Many people, like me, do not like to wear clothes which have small pill-like balls especially on cotton based fabric.

I tried plucking the visible pills after a wash, that was very annoying and time consuming.

Any good hacks to remove the pills from fabrics?

Knitted clothing with pills / bobbles


4 Answers 4


Some possible hacks:

  1. Sellotape: Stick sellotape against the pilled fabric and peel it off.

    using sellotape

  2. Combing: Use fine distant comb to remove the pills.

    using a comb

  3. Razor: Use ready made razor and remove the pills just like shaving.

    using a razor


Things that can be of use:

  • This article calls it "Hook and Fastener", but I think that it is better known as velcro.


    Pull the fastener straight off the fabric--it should bring most of the pilling with it. The small hooks of the fastener strip can damage very delicate fabrics, so use this method sparingly.

    This can promote fuzzing. From experience a lot of these methods are going to make the fabric fuzzy and promote pill formation in the future. Many people have this object laying around or attached to other items, it can be combed to remove fabric fibers after use.

  • Use a Pumice Stone to Remove Fabric Pills

    Rubbing the Pumice stone on the fabric should remove the pills, alternatively many other rough objects work work for pill removal.

  • Electric shavers are suppose to work as well as safety razors, but I have never tried. And duct tape from experience removes too much, so a mild tape is better. Scissors are suppose to work, but I think that the stakes are to high if you make a mistake.

  • Brushing the pills off is suppose to work with a hard bristled brush. I have seldom used this, but I disagree about its usage.

Washing clothes less and washing them in cold water are suppose to reduce pills. Also, turning the clothes on the other way and using delicates bags are suppose to work.


I have a "pullover shaver" especially for this, but maybe that doesn't count as a hack. On the other hand it was dead cheap and jumpers can be worn for much longer, it saved its own cost the first time I used it. I can't find the English name behind the firewall here, but you can google "Fusselrasierer" to get the idea.

  • 1
    Checking a web shop suggests that ‘fabric shaver’ or ‘sweater shaver’ are the most common terms, but I'm sure ‘pullover shaver’ would be equally well understood! — I also have one of those devices; it's cheap but does a great job, and doesn't fuzz or disturb the remaining fabric, so I think it does a better job than other methods of dissuading further pills forming in future.
    – gidds
    Dec 23, 2021 at 15:53

an electric hair clipper works fine for de-pilling cloth items. use the "closest" adjustment setting on the clipper, without any of the hair guides that snap on to the clipper head.

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