How to Get Rid of Pills in Clothes? Update 06/2022

There have been times when I’ve sat down at my desk in the morning and noticed that my favorite sweater was pilling all over it. The small fabric threads on the surface of many fabrics break and rub together over time, resulting in pilling. Plucking can be removed from clothing with a few easy techniques, which is great news!

A handheld safety razor or an electric clothes shaver are the most convenient tools for removing pilling from clothing. Using a specific pilling comb to remove bobbles from the fabric’s surface is another popular technique. Pumice stones and sandpaper sponges can also be used to remove pilling from clothing.

You’ll learn what causes clothing to pill in this article. These unsightly bobbles can be removed in six simple steps. Finally, you’ll learn how to keep your clothes free of pilling.

How to Remove Pilling From Clothes

What Is Fabric Pilling?

Pile development on the surface of a fabric is the result of fibers separating from the substance and creating small thread balls. Fabric pills can also be referred to as bobbles or fuzzballs, depending on who you ask. Despite the fact that pilling doesn’t inherently destroy clothing or other fabric surfaces, it does make things seem unpleasant.

The appearance of pilling on clothing detracts from its usability and value. Upholstery pilling can discolor and appear filthy as well. You may find yourself with a sweater or pair of pants coated in small nubs of hard thread after a while.

In addition to looking shabby, clothing with a lot of pilling can cause discomfort since the surface of the fabric becomes rougher and bumpier.

So, you’re on the lookout for a method that won’t harm your clothes while also getting rid of pilling!

What Causes Pilling On Clothes?

What Causes Pilling On Clothes

The most common cause of pilling in clothing is washing, but regular use and tear can also play a role. Clothes get ruined due of the friction and agitation they experience during the washing and drying process.

There will be many woven or knitted threads in any fabric-based garment. These threads are referred to as “yarns” by the apparel industry. As many as one million small fibers make up the threads of yarn, and they are combined to create the finished product.

Spun polyester fibers are used to make polyester cloth; cotton fibers are used to make cotton cloth. A flat piece of fabric is then created by weaving or knitting hundreds of thousands of strands together on massive looms.

At the beginning of the weaving or knitting process, all of the yarns are flat and smooth. The small fibers in the fabric will eventually be dislodged and broken free from the yarns by anything that scrapes against it over time.

The washing machine is one of the most common culprits in this regard. When you think about it, your washing machine spins clothing for half an hour or more. As the cloth is rubbed, the microscopic fibers on the surface of the fabric are agitated and eventually shatter.

After that, the stray ends of the strands rub against one another, resulting in tangles due to the agitation. Pills form on the fabric’s surface when enough little strands become entangled.

It’s almost a given that most fabrics will show some degree of pilling over time. Fortunately, you can learn how to get rid of them!

Please be aware that lint and pilling are not the same thing. Much like lint, fluff is created when fibers break free from the yarn and fall into a clump together. Because of static cling, lint can attach to the surface of a garment, but you can easily remove it with a lint roller or a piece of tape.

While pills break away from the fabric surface, the fibers remain bonded to the fabric’s surface.

How to Remove Pilling From Clothes: 6 Methods

Removing Pilling

You may wish to discover a few basic ways to deal with the problem of pilling because it happens to everyone at some point! A safety razor or other household items can be used to treat pilling. A garment shaver, for example, is a specialized piece of equipment for removing pilling from clothing.

1. Comb

With a pilling comb, or sweater comb or wool comb, you may remove pilling from delicate materials like sweaters. To make it easier to hold, this tool has a handle with “teeth” that are more like the threads on a screw.

Piling can be tackled with a sweater comb:

  1. Use a table or ironing board to lay out your outfit.
  2. Look for signs of pilling on the garment and ensure sure it is flat and wrinkle-free. Alternatively, you can use a weighted object, such as a heavy glass, to pin the clothing in place while you work.
  3. Hold the comb at a 90-degree angle to the garment’s surface.
  4. You’ll now go over the fabric’s surface with a comb. In this case, if you can make out the weave pattern’s lines, you should proceed in the same manner. Always comb in the same direction with short, quick strokes of the comb.
  5. The comb’s teeth will soon be covered in bobbles and thread fragments. Wait until they’re no longer needed to eliminate them.
  6. Run your fingers over the region and see if it feels any different!

