Washing Tips

How to remove and prevent pilling from your clothes

Pilling is when little “bobbles” or “pills” appear on your clothes. It’s often caused by friction from rough washing cycles or abrasive detergents. If your clothes are piled, it’s unlikely that you can wear them anymore without feeling uncomfortable.

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Pilling is a severe problem for clothes. It can turn your favorite clothes into a mess. Pilling is the unwanted creation of tiny fibers sticking out from clothing over time. It happens because chemicals in the fabric that keeps it soft over time break down, allowing tiny fibers to stick out even more than before. To prevent this from happening to your clothes, you must read this article completely.


If you’ve ever worn clothes made from wool, then you know how bad pilling can be. However, there are ways to prevent it from happening to your clothes. Using some simple techniques, you can stop pilling in its tracks. This article will show you how to remove and prevent pilling from your clothes with easy solutions.

Causes of pilling on clothes:

One of the most frequent issues with clothes is pilling. Unfortunately, when clothing stretches and moves with use, friction between fibers leads to pilling. Here are some other causes of pilling on clothes.

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A. Weak fiber:

Pilling on clothes depends on the type of material/fiber. Different fibers have different strengths; some are strong, some are weak. Weak fibers are more exposed to pilling. For example, pilling affects polyester, wool, and cotton more than linen, denim, and silk.

B. Quality:

Your clothing’s quality is also crucial. For example, knitted materials pile more than woven ones. Also, the likelihood of pilling is higher for stitches that have been improperly hemmed at the joints. 


A fabric with many loose fibers will pile more frequently than tightly knit yarns. For instance, a knit sweater has a higher pilling risk than a woven shirt.

C. Abrasion:

Your clothing is subjected to friction, known as abrasion, almost regularly. For instance, wearing a bag can cause your clothing to rub against your back, or rubbing a handbag against one of your clothing’s sides can cause pilling. To avoid abrasion, you can use abrasion-resistant fiber with non-resistant fibers.

D. Excessive washing of clothes:

Excessive washing can cause garments to pile. The more you wash the clothes, the more the quality decreases. That’s why old clothes are more affected by pilling.

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A complete guide for removing pilling from your clothes:

Are you tired of having to deal with pilling? Do you want to remove that pilling from your clothes? If your answer is ‘yes’, then learn to remove pilling from your clothes quickly. In this guide, you will find out the best way to remove pilling from your clothes. 


You can do several things to improve the appearance of your clothes. There are many ways to remove pilling from clothes. This article will discuss 3 steps to remove pilling from your clothes.

1. Fix all snags:

Long strands that escape from your clothing are called snags. These snags can cause pilling on your clothes. If you don’t trim them at the right time, they will continue to grow longer and ultimately decrease the quality and appearance of your clothes. You can use a scissor (sewing scissors with short blades) to trim the loose fiber.


You can also fix the snags by using a threaded needle:

  • To knot the snag to the end of the thread, pass the needle through the center of the snag.
  • Pull the needle through the base of the snag and turn the clothing inside out.
  • Tie a knot in the thread from the snag’s base, then cut it, leaving a short tail.


To avoid a hole in your clothing, cut the snag using a razor blade rather than snipping.

2. Gently shave the pills:

After fixing the snags, the next step is to shave the pilling using a pumice stone, fabric shaver, or a razor blade. Gently shave the pills and be careful not to harm your clothes while using a razor blade. In the case of pumice stone, rub it on the area of the pilled clothes. Never brush it on an area that is pile-free. 


For fabrics with fewer or difficult-to-see piles, it is preferable to begin at the top or bottom of the garment and work in rows or columns.


You can use a paper towel to remove the pills from the blade or shaver. You can also roll a piece of tape over pills to remove them.

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3. Press the clothes:

Shave the pilling off your clothing, then iron the area to make it look smoother. To avoid burns, ensure the iron’s temperature is suitable for the fabric. Avoid making the situation worse while removing the pilling from your clothing.

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Keep in mind that agitation will only increase the problem. Also, shaving the piles won’t help if the clothes are already worn out. So at this stage, you should throw them away and buy new ones.

