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House Cleaning Blog

How to Remove Pilling From Your Clothing

  Jonathan Teall  |    11 June 2019  |    Laundry Room

Pillage your Fabric Pilling!

Fabric pilling happens to the best of us. Your favorite sweater will eventually fall prey to the distasteful look of pilling, arm yourself with the tips and tricks this blog post contains and you'll be ready to fix it in no time. This occasional occurrence isn't isolated to wool by any means. Cotton, polyester, and other synthetic threads are common culprits. Pilling is a clothing defect that comes from normal wear and tear of the material. Although, it is more likely to happen when the fabric rubs against against itself. You'll find that the majority of your clothing items will develop pills in the same places, time after time. These areas should be your first target for maintenance. Check around the collar of the garment, under the arms, across the chest, and anywhere else that might experience normal abrasion from wear. Check out the following instructions for fixing the garment when it eventually occurs, as well as preventative steps to reduce the chance that your fabric pilling will ever happen.

We'll show you how to clean your clothes using healthier products, and easier method. Click through to our Ultimate Guide to an Efficient Laundry Room.

Canva - A Machine for Removing Lint in the Hand. Sweater with Bobble on a Purple Pastel Background.

 The Process

  1.  Use a Fabric Shaver, these handheld electronic pilling destroyers will remove the unsightly bunches of threads in no time. It acts very similarly to an electric facial hair trimmer, except that there are recessed holes for the pills to be trapped inside and buzzed away. These will make quick work of any piece of clothing, but they are also great to use on any furniture or throw pillows that may have developed the same issue. 
  2. Use a cheap disposable shaving razor, it doesn't matter if it's blue or pink but it needs to be brand new. Make sure that you pull the fabric flat, keep it taut so that you don't accidentally trim too much off. Make repetitive strokes in the same direction, with short quick gestures. Once you have accumulated a pile of the rogue threads you can use a lint roller to quickly gather them all up off of your garment.
  3. Use a pumice stone or a fine grit sanding block. It might seem absurd to group these two together, considering one is usually used for smoothing out your feet and the other is used for evening out your walls. Trust me, they both will do the job - but not as easily as the prior two options. Use the same method that is described in the disposable razor paragraph, smooth quick gestures in the same direction. Don't apply too much pressure!

The image below could be an offending member of your closet. Reach for your razor when you start to see this texture appear on your blazer.

Pilling Prevention

  1. The easiest way to prevent your clothing from pilling up is to turn your delicate garments inside out before you wash them. The exterior of the garment won't have to rub up against any one of the other number of things that tumble around in your wash cycle, and if the pilling does develop - it'll be on the inside! It'll be your little cotton secret, and no one will be able to tell.
  2. Use a fabric softener with your washing cycle. As simple of a solution as this may seem, it does double duty for you. It prevents pillage by coating your fabrics in a soft solution that makes abrasion less likely to have an effect, while also making your clothes feel soft to the touch. 
  3. Wash your items that have similar properties in the same wash cycle. Try to keep your heavy fabrics, such as denim, together with other denim. Along those same lines, wash your towels with your towels. It'll prevent excess abrasion and your clothes will last longer.

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