How to remove pilling from clothes at home?

  Время чтения 11 минут

When fibers break or the fabric rubs against another surface, the resulting tiny balls of fuzz are known as pilling. Pilling can make your favorite clothes look worn and neglected. However, understanding that pills are a common textile nuisance that could cause anyone’s wardrobe to appear aged prematurely is the first step in combating them.

You might have noticed that some clothes develop pilling much more quickly than others. This typically happens with softer and looser fibers that, when subjected to friction, tend to break and form into small, annoying bundles. Therefore, recognizing the causes of pilling can help better understand how to prevent and efficiently remove them.

Preparing to Remove Pilling

Identifying Fabrics Most Susceptible to Pilling

Identifying the type of fabric of your clothes is essential to determine the best way to remove pilling. Natural fibers like cotton and wool, or synthetic ones like polyester, all have their susceptibilities to pilling and require different care practices. Here are some quick tips on identifying fabrics most prone to pilling:

  1. Check the garment label for fabric content.
  2. Observe the areas of most frequent friction, like underarms and sides.

Gathering the Right Tools for Pilling Removal

To effectively remove pilling, you’ll need the right tools. Fabric shavers, lint rollers, and even everyday items like razors or tape can easily make your wardrobe pill-free. Arm yourself with patience and a gentle hand to avoid damaging your clothes during the process.

Close-up of a fabric shaver removing pilling from a sweater at home

Methods for Pilling Removal

Ideal for most types of fabric, fabric shavers are specifically designed to remove pilling. They work by carefully cutting off the pills from the surface of the garment. To use one, lay the garment on a flat surface and gently glide the fabric shaver over the pilled areas. Doing so will help restore your clothes to a smoother look.

Utilization of a Razor

In a pinch, a standard razor can be used as a makeshift fabric shaver. However, this method requires extreme caution. To prevent damage, gently run the razor over the surface without applying too much pressure. Doing this can help lift away the pills without harming the fabric underneath.

Homemade Solutions to Tackle Pilling

The Duct Tape Method

Duct tape can be a surprisingly effective tool to remove pills. Simply wrap some tape around your hand with the sticky side out and pat the garment to lift the pills off. This method also helps preventing further damage since it does not involve cutting or scraping the fabric.

DIY Pilling Removal Remedies

Another method is using a homemade lint roller made from either duct tape or masking tape. Roll the tape around your fingers with the sticky side out and press it against the fabric to remove the pills. Although this process could take a bit more time, it’s a safe and effective way to handle especially delicate garments that might not withstand the abrasiveness of a shaver or razor.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Pilling

To avoid the formation of pilling, there are several preventative measures you can take. Washing clothes inside out, for instance, helps preventing excessive friction and thus reduces pilling. Keeping garments inside a mesh laundry bag also helps, as it prevents them from tangling and rubbing against other items.

Below is a table outlining some preventative tips that are also helpful:

Preventative TipDescriptionEffectiveness
Washing clothes inside outReduces friction during the wash cycleHigh
Using fabric softenerCoats and conditions the fibersModerate
Air dryingAvoids rough tumbling actionModerate
Storing clothes properlyEliminates unnecessary frictionHigh
Gentle washing cyclesPrevents aggressive agitationHigh

It’s essential to note that doing so not only keeps your sweaters looking pristine, but it also helps extend the life of all your clothes, imparting cost-effectiveness to your maintenance regimen.

Remember: A little attention goes a long way in keeping your wardrobe looking its best. A good way to maintain a pilling-free closet is to tackle those lint balls as soon as they appear; will help ensure your clothes look fresh for as long as possible. The start to focusing on long-term care and additional preventative measures marks the continuation of our guide, which will delve into further detail on how to keep your clothing pilling-free. Make sure to continue on for more expert tips and advice.

