How to Wash Your Clothes to Prevent Pilling

A,Happy,Housewife,Woman,In,Laundry,Room,With,Washing,MachineYour favorite pair of quarantine sweats, a new bathing suit, or your workout gear, no item of clothing is truly safe from those annoying little knots of fuzz, known as pills. They can appear after a few uses or after the first washing. Pesky pills are the result of normal wear and tear on most fabrics in areas with the most day-to-day use. Think under your arms, the rear of your pants, and the center of your bedsheets. While they are common, they might not always be the most attractive look. That’s why our experts are sharing what causes pilling as well as how to prevent it.


What Causes Pilling?

Those balls of fuzz cropping up on your favorite sweater are actually little knots of thread. Pills form due to rubbing or abrasion during normal wear. Over time, these little knots of thread clump together, forming the tiny pill that is stuck to your clothing. During a wash cycle, these short or broken clothing fibers become like a magnet and attract other loose micro-threads, creating even more pilling.


While it’s hard to predict what fabrics will pill, some are more prone to it. Pilling is more common on clothes with looser, shorter fibers. This includes clothes made with multiple fibers, known as fiber blends. Knitted fabrics like wool, cotton, and polyester tend to develop pills more often as well. If you want to prevent pilling before it starts, opt for fabrics that are tightly woven and durable, like silk, denim, and linen.


How to Prevent Pilling

While there is no promise that your clothing will never pill, the experts at Bakers Centre Laundry are sharing some tips and tricks that will help prevent pills and keep your clothing looking its best.


Turn garments inside out.

Pilling happens due to rubbing and abrasion, so start by turning your clothes inside out. This reduces contact with hooks, zippers, and buttons, all of which can damage delicate fabrics.


Sort clothing.

Next, sort your clothing by color and fabric. You should always avoid washing delicate items in the same load as your jeans to avoid harm to the delicate fabrics. You can also opt for a cold wash or hand wash to further avoid those pesky little pills.


Skip harsh chemicals and bleach.

Harsh detergents and bleaches damage weak fibers, causing them to break and pill. You can also look for a detergent that contains an enzyme called cellulase. This can help loosen and break down cotton pills.


Add a fabric softener.

A fabric softener is added during the rinse cycle and it helps clothing to feel softer. The ingredients in fabric softeners work by coating fibers to lesson abrasion and reduce static cling.


Wash on a delicate cycle.

The less movement and agitation your clothes experience during a wash cycle, the better. Choosing a shorter, more delicate cycle, or washing by hand are the best ways to protect your clothes from pilling.


Hang to dry.

While most garment labels will say they are safe to tumble dry, avoid the dryer if you can. This minimizes friction and agitation. Line dry woven fabrics and dry knitted clothing on a flat surface.


Remove pills with a pill remover or fabric comb.

Pills happen. If you want to safely remove them, one of the most effective ways is by using a fabric comb or pill remover. Both methods carefully shave or cut away the pills from the surface of the fabric, leaving your clothing looking good as new.


Learning what causes pilling can help guarantee your favorite sweats, sweater, or workout gear comes out of the wash looking brand new and pill-free. If you still have questions, stop by your local, 24-hour laundromat – Bakers Centre Laundry – for all your laundering needs!