Why Your Laundry Pill and How to Eliminate It | men's newspaper (2023)

As we have said on numerous occasions, the true lover of men's fashion not only strives to build a robust wardrobe but also to keep it in good condition. This means using proper washing techniques,to remove stainsevery time they first appear... and removing those pesky tags that seem to find their way onto all kinds of clothing: fabric pills!

table of Contents

  1. What is pilling?
  2. Dealing with pilling – Part 1: Prevention of pilling
  3. Part 2: Elimination of the pill
  4. Diploma

What is pilling?

A pill, sometimes known by other names as a pom-pom, furball, or fluffball, is a small ball of fibers that forms on a piece of cloth. It is a defect on the surface of textiles caused by washing and wearing the fabrics, since the loose fibers begin to detach from the surface of the fabric and over time, through abrasion, cause the fibers to shrink and develop bundles. balls anchored to the surface of the fabric. fibers that are not yet completely broken.

Fun fact: The textile industry officially divides the pilling process into four phases: fuzzing, felting, growth, and wear.

Pilling usually occurs in the parts of clothing that are worn the most on a daily basis, such as theshirt collars and cuffsand sweaters, as well as under the arms and around the thighs and bottom of pants.

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All fabrics will pill to some degree, but the primary causes of pilling are the physical properties of the fabric, the processing during manufacturing, the personal habits of the wearer, and the environment in which the garment is worn.

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In general, natural fabrics are less prone to pilling. This includes things like silk,Lino, hemp andcashmere. Meanwhile, handmade fabrics are generally more prone to pilling. This includes things like polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, and spandex.

Also depending on the weave, twist and softness of the fibers,to want, YCottonit can go both ways in terms of pilling. You should use these garments on a case-by-case basis. Also keep in mind that pilling of wool generally decreases over time as more wool fibers break out of the fabric and shed, while stronger synthetic fibers retain pilling and prevent it from falling out of clothing. .

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In general, longer fibers pill less than shorter fibers, partly because the fibers have fewer loose ends and partly because these fibers take longer to exit the fabric. This is also related to the idea of ​​"twist". In other words, the higher the twist, the denser the threads become and the firmer they feel in the hand.

As you can imagine, fabrics with a large amount of loose fibers are more prone to pilling. When athings are donea mix of weak and strong fibers (think of something that mixes natural and synthetic fibers, for example), the weaker fibers will break, pop out, and clump together, but the stronger fibers will hold on to the weaker ones. Therefore, blended fabrics tend to pill in general.

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Remember that pilling does not generally affect the functionality or wearability of a fabric or garment, unless an area of ​​excessive pilling eventually causes a hole in the fabric. But other than that, the pills are definitely a nuisance and can certainly be quite unattractive, so you'd better handle them properly.

Dealing with pilling – Part 1: Prevention of pilling

Fortunately, there are a number of different strategies you can use to prevent your clothes from pilling in the first place.

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Buying advice

First, as we have mentioned, try to find and buy garments with higher density and finer twisted yarns that are more durable. As we have already mentioned, fabrics made from blends of natural and synthetic fibers will be more prone to pilling.

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Always remember to check tags and labels before buying and as general advice try to avoid garments that contain three or more different types of fibers in the fabric.

washing techniques

Below we will cover somelaundryDaily strategies that you can use to avoid the formation of small balls when washing clothes. First, remember that when you wash, any pilling on a garment can disturb other fibers in the clothing, leading to more loose ends and more pilling in general. It is something like a "snowball effect". With that in mind, here's our list of laundry tips.

