Dryer Tearing Holes in Your Clothes? Here’s How to Fix It

Woman hands holding a leaky sweater

Stuck trying to figure out why your dryer is making holes in your clothes?

You’re not alone! I know how annoying it can be to discover holes in your clothes after running them through the dryer, especially when it’s your favorite t-shirt or another cherished item.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to get this issue fixed. This guide will explore how a washing dryer machine works, why it’s tearing your clothes, and how to fix this issue.

Many reasons can make your clothes develop holes when you use your washer-dryer combo. It may probably be your jacket zipper or a sharp object you forgot in your pocket. A failing dryer drum or an overloaded machine could also explain the issue.

Read on to find a permanent fix!

8 Reasons Why Your Clothes Have Holes or Rip After Using Your Dryer

If you notice that your dryer is putting holes in your clothes, the problem doesn’t fall entirely on your washing machine. This may be because you have not set the program correctly, or you have used the wrong detergent.

Here is a detailed overview of the reasons why your clothes have holes or rips when using your dryer.

Adult man standing next to a washing machine
When holes appear on your clothes after washing, it is usually the dryer that gets the blame… and rightly so.

#1 Your Door Seal May Be Damaged

Many front-loading machines feature a large book or rubber gasket. This ensures that clothes don’t get stuck between the edge of the drum and the door seal.

When the seal gets damaged or worn out, your clothes will be snug between the door seal and the drum. Eventually, this results in holes in your clothes.

On the first sign of a failing door seal, make sure that you replace it immediately to prevent further damage to your clothes.

#2 Failing Dryer Drums

Your dryer drums are likely failing if you notice that your clothes have small holes. This is also the case if there are dark streaks that resemble burn marks.

Bear in mind that washing machines can also leak oil from the transmission, causing similar type stains/marks.

To confirm if the dryer drum is the issue, remove the outer housing of the dryer, then shine a light at the back of the drum. If your light shines through the drum, you most likely have issues.

When you don’t align the drum of your washing machine correctly, your fabric will slip between the dryer house and the drum. This may result in holes and streaks in your clothes.

#3 Failing To Use the Recommended Spin Cycle Speeds

When using a washer-dryer combo, you need to ensure that you use the correct speed for your clothes’ fabric type.

If you’re washing cotton clothes, don’t spin them more than 600 revolutions per minute. As for towels and sheets, it’s okay to use speeds of up to 1,400 revolutions per minute.

Make sure you don’t turn your clothes at high speed. The ideal speed to clean your jeans is 900 revolutions per minute. If you have silk fabric, set it at 400 revolutions per minute. By doing so, your clothes can enter into tiny crevices and holes in your washer drum and cause wear and tear.

#4 Using Too Much Chlorine Bleach

If you use a lot of chlorine when washing your clothes, it’s likely to be the cause of the holes.

A common sign of bleach-related holes includes yellow discoloration with weak edges. If you want to avoid such damage to your clothes, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using detergents.

#5 Failing to Zip Up Jackets or Inspect the Pockets

When using your washer, you should always zip up. If you haven’t fastened up zips on your clothes, they may end up tearing lighter clothes as they spin. This is also the case when you leave items like screws, pins, and nails inside your clothes pockets.

Therefore, if your clothes have small holes after using your dryer, make sure that you check your washing machine’s filter.

This will ensure that there’s no object that can catch your clothes. Still, don’t forget to check for ornaments or pins inside the pockets before you wash your clothes.

#6 Damage From Bra Underwire

If the underwire from your bra is missing when you use your dryer, it can be the cause of wear and tear to your clothes. It is most likely caught between the side of the washer and the drum, damaging your clothes as they turn.

When you suspect that this is causing holes in your clothes, open the casing of your washer and immediately pull out the wire.

A bra underwire can not only damage your clothes, but it can also puncture the tub, damage the pump rubber hoses, cause water leaks, or become lodged in the drain pump.

#7 Failing to Clear Your Lint Screen

Your dryer lint screen is located at the side or bottom of your dryer door, and you need to clean it after every cycle.

If you fail to do this, there will be lint buildup which will obstruct proper airflow. This will then increase your dryer’s internal temperature, which may leave burnt holes in your clothes.

#8 Contact with the Dryer Latch Mechanism

Most of the top-loading washing machines feature latches higher than the level of clothing.