2. Electric Shaver

Using an electric clothes shaver is the simplest way to remove pilling from clothing. As you’ll see throughout the rest of this piece, this approach offers both advantages and disadvantages. However, using an electric shaver is a significant advantage because it works so rapidly.

The most popular electric clothes shavers include Panasonic and Braun.

  1. You may either plug in or use batteries to get started with an electric garment shaver. A USB-charging rechargeable shaver may even be available in some circumstances!
  2. On a hard surface, spread the clothing out. The shaver could catch on a wrinkle if it isn’t smooth and flat.
  3. Set the shaver to “on” position. Whirring or buzzing sounds are likely to be heard.
  4. Gently rub the rough area with the shaver in circular motions. Avoid moving too quickly; instead, make gradual, tiny circle motions.
  5. As soon as you do this, you’ll see that the patches are missing their tablets. If you observe bubbles on the surface of the pilled area, keep going until you don’t see any ore.
  6. Finally, turn off the electric shaver and remove the fuzzball collector bucket from the machine before closing the lid tightly.

3. Scissors

A pair of scissors and some patience are all that’s needed to tackle the problem of pilling on your clothing if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Use small, sharp embroidery scissors or nail scissors instead if your material is more delicate. Larger sewing scissors may be needed for larger pills, such as the bobbles that appear on a fleece hoodie.

  1. To begin, place your clothes on a flat surface and let them air dry. A kitchen table is ideal because it’s easy to get a chair in!!
  2. Pinch each bobble between your fingers one at a time until they’re all the same size. To remove the bobble from the cloth, carefully pull it away from the fabric’s surface.
  3. Now that the bobble is attached to your garment, you can see the fibers joining it.
  4. In order to go around the stretched strands, slide the scissors closer to the clothing and open up the blades.
  5. Snip the bobble in half with the scissors.
  6. For each individual thread nubbin, carefully tug to avoid snagging the cloth as you hold the pills up for slicing. Repeat this technique for each one.

4. Safety Razor

Try using a safety razor instead of an expensive electric shaver to remove pilling from your clothing. More control over the process is possible with this method, but it will take a little longer to complete.

In this case, a cheap razor performs just as well as a high-end one, if not better! You should avoid buying a razor that has a moisturizing strip since it could fall off onto your clothing while you are shaving.

  1. To deal with a flat fabric surface, flatten the garment as much as possible.
  2. Stretch out a tiny strip of pilled fabric with your non-dominant hand and keep it pulled taut with your hand.
  3. Swipe the razor across the surface you’ve spread out in light, fluid motions.
  4. Continue spreading out new bits of fabric with your non-dominant hand until the entire damaged area has been shaved with the razor.
  5. Using a piece of tape, you may pick up a lot of stray fluff and get rid of them while you work! Use a piece of tape to adhere any stray tablets.
  6. Alternatively, a small vacuum cleaner can be used to swiftly collect any stray pills. This will make it easier for you to track your progress!

5. Sandpaper Sponge

Sandpaper and pumice can be used to smooth the surface of wood, but you may not realize that you can also use sandpaper or pumice to smooth the surface of clothing!

Sandpaper or a pumice stone may cause you to fear that your clothing will be damaged. In fact, this procedure is gentler on clothing than using an electric shaver or a handheld razor despite the fact that you should use caution when using the pumice stone.

  1. Using a flat surface, lay down your pilled clothing item.
  2. Hold the clothing in place with one hand while you sew.
  3. Scrub with the sandpaper sponge or pumice stone with your other hand.
  4. There may still be some bobbles if you remove any stray fluff.
  5. Repeat as many times as needed!

6. Sweater Pill Hack

For those who don’t have the luxury of time or tools, there is a quick repair for sweater pills that you can use instead of the previous five techniques. Sweater pill hacks include the use of duct tape and a nail file, two common quick repairs.

These methods are a little more rudimentary than the others, but they get the job done when you need them.

