      I wonder if stainless steel farm sinks do it too. It took me awhile to figure this out after ruining every cotton shirt! We have granite too but smooth edge and butcher block wood island where I do most work so I wonder if our stainless sink I lean up to does it. At our daughters house there’s honed granite than does it. I got myself a little bar apron to prevent this.

  19. Pat Lackey — January 18, 2019 @ 3:59 pm (#)

    I have Silestone and this happened to my shirts. A granite company came by to smooth out the edge and it helped a bit but I’m still wrecking knit or cotton shirts. Was hoping to find a topical treatment but found this blog.

  20. Christine — August 3, 2019 @ 3:53 pm (#)

    At first I thought it was my washer or dryer. But none of my husbands shirts developed any holes! I just bought several new tops and just finished doing the dishes and sat down for a bit when I just noticed homes again in my brand new top! 😖 it was still wet where my stomach rubs against the countertop! Note: I have quartz countertops! With this new found info I’m definitely going to use an apron!

    • Mary Rafey — January 5, 2020 @ 3:54 pm (#)

      Hi Christine! I just read your message. I got new quartz countertops back at the end of August. This past week I looked and I had 6 tops with horrible snags in them. Two of my tops had zippers and it ruined the zippers. I was totally amazed. I called my daughter and 2 granddaughters over and said help Grammy find where they are coming from. They fell in line with my kitchen sink. If you rub it with your finger it is smooth as ever. I am baffled but that had to be it. So I just ordered two heavy aprons.😡

  21. Waled — August 15, 2019 @ 12:29 am (#)

    I found holes all on my t shirt old one and the new the old t shirt holes get big and bigger ,but the new t shirt holes still small and just appeard.i think the reason behind it is the seat belt .

  22. Marcy Rao — August 15, 2019 @ 8:22 am (#)

    Thank you for this answer! It makes perfect sense, as we got granite countertops a couple of years ago, around the time these holes started appearing!

    I wonder if there would be anything like a rubber strip that could be applied permanently to the front of the counter at the sink that would absorb the friction? I just am at the counter off and on so much during the day that donning an apron each time probably won’t happen!

  23. Gail Gilbert — August 20, 2019 @ 12:40 pm (#)

    I have long been frustrated by this problem. I thought I solved the mystery when I discovered a button on the back of my seat belt; I covered it with duct tape. But the tiny holes kept appearing in my (often brand new) knit shirts at a level with the Silestone counter tops. The rough edges or burrs are barely detectable – but they are there and after reading this forum, I conclude that the counter top is the cause. I agree with Marcy that it isn’t practical to grab an apron every single time I have a task in the kitchen although I am in the habit of wearing one during sustained activity. I am now going to try to find someone who can come in and smooth the edges. Has anyone had success with that? If I had it to do over, I’d select a different counter top edge i.e. one that is fully rounded. Wish I could get my money back for all of those ruined shirts!

  24. Nancy — October 1, 2019 @ 8:53 am (#)

    Yup! Me too. So many cotton tops ruined! I’ve had reinforced a few favourites with iron-on interfacing on the inside. It hides some holes.

    Surely there’s some way to smooth or seal the edges of the counters to prevent this. I don’t want to wear an apron! 🙂

  25. Wendy — October 28, 2019 @ 4:13 pm (#)

    I have had the same problem since moving into our new home 2 years ago. We have quartz counters so I’m guessing it is the same issue.

  26. Sarah Shepherd — January 30, 2020 @ 9:46 am (#)

    Hey, yes I know this problem! I have lost so many tops because of those annoy holes.
    I actually bought Holé to go over my jeans button, and am happy to say that they have done the trick. I haven’t had any new holes since using them, I would definitely recommend!

  27. christine Girello — May 19, 2020 @ 11:49 am (#)

    This happens to many of my shirts. I think it could be metal zipper pulls in pants and shorts. The top of the pull has a roughness to it and some metal zippers have rough teeth. I do have granite counter tops, but they feel smooth. I will try aprons but I have also sewn small panels onto my zippers to try to put fabric between the zipper and the shirt.

  28. Denise Reyes — May 23, 2020 @ 3:56 am (#)

    Finally, I’m not crazy! Lol! This has been happening to all my shirts! I wear pull on pants, so no buttons or zippers! I blamed the new quartz counters. I am wondering if it is an off gas or other chemical in my quartz that is causing it? Concerning to me!

  29. Margaret R Carr — May 24, 2020 @ 4:36 am (#)

    I have never worn an apron and not going to start now. So, the prroblem now is how to fix the rough edge and stop the holes. Does anyone know how to do this?

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