10 Easy Ways to Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes

Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes

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We’ve all been there. You found the perfect t-shirt, sweater, or cardigan in a color that you absolutely love. You buy it, bring it home, and throw it in the wash. Everything is great until you pull it out and realize that your brand-new garment is now covered in those ugly bumps of fuzz and lint known as pills. You must know the Ways to Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes

Pilling is an all-too-common problem, and it is one that can make your clothing look old and worn out long before it should. The good news, though, is that there are things you can do to prevent pilling and to remove those ugly pills once they’ve already popped up.

Don’t let pilling get you down. Keep reading to learn how to Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes!

What Causes Pilling?

Before we dive into how to Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes, we think it’s important to explain what causes it in the first place. Those ugly little pills appear on clothing when groups of broken or short fibers on the fabric’s surface tangle together and form a tiny knot. This happens as the result of abrasion during normal wear and use and when laundering garments. Pills are most common in places like under the arms of shirts, between the thighs of pants, etc., but because they can also develop when washing and drying clothing, they can pop up anywhere.

Some fabrics are more susceptible to pilling than others. Knitted fabrics tend to pill more than woven ones because they have looser threads. Fabrics that are made using short fibers also tend to pill more than those that are made using longer fibers.

How to Prevent Pilling

Shop Smart

One of the best ways to stop Prevent and Remove Pilling on Clothes before it starts is to choose clothing that is made from durable materials. Choose a t-shirt fabric that lasts, and you are much less likely to have problems. Avoiding fiber blends–especially ones that combine synthetic and natural fibers–is a good place to start. Pilling is less noticeable in cotton t-shirts than in cotton/poly blend or tri-blend shirts, so they’re a good option when it comes to building a durable wardrobe that will last.

Sort Clothes Prior to Washing

If you wash delicate items like t-shirts or sweaters in the same load as jeans, the heavier garments will likely damage the more delicate fibers. Sort your clothes prior to washing and make sure that there are no jeans, towels, or other heavy items in with your more delicate clothing.

It’s also smart to not wash fleece or other lint-producing fabrics with clothing that is likely to pill. The lint can get tangled around short fibers and cause large, unsightly pills. Lint from other fabrics is what causes things like white pilling on your favorite black sweater.

Turn Your Garments Inside Out

Turning your garments inside out before washing is a good way to prevent damage in the wash. This ensures that abrasion from other clothes, buttons, or zippers won’t damage the outside of your favorite shirt. Instead, any abrasion will occur on the inside, where it will be less noticeable when the garment is worn.

Use the Gentle Cycle

Using your washing machine’s gentle cycle is a simple and effective way to prevent pilling. The slower wash cycle and gentler agitation do less damage to delicate fabrics and work well to protect all but the most delicate clothing. If you have clothes that you are particularly concerned about damaging, though, handwashing may be a safer option.

Don’t Overload the Washer

It may be tempting to stuff your washing machine as full as possible to cut down on the number of loads of laundry that you need to do, but doing so could damage your clothing. The more garments that you cram in, the more they will rub together during the wash cycle. To cut down on abrasion, make sure your clothes have room to move freely.

Avoid Harsh Detergents

Harsh detergents and bleach can damage and weaken fibers. This may cause them to break and pill. Look for gentle laundry detergent and avoid using bleach or harsh stain removal products.

Skip the Dryer

Pilling often occurs when clothes are being dried. For this reason, it’s best to skip the dryer whenever possible. Instead, hang your clothes out to dry or place them on a drying rack.

If you absolutely must use the dryer, take your delicate garments out as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. Never leave them in the dryer for more than one cycle.

How to Remove Pilling

Despite your best efforts to protect your clothes, you may still end up pilling from time to time. Don’t despair! There are ways to remove the pills and keep your favorite garments looking like new.

Shave Off the Pills

Using a disposable razor to shave away pills is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get rid of those pesky bumps. Simply shave the garment the same way that you would shave unwanted hair off your body. When you’re done, use a lint roller or a piece of tape to remove the loose pills.

Try a Pumice Stone

If you have a pumice stone that you use to remove dry skin, it could be used to remove pilling, too. Simply rub the garment with the stone and then remove the pills with tape or a lint roller.

Buy a Commercial Fabric Shaver

If you are looking for the easiest and most effective method for removing pills, a commercial fabric shaver is a way to go. These handy little devices are specially made for this purpose and are designed to shave off pills and remove them from garments. They come in several different styles and while they require a bit of an investment, they are one of the best and most effective methods of dealing with pilling.

Pilling is annoying, but you don’t have to let it ruin your clothes. Follow the tips listed above to keep your clothes looking great!

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