  1. First, use the gentle cycle in your washing machine for items you suspect will pill. The lower level of agitation and the shorter wash cycle should prevent more pilling.You can also consider using mesh bags for clothes when they are in the washing machine, orWash your hands, which will be even smoother.
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  • Remember to turn your clothes inside out before washing them and also close all the zippers,Keys, or hooks, as these hard and sometimes sharp surfaces can cause more abrasion and loose fibers.If your clothing is turned inside out when you wash it, any pilling will be on the inside of the garment and therefore not visible when you wear it.
  • You can also consider sorting your clothes by color and color.BodiesWrite to prevent heavier fabrics from rubbing or damaging lighter ones. As an example of this phenomenon, you might avoid washing lint-shedding fabrics like the towel with your other clothes. When there are broken fibers in something like polyester, the lint from the terry cloth will cling firmly to that polyester surface.
  • Why Your Laundry Pill and How to Eliminate It | men's newspaper (6)
  • Next, make sure your washing machine isn't overloaded. If your individual garments can't move easily in the machine, they will rub against each other, leading to more rubbing and pilling.
  • Use a mild liquid detergent, avoid powder detergents as they cause more abrasion, and avoid harsh chemicals or bleach as they can break down the fibers and cause more pilling. Also, if you use soap flakes in your washing machine, they should be soft enough not to cause additional abrasion.
  • Some online sources recommend that you use a detergent that contains the enzymecellulase. While this enzyme helps break down pills in some fabrics like cotton (which is why it's used by the textile industry), it can also ingest other natural fibers like linen and silk, so we advise you to stay away. her.
  • Another popular method that we would avoid is using a commercial fabric softener. While fabric softeners coat the fibers of your clothes to reduce pilling. They can also contain petroleum-based compounds that can make your clothes less breathable over time and can also coat your washing machine, leading to mold or other odors.
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  • Going back to other useful tips, avoid the dryer. You can hang your knitted garments on a flat surface and your knitted garments on a clothesline, clothesline, orpercha. When using the dryer, remove delicate clothing as soon as possible to reduce abrasion from other fabrics.You can put anything in the dryer for five to 10 minutes just to remove someFold, but we would not recommend going longer.
  • General tips for use

    Aside from laundry, our final prevention tips for today only relate to the general wear and tear on your clothing.

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    Try to rest your garments between uses first, as excessive, repetitive use can lead to more pilling. When you wear a garment, the fibers tend to stretch a bit, which can cause some of the shorter, looser strands to become loose and begin to pill. As a general guide, try to give the garment at least 24 hours to rest between uses.

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    Next, don't bring backpacks. Anywhere a backpack has prolonged contact with your clothing or body, such as Your shoulders and back are more prone to pilling. Of course, backpacks are also an item that we would recommend to stylish men for other reasons in our guide.19 Things Men Should Never Wear. Abriefcaseor briefcase would be a better and more elegant option.

    Finally, try to limit the daily friction and abrasion your clothing experiences from things like resting your elbows on tables or sitting on rough surfaces.

    Part 2: Elimination of the pill

    Sweater comb or razor

    Fortunately, there are several tools for removing pills from clothing, and perhaps the safest bet among them is asweater comb. To use the sweater comb, place the garment on a hard, flat surface, stretch with your free hand, and slowly but firmly run the comb through the fabric at a slight angle. You can increase the speed if you feel comfortable, but be careful not to rub the fabric.

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    Also, be sure to clean the teeth of the sweater comb regularly as you work. The same technique can be used with an inexpensive disposable.razor, although you should be more careful and of course avoid using razors with comfort gel strips or anything like that.


    Other tools you can use the same method with are aHoodie, as well as a more typical pumice stone, although the latter is rougher and must be used with more care. Some sources recommend using things like sandpaper sponges or Velcro, but we think these types of tools will generally cause undue abrasion to your garments.

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    An alternative method is to stretch the garment on a slightly curved surface and use a small, sharp scissors to cut the pills. This can work, but be careful as you obviously don't want to make a hole. A more precise option would be to use a cuticle cutter like the one included in ours.Fuerte Belvedere manicureequipment

    Why Your Laundry Pill and How to Eliminate It | men's newspaper (11)

    Electric Tablet Remover

    Finally, you might also consider using a battery orElectric pill and lint removerthat shaves the tablets from the fabric. This is generally a safe option, but we don't recommend using it on knits or particularly loose weaves, and again, be careful if you wear one.

    Why Your Laundry Pill and How to Eliminate It | men's newspaper (12)

    Whichever tool you choose to do the job, when you're done waxing the garment, brush it with a clothes brush. Do not use a traditional lint roller or other adhesives recommended online, such as: B. Duct tape, as this will pull out more loose fibers and essentially start the pilling process all over again.


    That is why pilling occurs and how to prevent it and remove pilling from clothes. Hopefully it won't be too hard when you see these little balls of fluff.Pillto swallow in the future!

    Have you tried any of these tactics? What are your best techniques to combat pilling? Tell us in the comments!


    What is the fastest way to remove pilling from clothes? ›

    For a less common but very affordable and effective way to remove fabric pills, use a pumice stone. Softly glide the pumice stone over the pilled surface and repeat until the fabric becomes smooth, then pick up the pills with a lint roller.

