In Life

How to remove pilling and other fuzzies from your clothes on the cheap & on the fly

Here’s how to remove fuzz, the expensive and the cheap ways that work and don’t work.

(Inspired by reader Sara from my post on What I bought in March 2013)

SWEATER SHAVERS

MOST EXPENSIVE BUT THE BEST WAY THAT WORKS ON EVERYTHING

I really prefer sweater shavers. They do the job quick, easily and without whining.

There are 4 problems with sweater shavers however:

  1. They use batteries — and it’s always the expensive C or D battery, not AAs
  2. Good quality shavers (and not made in China) are a pain in the butt to find
  3. They’re expensive for no reason if you can make these other two options work
  4. They can still cut your sweater fibers if you aren’t careful

Alas, I do not have one any more because made in China sweater shavers suck in quality and longevity.

I wanted desperately to buy an Izumi sweater shaver to experiment with (made in Japan, and they are renowned for their delicate electronics among other things, like introducing sushi to my palate), to give it a shot, but I don’t live in the U.S., and they no longer sell it on Amazon.com

Anyway, these are the other options I tried ranked in order of awfulness (worst to best):

1. WORST: SWEATER STONE – ABSOLUTELY USELESS

Ended up being marketing hogwash.

Didn’t remove any kind of pilling (duh, how can it, it’s a damn STONE), and I would have been better off using my pumice stone on my pills.

2. MEH: USE A SMALL PAIR OF SCISSORS – TIRING BUT EFFECTIVE

You’ll go cross-eyed, so you might want to save this for the really delicate, or the big snarls you don’t want to drag a razor across and accidentally cut the threads.


Best used for intricately snipping off each and every little pill, and if you want to be able to literally use the excuse:

No Bill, I can’t go out on a date with you, because alas… I am de-pilling and de-fuzzing my sweaters tonight instead.

No seriously, try my next option before the small scissors.

3. BEST: USE AN OLD RAZOR — CHEAPEST WINNER OF THEM ALL FOR CERTAIN FABRICS

You must have a razor lying around somewhere.

Use it gently, but firmly.

Don’t let it get the better of you, and put up a resistance to your efforts.

It is inanimate, after all — show it who’s boss!

Here’s a perfect example of a pill-y pair of wool socks I stupidly put in the dryer with my new white towel (100% cotton made in Portugal, $20 each, bought at The Bay), pre-razor and post-razor.

How-to-remove-fuzz-pilling-sweater-socks-wool-shaving-razor_BEFORE-AFTER

How-to-remove-fuzz-pilling-sweater-socks-wool-shaving-razor_SHAVING

 

Drag the razor gently but firmly over the sock. I suggest using a flat surface or putting the sock onto your hand and then shaving it to get around the edges.

How-to-remove-fuzz-pilling-sweater-socks-wool-shaving-razor_FUZZ-BITS

 

This is what you end up with as the fuzz bits you can pick off.

How-to-remove-fuzz-pilling-sweater-socks-wool-shaving-razor_CLEANER

I thought of my socks as a gently sedated but rather hairy orc arms, which worked out well.

Best used for smoother surfaces or tightly-woven knits, not for loose, rather delicate cashmere or woolly things. It just doesn’t work.

I tried it on my cashmere sweaters and the scissors work the best because they simply do not drag the fuzzies off.

Enjoy!

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. anonymous

    it looks like you can still get an Izumi sweater shaver on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Formerly-Izumi-Seiko-S-Yard-KT11C/dp/B000E1FGHW

    Reply
  2. Audley

    I use a wool/cashmere comb to remove pilling from my wool and cashmere sweaters, cardigans and socks. I’m not sure if “wool/cashmere comb” is the right term but when I translate it from my language I would name it this way. It works better than everything else I’ve tried.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I think I know what you are talking about, I saw them in stores.

      Reply

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