Person using a homemade remedy to remove pilling from clothes

Long-Term Care for Pilling-Free Clothes

To maintain your clothes in their best condition and keep pilling at bay, it’s crucial to focus on long-term garment care. Proper storage is essential; clothes should be folded neatly instead of being tossed into a drawer where they can rub against each other and form pills. Storing knitted garments flat can help prevent stretching and stress on the fibers, which can lead to pilling.

By investing in quality hangers and giving your clothes enough space in the closet, you can prevent unnecessary friction that could cause pilling. When hanging garments, ensure they are not squeezed tightly against each other. Allowing them to hang freely will help keep them looking smooth and well-maintained.

For garments that are particularly prone to pilling, such as wool sweaters, it’s a good idea to depill them regularly as part of your routine. After each wear, give them a quick check and treat any new small areas of pilling. Doing this consistently will help prevent large buildup and make the task less daunting.

In cases where pilling persists despite your best efforts, you might want to consider professional services. Some dry cleaners offer depilling treatments, which can effectively restore your garments to like-new condition. They use professional-grade equipment that’s gentle yet effective on the fabrics, ensuring that your clothes receive the best care possible.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Pilling

Beyond the removal of existing pilling, proactive measures can be even more effective in maintaining the smooth appearance of your garments. Here are a few additional precautions that can protect your clothes from pilling over time:

  1. Choose Clothes with Tightly Woven Fabrics: Tightly woven fabrics are less likely to pill because the fibers have less room to move around and ball up. When shopping for new clothes, pay attention to the texture of the fabric. If it feels loose or overly soft, it may be more prone to developing pills.
  2. Follow Fabric Care Instructions: Always check the care tags on your clothes and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some garments may call for hand washing or a specific type of detergent. Adhering to these guidelines will help keep the fibers in good condition and reduce the likelihood of pilling.

The key takeaway from our guide is that with the right knowledge and a bit of effort, anyone can keep their wardrobe looking as good as new. By applying what we’ve discussed on removing and preventing pilling, you could enjoy your favorite garments for many years to come.

DIY method for depilling clothing using common household items.


Removing pilling from clothes can easily seem like a daunting chore, but with the proper methods and tools, you can restore your favorite garments to their former glory. By understanding what causes pilling and taking preventative steps such as turning clothes inside out and using the right washing techniques, you can help reduce the occurrence of lint balls on your garments. Regular maintenance, like using fabric shavers and treating areas of pilling as they arise, will help keep your clothes looking fresh and new. Remember, it’s not just about removing pilling; it’s also about caring for your clothes to prevent those little bobbles from forming in the first place. A little effort goes a long way in maintaining a pilling-free wardrobe.

FAQs: Maintaining a Pilling-Free Wardrobe

Q1: What is the best way to prevent pilling on clothes?
A1: The best way to prevent pilling is to reduce friction by turning clothes inside out before washing, using gentle wash cycles, and avoiding the dryer when possible. Additionally, choose tightly woven fabrics and follow the garment’s care instructions.

Q2: Can pilling be permanently removed from clothing?
A2: While pilling can be effectively removed from clothing with tools like fabric shavers and razors, it’s not a permanent fix. Periodic maintenance will be needed, especially for fabrics prone to pilling.

Q3: Is it safe to use a razor to remove pilling from clothes?
A3: Yes, it is safe to use a razor for removing pilling, but it requires a gentle touch. Make sure to lay the garment on a flat surface and lightly skim the razor over the pilled areas without pressing down too hard.

Q4: Are there any natural remedies for removing pilling from clothes?
A4: Natural remedies for removing pilling include using adhesive tape to lift pills from the fabric or gently using a fine-toothed comb. These methods are more time-consuming but can be just as effective if done carefully.

Q5: How often should I depill my clothes to keep them looking new?
A5: Depill your clothes as needed—typically after each wash for garments that are susceptible to pilling, or whenever you notice the development of lint balls. Regular inspection and treatment will help maintain a smooth fabric surface.