How to Prevent Pilling on Clothes in the Wash

You may not know their name, but you’ve surely seen fabric pilling before. These tiny knots of thread and fuzz clinging to your clothing can quickly turn your favourite fabrics into a ratty mess.

Whether you do your laundry at home or the local self-service laundromat, fabric pilling can be a nuisance. Fortunately, you can prevent them with just a few smart decisions come laundry time! Learn how to prevent pilling on clothes with these handy laundry tips.

What Causes Fabric Pilling on Clothes?

These pesky pills result from broken fabric fibres on the surface of your clothing becoming tangled. Over time, these threads clump together, forming the characteristic lint balls stuck to your clothing. These broken fibres can attract loose micro-threads in the wash, speeding up the pilling process. Although pilling is part of general wear and tear, there are some things we can all do to avoid worsening the process.

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Clothing Susceptible to Pilling

Fabrics made from multiple fibres, especially those that combine synthetic and natural materials, tend to be more susceptible to pilling. The same goes for loosely woven shirts. The looser the fabric, the more likely it is to pill. Check the label before purchasing a new outfit, and you may be able to avoid a pilling nightmare down the road!

How to Prevent Pilling on Clothes

Use a Gentle Cycle

To avoid pilling on your at-risk clothing, use the gentlest wash available. The short wash and slow agitation will go a long way in preventing pilling. All the machines at our self-service laundromats have options for delicate cycles to help you keep those pesky pills away!

Don’t Overload the Machine

Avoid overloading the machine. Don’t cram the washer as full as possible; this will increase the surface damage to your clothing and result in pilling. Luckily, large-capacity machines, like the ones at our Motueka Laundromat, will help prevent any overloading.

Use Washing Powders Containing Cellulase

Try and use washing powders that contain cellulase. This enzyme can help loosen and remove pilling on clothing while in the wash. Combine this washing powder with a cold, gentle cycle and watch the pills disappear!

Sort Out Your Washing

It’s always a good idea to sort your laundry before washing it, but even more so when trying to prevent pilling. Delicate items washed in the same load as sturdier fabrics can harm the surface of these more fragile items.

Turn Your Clothing Inside Out

Before washing your clothing, turn them inside out; this prevents excessive abrasions to the surface from other clothes, buttons, or zippers. This small task will keep your clothes looking fresh.

Get Rid of Those Pesky Pills

Pilling on clothing is a quick way to ruin your favourite outfit. While pilling results from general wear and tear from repeated washes, there are some easy enough tricks we can all do to prevent it. Keep these tricks in mind the next time you visit one of our Liquid Laundromat locations, and you can keep that new outfit looking better for longer.