However, it’s easy for clothes to ensnare on latches of front-loading washers. When your clothes turn under different wash cycles, they may get damaged because of their contact with the latch mechanism.

5 Ways to Prevent Your Washer-Dryer from Tearing Holes on Your Clothes

To prevent his issue from happening again, here are some useful tips you should follow when using your washer-dryer combo.

#1 Avoid Overloading Your Appliance

You may put a lot of clothes in your washing machine to save time washing your clothes. When you overload your dryer, you’ll put pressure on the motor, drum, and bearing. This will cause your machine to disintegrate gradually.

Washing machine overloaded
Overloading the dryer may cause holes in your clothes.

If you continue to use your dryer, it may begin to pull some clothes into the door, thus tearing holes in your clothes. If you want to avoid damaging your dryer, it’s advisable to wash your clothes in batches.

#2 Use The Correct Cycle

The speed cycle you set should match your fabric type.

  • Normal Cycle – This cycle spins fast and is ideal for cleaning sweaty clothes that you regularly use — fabric types such as beddings, towels, denim, and linen work well under this cycle.
  • Perm Press Cycle – This is a cleaning cycle that alternates between slow and fast. The slow spins prevent wrinkles or pilling. It would be best if you switched to this speed for clothes that require fast agitation for cleaning. Examples of such fabric include synthetic fibers like polyesters, knits, and rayons.
  • Delicate Cycle – This is a slow spin cycle designed to prevent wear and tear and reduce agitation. It is best suited for woven fabric and sequined clothing.
  • Special Cycle – Latest washing machines have steam or sanitize, among other functions. So, it’s essential to consult your manual to find out the unique features of your washing machine.

#3 Use the Right Amount of Detergent

Before using any detergent, you have to know where to put it and the amount your machine can handle. The back label of most cleaning products will indicate the right amount to use.

You should also check if your washing machine has a label to indicate the type of detergent and the amount to use.

Additionally, consider adding a detergent before loading your clothes. This way, the high concentration of detergent won’t damage or stain your clothes. It is also best that you turn on the water to dissolve the detergent before loading your clothes.

Many front-loading washing machines have a drawer where you can dispense detergent. There will also be a separate compartment to place your bleach or fabric softener. In the top-loading washing machines, you’ll need to put detergent into the drum before you start cycling. These are essential steps to follow if you want to prevent the detergent from damaging your clothes.

#4 Check The Care Instructions On Your Clothes

Please make sure that you read the care label on your machine before you toss them in.

Some fabrics will shrink when heat-dried or washed in warm water, while others shouldn’t be spin-dried. Others such as silk and lace should not be machine-washed together.

#5 Use a Mesh Wash Bag When Washing Delicate Clothes

If you’re washing delicate clothes, especially those made out of linen or chiffon, place them into a mesh wash bag to prevent wear and tear.

Additionally, if you have color-bleeding garments, you need to use them with other color-bleeding loads.

How Does A Washing Machine Dryer Work?

There are two types of washing machine/dryer combination units; vented and ventless. A distinct trait of a vented system is that the wash cycle will tumble your clothes with water and soap until they’re clean. The dryer unit then spins to remove the excess water from your clothes.

When drying your clothes, the machine will take excess air from the surroundings and heat it. Then, it will spin your clothes in the hot air, which will pick up the moisture. This process will generate steam that will leave your room through the vent. Your unit will then take new air from the surroundings and repeat this process.

When it comes to ventless washing machine dryers, you don’t require an outside exhaust. You have to put clothes in the drum, cool your dryer condensing chamber, and heat the air inside the dryer drum.

As the drum spins, the heated air takes up moisture from your clothes, and the moist air is turned into liquid.

This condensation then leaves your unit via the water drainage tube. The dry air is then recirculated with your clothes, and the process repeats itself.

Final Thoughts

Putting a lot of clothes in a washer-dryer machine may seem a convenient way to clean plenty of clothes in a short time. However, such a practice will overload your appliance, damaging its components and your clothes. For example, top loads and front load machines can have failed bearings/seals due to excessive weight.

In addition to overloading your machine, you can damage your clothes if you don’t use the correct amount of detergents and bleach.

It is also essential to check the clothes pockets for pins or sharp objects. Also, ensure that you zip up the pockets to avoid the dryer tearing holes in your clothes.

Any of the mentioned issues can cause dryer tearing holes in your clothes. Fortunately, you can fix the problem within a short time or by using the dryer correctly.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more