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What is the safest and most effective way to remove pilling from clothing?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I need to know what is the safest and most effective way to remove pilling from clothing.

I have read that razor blades can be used, but those are dangerous as they can cut up the clothing.

I have read that fabric shaver machines can be used, but I do not know how dangerous those are in terms of damaging the clothing. And I don't know if the safety of these machines varies by brand and model.

What I need to know is, what is a method that I can use to remove pilling from clothing that has 0% chance to damage my clothing while using it, and is also effective at 100% removing all the pilling.
post #2 of 10
I have heard that a pumice stone works well, but I haven't tried it myself.
post #3 of 10
First: Prevention. Avoid polyester and other synthetics as they are most prone to pilling. Inspect before buying: If something has pills before you even get it home, it will only get worse after wearing and washing. For garments that you think are susceptable, turn them inside out when laundering and make sure you use plenty of water. To remove pills, you can use steel wool, pumice stone, or a razor. I have used razors succesfully many times and never injured any sweaters. But you do need to exercise some caution since razors are sharp and sweaters are gentle creatures. Pumice stone seems to be the safest method. Consumer Reports and Treehuger have both recommended the "Sweater Stone." Best of all, you can get it free on their web site: http://www.sweaterstone.com/ Warning: It smells a tad unpleasant and you wind up with little crumbly bits of pumice on your garment, so I would recommend using it before washing. As for those little electric de-pilling devices, they aren't worth the bother.
post #4 of 10
+1 for razors. The trick is to use used ones, which are too blunt to be used for shaving anymore.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulansauce View Post
As for those little electric de-pilling devices, they aren't worth the bother.

Aren't they more safe than a razor would be, though? Doesn't that make them worth the bother?

The Sweater Stone free offer might be expired, date on the website for free ones is past. I'm hesitant to order things from USA because I live in Canada so I'd only do it if they ship via USPS only so I don't get charged ridiculous fees by courier companies, which they always do at the border. Might be easier for me to pickup a small machine locally rather than bother with that hassle. Are stones safer on clothes than small machines, though? Because that might motivate me to undertake the hassle.

I do try to avoid poly whenever I can, but almost all of the hooded sweatshirts I see in stores have at least 20% poly. Can hardly ever find any 100% cotton ones, else I'd buy them instead if I could.

Years ago I was trying to buy a trench coat with no poly at a department store but they didn't even have any. Guess next time I'll have to go to a super high end store like Holt Renfrew to get a good, no-poly trench coat.

All the track pants I see in stores also are totally full of poly. I have no clue where I could go to buy track pants with no poly in them.
post #6 of 10
I'm not saying never buy poly. I'm just saying: it will probably pill eventually. I don't think you are going to find track pants that aren't poly. I said not to bother with the little de-pilling doodads since in my experience they just tend not to work very well, certainly not better than a much cheaper razor. I've only used the sweater stone once, but from my experience and reading reviews, it seems to be the best means if you are worried about the razor. You're right--that free offers seems to have expired. But you don't need to go with a branded pumice stone from the US. You can wander into any pharmacy and find one--they are used to remove calluses, and are supposed to work just as well on garments.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulansauce View Post
You can wander into any pharmacy and find one--they are used to remove calluses, and are supposed to work just as well on garments.

Ah, I didn't know that, thanks!

Will there be any difference in the ones the drug store has compared to the one on The Sweater Stone site?

I just called my local drug store to ask if they carried pumice stones and the lady said yes they do. Then I asked her how much it costs and she said: "I don't know, we have so many varieties. So just pop by and see the one you like."

Are there certain varieties that work better on clothing or all they all the same? Are they all 100% pumice stone or are they lesser versions which are not? How should I know which one to buy once I go into the store?
post #8 of 10
I'm not entirely sure as I've never used drug-store pumice myself. Pumice is an abrassive--it's used to wear away the outer layer of whatever you are rubbing it against--so you should probably be careful not to rub too hard or you could rub your shirt into oblivion. The drug store kind likely isn't as large or as handsomely appointed as it's meant to be used on feet. As for the pumice itself I doub't there is much difference. You can also get it on amazon, which I imagine ships to canada without trouble: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...e&tag=kkorg-20
post #9 of 10
Razors work well
post #10 of 10
I have a wool-rayon blend Ralph Lauren sport coat that I bought before I knew better. It was a handsome jacket in its time, but the damn thing now pills like hell, and I have relegated it to "knockaround" duty.

I got a pumice stone at my dry cleaner's and use it on the jacket occasionally. It seems to do the job fairly well. My sense is that it's a better option than a razor, although I have never tried the later. Pumice stones are very cheap, only a couple of bucks.
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