Laundry Pilling

What Causes Pilling Knowing the cause of something is the best way to help you...

How to remove laundry pilling

What Causes Pilling

Knowing the cause of something is the best way to help you avoid it in the future. So what causes pilling on laundry? Pilling is the natural result of friction. When laundry is washed and dried there is a lot of friction in the process. As a result, the fibers of the fabric rub against each other and start to come apart. The constant back-and-forth process rolls them into little balls which we know as pilling. In short, to avoid pilling you’ll want to follow some best practices.

Cause of laundry pilling

How To Prevent Laundry Pilling

The best way to prevent laundry pilling is to wash like materials together. That means no more, GIANT loads of laundry. Instead, you want to wash jeans with jeans, and sweatshirts with sweatshirts. Just remember, the bulkier the material is, the more prone it will be to pilling. So be sure to wash your best sheets by themselves, and certainly don’t wash towels with other items. Towels are great at creating friction.

Another, way to prevent pilling is by turning the item inside out. This would allow the smooth surface of your sweatshirt to rub against itself, and if the inside pills a little, then it’s not such a huge deal.

Lastly, hand wash or using a washer’s gentle cycle and cold water are also a plus in your laundry pill battle. Line dry will help even more. After all, the goal is to reduce friction which will in turn reduce pilling.

Laundry pilling lint shaver before and after photos of a sweater

Can Pilling Be Removed?

If you are wondering, can pilling be removed? In most cases, yes it can. There are a wide variety of options to remove pilling. Therefore, the option you choose will be determined by the type of material you are trying to repair.

  • Start with the least invasive methods first and test the process on a small flat area. Be sure to keep the material tight and flat when working to avoid damage.*
    • Hand picking: If there are only a few pills on your socks, you could try to gently tug the pills off. We say gently, because if you give a hard tug, you could cause a runner in the fabric.
    • Fabric Roller or Razor: Another option is a standard disposable razor*. This would work better on a more sturdy material.
    • Fabric Shaver: These items work wonders on pilling fabric! We love the ones with replaceable blades and electric cords. They are little work horses that can turn your frumpy couch or sweater into a good as new product. Again, use caution and make sure to choose a shaver that is comparable in size to the item. For instance, a couch cushion will need a larger shaver, but that same shaver could wreak havoc on your favorite sweater.

Check out our blog on fabric shavers. We think you’ll be amazed at what they can do!

*Caution, you may cut or tear your laundry with these processes. They are not perfect, and meant to be a last resort.

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