    What laundry detergent is best for pilling? ›

    Brands such as Tide and Arm & Hammer carry laundry detergents with enzymes. You could also invest in a sweater-shaver, a tool that runs over the surface of the fabric and slices the pills off, but Cormier is hesitant to recommend it because if you shave too much, you could ruin the garment.

    What is the best way to remove pilling? ›

    How to Remove Pilling From Clothes. One of the most effective ways to remove pills is to use a fabric comb or a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover that shaves the pills from the surface of the garment. These will pull the knotted fibers away from the surface of the fabric.

    Why is my laundry pilling? ›

    What causes fabric pilling on clothes? These pesky fabric pills are the result of normal wear and tear—broken clothing fibers on the surface become tangled together. Over time, these threads clump together, forming the characteristic lint ball that is stuck to your clothing.

    Is there a way to reverse pilling? ›

    Unfortunately, there's no magic way to fix pilling once it's begun, but there are a couple things you can do to improve the appearance of your clothing: Remove pills: you can physically remove pills by picking or brushing them off with your hand or cutting them with a pill shaver.

    What causes little balls on sheets? ›

    Those little balls of fuzz on your sheets have a technical term – pilling. This occurs when cotton fibers break down and get tangled. It's usually a result of friction, which is why you often see fitted sheets pilling near the foot of the bed.

    Can dryer sheets cause pilling? ›

    They can cause breakdown of the gentle fibers, which leads to pilling and then to tears or holes. Dryer sheets can literally stick to a fabric and coat it, causing it to discolor or become waxy.

    Does OxiClean cause pilling? ›

    For your darkest, deepest colored clothes, OxiClean™ Dark Protect™ is specially designed to help prevent fading and pilling, so your favorite black t-shirt or jeans can stay rich and bold longer.

    What material does not cause pilling? ›

    Overall, natural fabrics are less likely to pill. These include things like silk, linen, hemp, and cashmere. Meanwhile, man-made fabrics are generally more likely to pill. These include things like polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, and spandex.

    Does vinegar prevent pilling? ›

    The first time you decide to wash your flannel sheets, wash them with one-half cup of white vinegar. This will help prevent the fibers from pilling and forming on the sheets. Also, it helps set the color of the fabric to avoid fading.

    Which fabric pills the most? ›

    Knitted fabrics will pill easily, as they have a loose structure, while woven fabrics and fabrics made from tightly twisted yarns are less likely to pill, because the fibres are held tightly in the cloth.

    What is one of the remedy for lowering fabric pilling defect? ›

    Physical processes such as shearing, singeing, brushing and thermosetting, chemical processing such as the application of polymers or enzymes, use of anti-static finishes or special treatments such as sanforizing or UV treatment all help to remove pills.

    What ingredient causes pilling? ›

    Ingredients that don't work well together can eventually lead to skin pilling. For example, some ingredients that make the skin more likely to pill include silicone, talc, mica, and iron oxide. Therefore, using too many ingredients or layering many products containing these compounds can cause pilling.

    Can hard water cause pilling on clothes? ›

    Hard water can leave stains on clothes, sheets, and towels and make them look dingy and feel rough to the skin. You might also notice a powdery residue left on just washed clothing, which is also due to hard water.

    Does washing clothes with towels cause pilling? ›

    When caring for towels, keep in mind that pills result from long fibers rubbing against short fibers. This sort of contact occurs mostly in the wash, so laundering towels on their own should help. Finally, overdrying can weaken fibers and lead to pilling; don't dry towels for longer than necessary.

    What sheets won't get little balls on them? ›

    Better quality bed linen fabrics, with longer cotton fibers, will pill less than fabrics using shorter cotton fibers. Cotton percale may pill less than cotton sateen fabrics. Linen and silk can be less prone to pilling.

    How do I stop my sheets from pilling? ›

    How Can I Prevent My Sheets From Pilling?
    1. Always avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying as they tend to weaken fibers..
    2. Avoid brighteners and other bleaching agents; they weaken and discolor fibers. ...
    3. Dry on the low or medium heat setting; over-drying sheets weakens fibers and bakes off finishes.
    Nov 20, 2012

    Why do my sheets pill so much? ›

    As an individual sleeps, the act of tossing, turning, and moving against weakened fibres creates friction. Over time, this friction can cause these fibres to break (and then, to pill). This is why fitted sheets tend to pill more heavily at the foot of the bed, where the most abrasive and frequent movement occurs.

