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How to Reduce Pilling on Clothing

How to Reduce Pilling on Clothing

Pilling happens, but everyday laundry habits can reduce it!

Pilling is the process of balls of lint that form on fabric over time. These lint balls are called “pills.” It can give an unsightly appearance to an otherwise smart sweater. Pilling is a natural process, but one can slow it by practicing the following tips below.

The Main Cause of Pilling

Pilling comes about through everyday wear and tear. Friction is the reason that pills form on your clothes. Washing machines do not cause pilling, but depending on your laundry habits and the age of the clothing item, they can aggravate it. The ultimate way to reduce pilling on clothing is to minimize friction.

Ways to Reduce Pilling

Choose Woven Fabrics

One way to deal with this problem is to buy clothes that are resistant to pilling. Knitted clothing items like sweaters, dresses, and scarves with short fabric fibers can pill more readily, as can any clothing made from wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, and most synthetic materials. On the other hand, silk, linen, and denim are safe.

Reduce Everday Friction

Pilling happens most through everyday use, so a couple of ways to slow the process is to avoid wearing your most pill-prevalent sweater against other fabrics like jackets and backpacks. Reducing layers and avoiding strenuous activities can help.

Strategize on Laundry Day

Your laundry washing habits can also make an impact. Be sure to avoid overstuffing your washer and dryer, which increases friction and reduces cleanability. Fasten zippers and hooks to avoid snags. Turn pill-prone garments inside out and use a gentler cycle if need be. A cold water cycle is always best for natural fibers like wool. Detergent with cellulase can help loosen pills, but be sure to use the right amount!

Removing Pilling Manually

Despite one’s best efforts, pills will happen, and there are simple methods to remove them as they come. A lint roller or battery-operated pill remover can help remove lint before it pills and shave off pills with ease. Your sweaters and shirts will be good to go!

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