How to prevent pilling from your clothes:

It’s a good ability to know how to remove pills from your clothing, but by avoiding pilling in the first place, you can save time. Here are a few things you can do to prevent pilling on your clothes.

Buy quality clothing:

The first step in preventing clothing from pilling is to carefully inspect each piece before purchasing it. Fragile fabrics or poor manufacturing will cause clothing to pile as quickly as possible.


Take caution while using fiber blends. Make sure there is at most one fiber in any blend. Pilling is more prone to occur in clothing composed of various fibers.

Reduce Abrasion:

When you start wearing clothes, try to lessen the abrasion. Make cautions to prevent other objects from rubbing on your clothing as much as possible. For example, if your clothing is likely to pile, you can wrap your hair up to reduce friction. Additionally, keep textiles from rubbing against one another.

Washing carefully:

A washing machine doesn’t start pilling itself but might hasten or worsen it. So, by employing clever strategies in laundry, you can reduce the amount of pilling brought on by a washing machine. 


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prevent your clothing from pilling in the washing machine:

Clean the washing machine:

First, your washing machine should be clean. There shouldn’t be any debris or odor in the washer. For this purpose, you should use True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets.


True Fresh washing machine cleaner is specifically designed to clean your machine’s inner and vital parts. True Fresh cleaner provides the best defense against dust and other particles that make your machine dirty.


Turn the garment inside out:

After checking the labels, turn the machine-washed clothes inside out. By doing this, only the insides will rub against other clothes, buttons, or zippers. 


Clothes fibers can be harmed by rubbing against zippers, buttons, and hooks, so fasten them whenever possible.

Sort the laundry:

Sorting the laundry will help to keep lighter items safe from heavier items. More abrasion and damage to the surface of clothes will result from washing delicate clothing with jeans. 


Do not wash lint-producing textiles, such as terry cloth, with other clothing items. It would be best if you also sort them by color. Otherwise, piles from contrasting fabric colors will stand out more. For example, your white T-shirt will get black sweater fibers.

Don't overload the washer:

Your clothing will scrape against one another and create additional friction in the washing machine if they can’t move around freely. That’s why you should never overload the washer.

Select the detergent:

Select a washing detergent that includes the cellulase enzyme. The cotton piles will be removed and broken down with the aid of the enzyme. Next, add the right amount of laundry detergent.

Select the setting:

Use the gentle cycle and cold water on the washer for clothing you fear will pill. In this way, your garments will be protected by reduced agitation and a quick wash cycle. Alternately, opt for hand washing, which is much kinder.

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Use fabric softener:

Use a fabric softener to protect the fiber of the clothes. Put some commercial fabric softener in the rinse cycle. Fabric softener chemicals coat the fibers of the fabric to reduce abrasion.

Air dry clothes:

It is advised that you line-dry your clothes rather than using a dryer because agitation is what causes pilling, and decreasing agitation minimizes that risk. In addition, your garments will rub against one another in the dryer, and delicate items might not endure this. Furthermore, line-drying minimizes movement to your clothing which helps to keep them pile-free.

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Store your clothing correctly:

The last step is to store your clothing carefully. It’s awful to wash your clothes, stuff them somewhere, and finally forget about them until you need to wear them.


In your closet, hang your clothing correctly. If you’re storing them in a box, turn them inside out and tuck them neatly. Separately box up any clothing with sharp designs.


Pilling is a common problem with clothes. It can happen because the fiber of your clothes is weak or has been exposed to the wrong washing conditions and abrasion.


The goal of this guide is to offer practical advice and suggestions on how to remove and prevent pilling from your clothes. This guide is perfect if you’ve been looking for the best information on removing and preventing pilling from your clothes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can pilling on sweaters be eliminated?

You can utilize instruments, including a sweater comb, an electric sweater shaver, or a sweater stone. First, wash clothing inside out on a gentle cycle, then hang or lay it flat to dry to reduce future pilling.


Next, use a sponge with sandpaper. If you scrub it with a sponge, your clothing will be free of pilling. You can also use scissors to trim.

Does pilling indicate poor quality?

Piling on clothes is not considered a desirable attribute in a textile. If an item costs more, higher-quality construction techniques are used, and still, it cannot withstand pilling, so it is natural to think that the cloth is of poor quality.

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