How to remove pills off clothing with duct tape:

  1. Using duct tape, cover the pilled area of your clothing with a five-inch strip.
  2. Make sure that the tape adheres to the fabric by smoothing it out with your hand.
  3. Remove the tape in a jiffy. As long as they’re on the tape, it should be easy for them to wriggle free.

To remove pilling from garments, use a nail file.

  1. To get rid of the pilling, use one hand to maintain the garment flat and stretch out the pilled area
  2. File the affected area with a nail file. As you scrape, bring the file toward you in a fluid way.
  3. To remove the bobbles, keep moving in the same direction and repeating the motion.

Do Fabric Shavers Ruin Clothes?

Remove Pilling with Fabric Shaver

For the most part, fabric shavers can be used to remove pilling from clothing without damaging the garments. Since they are the fastest and easiest way to remove pills from your clothes, electric clothes shavers are still extremely popular today.

There are certain exceptions to this rule though. When the razor blades of your fabric shaver get dull, they can catch and snag on the thread nubbins, causing the fabric to shred. Using an older electric shaver without first checking it out on a disposable item is a bad idea!

Simple user error can sometimes be a problem. The razor blades of these gadgets are extremely sharp. It is possible to use these blades to cut through the pill but not the fabric if they are utilized in the precise manner. Using the shaver incorrectly or squeezing it too forcefully can cause damage to the fabric.

Fabric shavers, on the other hand, have the potential to harm even the most delicate of textiles, such as cashmere. When working with this type of fabric, it’s best to go slowly and carefully with something like a wool comb.

How To Remove Fuzz Balls From Sweaters?

Using a disposable razor to remove fuzz balls from a sweater is the best method. This allows you to handle the knitted wool surface with care while still eliminating the pilling effectively.

This procedure is also commonly employed by commercial launderies and dry cleaners. The pilling of most sweaters is a fact of life. Wool and acrylic strands brush against each other, causing the tiny pill tangles to form.

You can keep your sweaters looking like new by using a razor on them on a regular basis.

Does Polyester Pill?

Natural fibers like linen and cotton are less likely to pill than synthetic textiles like polyester. Since polyester has a significantly higher tensile strength than cotton, it defies logic that this would be the case.

When it comes to washing, polyester tends to be hydrophobic, which means that it doesn’t absorb water and so handles more friction. Cheaper sweaters sometimes substitute synthetic acrylic for wool, and the latter material also pilled easily.

There are a few ways to at least delay the pilling of polyester clothing, though. This can be found under the section on how to avoid pilling.

What Fabric Pills the Most?

When it comes to pilling, knitted fabric tends to pill more than woven fabric, and woven fabric that contains blended fibers tends to pill more than woven fabric.

Let’s take a closer look at that. Firstly, looser fabric exposes more of its threads to the risk of a snag. You can see the holes in a knitted sweater, and that extra surface for clothing, backpack straps, or even your skin to rub against is created by the air in the sweater.

The tightly packed threads of close-woven fabrics shield one another from the everyday friction that clothing encounters.

Whether or not the fabric comprises a blend of different types of fibers is an important consideration when determining what kind of cloth pills the most. Blends of polyester and cotton can be used to manufacture yarns, such as poly-cotton.

Blended fabrics provide a number of advantages, but they can pill quite easily. Fabric fibers differ in shape and length, which causes this phenomenon. This is because there is no regular linkage of similarly shaped sections holding everything together when you twist these differently-shaped threads together!

Phenomenon: Is a lot of pilling bad? Yes and no. It’s important to remember that practically every type of cloth will pill if exposed to the proper conditions.

Phenomenon of poor quality? To some extent, yes, but in general, no. Overall, it’s safe to say that practically any fabric will pill if the appropriate conditions aren’t in place.

How to Prevent Pilling on Clothes

A few simple steps can go a long way toward preventing your clothes from pilling! Sitting on soft surfaces rather than hard surfaces like concrete, or carrying a purse rather than a backpack with straps that rub on your shirt or jacket, can also help prevent pilling.

