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Washing machines could be behind 'moth infestation'

17 September 2019

With the UK currently suffering a record plague of moths, it would be easy to blame these winged warriors for the random holes that mysteriously appear in our clothes. However, white goods manufacturer Miele says it is often the choice of washing machine to blame.

We’ve probably all experienced it. Buy a new top and next thing you know a little round hole appears in it. The first thought people have is that their house has a moth infestation, and the holes are a result of the moths’ larva feasting on the material. But in many cases, it’s actually their washing machine having a nibble, according to Miele.

Clare Long, business account manager at the Professional division of Miele, said: “In most washing machine brands, the spin cycle forces small parts of the clothing through the drainage holes on the inner drum, where they catch on the outer drum, creating holes.

“Also, when washing machine drums are manufactured, sharp edges are often left on them due to low quality control. When clothes, bed linen and towels are washed and reach the side of the drum, items get snagged, again creating holes.

“The truth is that if your washing machine is made by a brand that doesn’t do enough to avoid snagging, the machine is just as likely to be the culprit. And given that moth larva only feeds on cashmere, silk and wool, holes in clothing made by any other material, such as cotton, is more likely to be a result of the washing machine drum.”

People can avoid clothes getting snagged by washing machine drums if they choose a brand that takes precautions against clothing damage in the machine’s design. 

“The next time that you find holes in your clothes, don’t be too quick to think it’s a moth infestation. Instead, consider whether you need to switch washing machines to prolong the quality of clothes,” Clare Long concluded.