    Does air drying clothes prevent pilling? ›

    The less movement your clothing makes during washing, the better. 5. Hang Dry Even if the care label indicates an item is safe to tumble dry, opt for hanging instead. This minimizes agitation and will keep your clothing pill-free.

    When should you not use dryer sheets? ›

    Dryer sheets work well for most everyday items made of natural fibers, such as cotton shirts, pants and socks, but it's best to avoid using dryer sheets on athleticwear & microfiber, towels, flame-resistant clothing and water-repellent fabric. Always check an item's care label before tossing it in the dryer.

    What happens if you put too many dryer sheets in? ›

    If you use too many dryer sheets that waxy coating can also end up on the sensor bars on your dryer or the grain sheets can get stuck to the sensor bars. And if those sensor bars are covered, your dryer might think that your clothes are dry before they're actually dry.

    Why is Persil so good? ›

    Persil Sensitive Skin sits on the fence between hypoallergenic laundry detergents and the standard set we've been familiar with for years. In exchange for having more harsh chemicals than most free-and-clear detergents, you're getting a superior clean.

    Do high quality clothes pills? ›

    Pilling is NOT a sign of poor quality wool, but is in fact the exact opposite. It's actually one of the biggest myths when it comes to the quality level and durability of wool garments.

    What is the best fabric of all time? ›

    Cotton is breathable, soft, and lightweight. History has proven that cotton is the most used fabric of all time. Known for its versatility, natural comfort, and efficiency, cotton is used to make all kinds of clothing as well as used industrially for producing various types of products.

    Which fabric is best for human body? ›

    Some of the most common skin-friendly fabrics are “cotton, linen, cashmere, silk, hemp and those made with wood pulp,” mentioned Sarkar. "Any fiber that has good conductive and wicking properties are good for people who have different skin conditions.”

    Why is my vitamin C pilling? ›

    In some cases, pilling happens when a product that is too thick is placed on top of an occlusive barrier, which seals skin and prevents product from getting in. Pilling can also occur when too many products are being used at the same time or in the wrong order.

    Does hyaluronic acid cause pilling? ›

    There are a few possible reasons for why your hyaluronic acid pilling. One reason could be that you are not using a good quality product. Low quality hyaluronic acid products are more likely to pill because they are not as smooth. Another reason could be that you are not using enough product.

    Why doesn't my foundation absorb into my skin? ›

    You're not moisturizing enough.

    Make sure you're choosing the right type of moisturizer for your skin–those with dry skin should opt for richer creams while those with combo/oily skin can go for lightweight liquid or gel formulas. Remember to allow 5-10 minutes for everything to absorb into the skin.

    Does cold water cause pilling? ›

    It is a proven fact that cold water gets clothing just as clean as hot water. On the other hand, hot water can wear out fibers more quickly than cold water, making your clothing more susceptible to pilling and pulling.

    Can dry cleaners fix pilling? ›

    If you are too busy to be bothered with a rotary brush, pumice stone or an electric pill remover, then the best and the last resort is to take your sweaters to a dry cleaner near you where you will not only get your sweaters dry cleaned safely but we will also treat any pilling problems we can find.

    Does Downy cause pilling? ›

    Downy Fabric Conditioner smoothes fabric fibers to limit the friction garments experience in the washing machine and dryer. Less friction means less pilling. Synthetic fabrics—especially blends mixing multiple types of fibers—are more likely to result in pilling than are pure, natural fabrics, like wool and cotton.

    How do you remove pilling without a razor? ›

    Buy a sweater comb.

    A sweater comb is a small, fine toothed comb made specifically for removing pilling. It is different from a hair comb because the teeth are smaller and closer together. Pull the fabric taut and scrape the affected area gently. Be careful not to damage the fabric.

    Does pilling mean low quality? ›

    Pilling is when small, fluffy balls start to form on woollen clothing and items that receive some 'wear and tear', including rubbing or repetitive friction. Pilling on high quality woollen clothing, blankets or cushions can look a little shabby, and it tends to alarm owners expecting a more robust, durable item.

    Does fabric softener cause pilling on sheets? ›

    They can cause breakdown of the gentle fibers, which leads to pilling and then to tears or holes. Dryer sheets can literally stick to a fabric and coat it, causing it to discolor or become waxy. Fabric softeners also adhere to the fibers, they may make them feel soft but it's a synthetic softness.


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