When it comes to clothes pilling, no fabrics are truly safe. Whether it's your favorite winter sweater or summertime bathing suit, those annoying little knots of fuzz can start showing up after just a few uses. Pills form due to rubbing or abrasion during normal wear and use, and appear on fabrics when groups of short or broken fibers on the surface become tangled together in a tiny knot, or pill. While pills are typically found in areas with the most day-to-day use, such as the center of your bed sheets, under the arms of clothes and on the rear of pants, they can happen anywhere and on any fabric.
The last thing you want after buying a new garment is to have it start pilling after just a few wears, so here are our TIDE pro tips to help you prevent it and make your favorite clothes look their best for longer:
Turn garments inside out.
Pilling is most commonly caused when two fabrics rub against each other. When you turn the garment inside out prior to washing, you'll reduce the amount of contact it has with other clothes, zippers and buttons that cause excessive abrasion. For added protection, you can also turn garments inside out before folding or hanging them in your closet.
Wash on a delicate cycle.
The less movement your clothing experiences during a wash, the better. Wash on your machine's most delicate cycle, or better yet, hand wash those special garments. In addition, make sure you're separating your clothes prior to washing, as washing delicate items in the same load as jeans will cause abrasion to the surface of the fabric. Finally, consider using a laundry detergent specific to delicates, such as Studio by Tide, which improves your garments' appearance and texture as well as eliminates discoloration, fading, and pilling.
Hang to dry.
Even if the label indicates your garment is safe to tumble dry, hang them instead as this will minimize friction and help keep your clothing pill-free. You should line dry woven fabrics while drying knitted garments on a flat surface.
There is still hope once pills have already formed. One of the most effective ways to remove pills is using a fabric comb or a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover that shaves the pills from the surface of the fabric. You can also pull the fabric tightly over a curved surface and carefully cut the pills with small scissors, but use extreme caution when doing it yourself as you don't want to turn a small pill into a large hole.