How to Avoid Holes in the Elbows of Shirt Sleeves

by Amie Taylor

Leaning on your elbows can cause premature wear to your shirtsleeves.

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When you've noticed that you repeatedly wear holes in the elbows of your shirt sleeves, it's important to find a way to prevent it from happening again so your shirts will last longer. Not only is replacing damaged clothing is time-consuming, it's also expensive. By treating your shirts more carefully and avoiding certain habits that create undue stress on the elbows, you'll be able to get the most wear from your garments.

Items you will need

  • Hand lotion
  • Gentle detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Wooden clothing rack
  • Elbow patches
Step 1

Sit without resting your elbows on a table or desk. Resting your elbows on a hard surface places stress on the material of your shirt sleeves as the material is trapped between your elbow and the table.

Step 2

Apply lotion to your elbows daily to prevent rough skin from rubbing against the fabricate of your shirt. Reducing any friction or stress on the material is a positive preventative measure.

Step 3

Wash your shirts on the delicate cycle in cold water with a mild detergent. High temperatures and harsh detergents can cause undue stress on the fibers of your clothing. Add fabric softener to the rinse cycle as well to keep the material supple.

Step 4

Dry your shirts on a hanger or a wooden clothing rack. As material absorbs the heat of the dryer and endure the non-stop tumbling, it incurs additional, unneeded wear and tear.

Step 5

Place patches on the elbows of your clothing. Suede patches add a distinguished look to clothing, especially sweaters.

Step 6

Purchase shirts made from a thicker, heavier material. The thinner the material of your shirt, the more quickly you'll wear holes in the elbows.


  • Roll your sleeves up when possible to avoid causing your elbows to rub against the fabric.


  • Avoid wearing shirts that are too tight. Shirts that are too tight are susceptible to wear along the seams, as well as the elbows.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Amie Taylor has been a writer since 2000. Book reviews, gardening and outdoor lawn equipment repair articles and short fiction account for a handful of her published works. Taylor gained her gardening and outdoor equipment repair experience from working in the landscaping and lawn-care business she and her husband own and operate.