Easy Tips to Remove Sweater Pills

Sweaters are a staple in anyone’s wardrobe, providing warmth and style during the colder months or cooler nights. However, over time, these cozy garments can start to develop those annoying little balls of fuzz known as pills. These can make your sweater look worn and old in no time. But don’t throw it out just yet! There are several ways to remove pills from your favorite sweaters without damaging the fabric or losing its shape. In this article, we will go over some easy and effective ways to get rid of those pesky pills and keep your sweaters looking as good as new.

What Are Pills and How Do They Form?

Pilling occurs when fibers from the sweater start to rub together, creating little fuzzy balls on the surface. This is more common in natural fibers like wool, cashmere, and cotton, as they have shorter or irregular fibers that are more prone to tangling up. Pilling can also happen due to friction from wearing and washing the sweater, or from contact with other rough surfaces like bags or furniture.

While it’s impossible to completely avoid pilling, there are ways to prevent it from happening as often and slowing down the process.

Preventing Pilling

The good news is that there are a few simple ways to prevent pilling and keep your sweaters looking new for longer. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Wash your sweaters inside out to reduce friction.
  • Use a gentle laundry detergent and avoid harsh chemicals or fabric softeners that can damage the fibers.
  • Avoid washing your sweaters too often or in hot water, which can also cause damage to the fibers.
  • Store your sweaters folded instead of hanging, as this can stretch the fibers and cause pilling.
  • Avoid wearing your sweater with rough materials like backpack straps or seat belts, which can also cause friction and pilling.

Removing Pills with a Sweater Stone

If your sweater has already started to pill, don’t worry – there are ways to fix it! One of the easiest and most effective methods is to use a sweater stone. This is a small, pumice-like stone that gently removes pills from the surface of the sweater without damaging the fibers. To use a sweater stone, simply lay the sweater on a flat surface and gently rub the stone in one direction over the pills.

Be sure to work slowly and carefully, and avoid rubbing too hard or in a circular motion as this can damage the fabric. You can also use a lint roller to pick up any loose pills that come off.

Removing Pills with a Fabric Comb

If you don’t have a sweater stone on hand, you can also use a fabric comb to remove pills. This method is a bit more time-consuming, but it’s still effective. To use a fabric comb, lay your sweater on a flat surface and gently brush the comb in one direction over the pills.

Again, be careful not to rub too hard or in circles, as this can cause damage. And, as with the sweater stone method, be sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid snagging the fabric.

Other Methods for Removing Pills

If you don’t have a sweater stone or fabric comb, there are other methods you can try to remove pills from your sweater. These include:

  • Using a disposable razor to gently shave off pills.
  • Wrapping some duct tape sticky-side-out around your hand and patting it down over the pills to pick them up.
  • Using a fine-grit sandpaper to sand away pills.

While these methods can be effective, they’re also a bit riskier and can potentially damage the fabric of your sweater if not done carefully. So, if you’re not confident in using them, stick to the sweater stone or fabric comb methods.


Pilling is a common problem with sweaters, but by following the preventative measures and using the right tools, you can keep your sweaters looking new for longer. Remember to wash your sweaters gently, avoid harsh chemicals and rough materials, and store them carefully when not in use. And if you do notice some pills forming, don’t throw out your sweater just yet – try using a sweater stone or fabric comb to remove them and restore your sweater to its former glory.

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