Make a few simple changes in the laundry room to keep your clothes from pilling! Check out these pointers:

  • Turning your clothes inside out before washing them is the single most effective way to improve their appearance with no effort. As a result, the washing machine and dryer’s friction will rub against the garment’s interior, resulting in a significantly cleaner outside!
  • Use cold water and a moderate cycle in your washing machine.
  • Don’t overfill the machine, either. It’s impossible to relax in the water if you’ve jammed a lot of clothes, sheets, and towels in there.
  • Handwashing is a better option for delicate clothing than running it through the washing machine.
  • It’s best to remove most of the fuzz from your garment by hand before washing it.
  • Prior to placing a garment in the washing machine, make sure that all buttons, zippers, and snaps are properly attached. When a zipper pull is loose in the washer and dryer, it will slam into other items of clothing.
  • Fabric softener can be used in some circumstances to protect the fibers and keep them from becoming agitated. However, because some fabrics do not respond well to fabric softeners, you should first take the label from the manufacturer inside your garment.

How To Get Rid Of Pilling On:

How To Get Rid Of Pilling

Any of the ways presented here will work, but it’s a good idea to keep in mind that particular types of clothes, such as leggings vs a sweater, may benefit from certain pilling removal suggestions.


Using an electric clothes shaver is the most effective method of removing pilling from leggings. Most leggings can safely tolerate these razor-sharp blades, providing you with a speedy cure!! While you should never wear clothing while using an electric clothes shaver, you should try on the leggings to ensure that all the pills have been removed.

Leggings are notorious for pilling. When you move, the fabric rubs against each other in the crotch area, and you’ll see this a lot. To top it all off, most leggings are made of a plush knit fabric. Knitted fabric is more susceptible to pilling than woven cloth, so you already know this!

Wool Sweater

Generally, the easiest way to get rid of pilling from a wool sweater is with either a wool comb or a portable razor. An electric razor can be used on a thick, tightly knitted wool sweater. Using a portable razor, on the other hand, offers for better control and gentler shaving.

When you think about pilling, you probably picture chunky knit sweaters with lots of little bobbles. While preventing a sweater from pilling is nearly impossibly difficult, you can quickly remove the fuzzballs from a woolen sweater.


Remove pills from your couch or other upholstery fast with an electric clothes shaver or hand-held razor. It’s possible to remove pills from a couch or chair with a handheld razor if the machine you already own isn’t up to the task.

Electric razors, though, can do the job in the quickest amount of time, and they’ll also catch most of the little pills as they go.

Couches experience a lot of wear and tear. When you sit and stand, your apparel grinds against the upholstery! Some pilling on the couch is inevitable over time.

Best Fabric Pilling Remover

In order to get rid of pilling from clothing as quickly and easily as possible, check out these handy pilling removers!

Conair Fabric Shaver

You can choose between a battery-powered or rechargeable fabric shaver, depending on how frequently you expect to use it. It includes a comfortable grip and three different settings for dealing with different types of fabric debris, including fuzz, lint, and pilling. It also comes with a container for all the shavings it makes, making cleanup a breeze.

You may use this gadget to remove pilling from your sweaters, couch, socks, and even rugs and carpets, thanks to its customizable settings and lack of a cord.

Conair Fabric Shaver - Fuzz Remover, Lint Remover, Battery Operated Fabric Shaver, White

Evercare Fabric Shaver

The fabric shaver is tiny enough to fit in a bag when you’re on the road. With a powerful battery-powered motor and three blades inside the shaving head, this razor is extremely efficient. It’s also got a nice, soft grip and is incredibly light.

Everything from furniture to leggings can benefit from this strategy. Everything from wool sweaters and couches to the collar on your favorite dress can benefit from this technique. This little shaver’s compact form makes it simple to use in difficult-to-reach places!

Evercare Fabric Shaver, Small,Pack of 1


Using sharp blades like scissors, a disposable razor, or an electronic clothes shaver, you may simply remove pilling from garments. Using a pilling comb or other mild ways, such as slapping on a piece of duct tape and ripping it off, are other options.

Using an electric clothes shaver is the fastest and easiest technique to remove pills from clothing. However, more delicate clothing may be better protected if the stain is removed using a gentle manner like a handheld razor or a wool comb.

Plucking has been a problem for many of us. In what manner did you get rid of this? Let us know what you think by commenting below!

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