5 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Pilling On Fabric

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Thanks to cold temperatures, my wardrobe lately has consisted mostly of sweaters and sweatshirts paired with leggings or jeans. I love a cozy sweater as much as the next gal, but one thing that’s super-frustrating is when sweaters start to “pill.”

You know the drill: You go to put on your favorite cardigan, only to realize it’s covered in tiny balls of lint. They seem impossible to remove, and make your clothes look worn out, even if they’re relatively new. What’s more, this problem is hardly relegated to the clothes you wear. You may notice it on your rugs and furniture, too.

Is there any way to stop this annoying phenomenon? The answer is yes! There are a number of surprising strategies you can employ to ensure your fabrics stay pill-free.

1. Buy A Commercial Fabric Shaver

If you don’t mind spending a little cash, you can actually purchase a gadget specifically designed to remove pills from fabric, such as this one available on Amazon for $22.08.


Another great option is this handy Conair version, which comes in several fun colors and ranges from $11.79 to $26.99.


We also like the sleek look of the Magictec Lint Remover, which retails for $13.79.


The BEAUTURAL Fabric Shaver is a powerful pick with two speed settings to choose from. It’s available in several colors from $7.99 to $22.97.


2. Use A Disposable Razor

Just like you use a razor to shave unwanted hair off your body, you can take the same product to your sweaters to remove the lint. According to Cotton and Curls, you can use a a lint roller or tape to pick up all the pilling you have accumulated after “shaving.”

Cotton and Curls

3. Try A Pumice Stone

It turns out that pumice stones are for more than just sloughing the dry skin off your feet. Just rub the pilly garment with the stone, and use tape or a lint roller to pick up what comes off, similar to the razor method.

pumice stone photo
Flickr | Ambuj Saxena

4. Prevent Pilling In The First Place

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense, and that is definitely the case when it comes to pilling. There are a number of steps you can take to prevent your clothes from pilling in the first place, and a lot of it has to do with how you launder your garments. The Spruce recommends a number of tips, including turning the garment inside out when washing, using the gentle cycle or opting to hand wash and using a fabric softener.

laundry photo
Getty Images | Adam Berry

5. Choose Your Fabrics Wisely

One way to prevent pilling is to stay away from fabrics that are most likely to pill in the first place. Fabrics that are made from three or more fibers in the blend are likely offenders. On the other hand, tightly woven fabrics tend to pill less. Pilling is less noticeable on natural fabrics like cotton, linen and wool.

fabric photo
Flickr | ahisgett