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How to Remove Pills From Cotton Clothes

Updated on May 29, 2015

Why Do Cotton Clothes Develop Pills?

There are many reasons that pills develop on cotton and other natural fabrics. Knowing common causes of pilling may help you take better care of your clothes so pills don't develop in the first place.

Common causes of pilling on cotton clothes include:

  • Cheap or poor quality material
  • Friction due to natural rubbing (e.g. in the armpit area of tee shirts)
  • Friction from improper laundering techniques

To minimize damage to cotton clothing, turn it inside out before you wash it. Select a gentle wash cycle to minimize agitation.

Just Got Pills Off My Shirt!

©lululemon athletica
©lululemon athletica

Easily Remove Pills From Your Clothing in Minutes

Spread your clothes out on the table. Cut off existing pills using a razor, but be careful not to cut into the fabric. Scrape the razor along the surface of the t-shirt or other clothing item. Do not use too much pressure as this can nick the clothing and create a hole. Once you've gotten the pills off, you can prevent them from coming back with some quick tips.

Simple Tools to Remove Pills From My Clothing

While you can use a simple razor to remove pills from cotton clothing, you can also buy a special gizmo to do it for you. Options include

How to Wash Clothes For No Pills

After you remove pills from your clothing, it's a good idea to wash the clothing. To prevent pills from developing on the outside of your garments again, turn your cotton clothes inside out before washing them.

Place your items in the washing machine and select a shorter cycle. Excess agitation creates pills, so choosing a shorter wash cycle reduces the agitation. If your washing machine allows you to select agitation speed, turn it from fast to a slower speed.

Remove clothes from the washer and dry them in your dryer. Take out the clothes when they're dry, fold them and store them.

Easy Tutorial Video Removing Pills From Cotton Clothes With a Razor


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      Adam 3 years ago

      Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and acutal effort to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.