How to Remove Bobbles and Pilling from Clothes & Jumpers

2 mins read
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2 mins read

Putting on your favourite piece of clothing only to find it’s covered in a myriad of seemingly impossible-to-remove-bobbles? That’s a situation that everyone can relate to. Is there any way to get rid of those pesky fuzz balls ruining your look? Better yet, can you somehow prevent them from popping up altogether? The answer is yes and YES! Our comprehensive anti-bobbling guide will answer all your most pressing questions, from how to stop clothes from bobbling to how to remove bobbles from jumpers.

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What Causes Bobbling and Pilling on Clothing and Fabrics

Any fabric can bobble or pill—aka form patches of fuzz balls—as the fibres stretch and break as a result of friction. Clothes rub against themselves while you’re wearing them, and against other fabrics during the washing and drying procedure. The areas worst-hit by pilling are the parts of clothing that receive the most abrasion in day-to-day wear, such as the underarm area and the side of jumpers and cardigans.

It is perfectly normal for the fibres to be pulled out of your clothes in the above processes, and there is little you can do to stop bobbling completely. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a few cautionary measures to prevent your clothes from bobbling in the wash.

The most bobble-prone fabrics are wool, cotton, polyester and nylon, while linen and silk are generally safe from the formation of fuzz balls. Synthetic fabrics—especially blends mixing multiple types of fibres—are more likely to result in bobbling than are pure, natural fabrics, like wool and cotton. Also, the looser the weave, the more prone the fabric will be to bobbling, which is why you hear about "jumper bobbling" instead of "jeans bobbling."

Most importantly, different types of fabric require different washing methods. To see how you should care for your piece of clothing, check the garment’s washing label.

How to Stop Clothes from Bobbling

There are several things you can to do to avoid bobbling and pilling happening to your clothes and fabrics before the fuzzball monster hits you:


Forget about abrasive washing powders, and instead, enlist the help of a powerful yet gentle laundry detergent capsule such as Bold All-in-1 Pods.

Separate your laundry items.

Sort your clothes according to fabric type to prevent abrasion and lint transfer between the different fabrics.

Wash inside out.

Before loading your garments inside the washing machine, make sure to turn them inside out. This way, even if bobbling does occur, it will be invisible to others.

Wash lightly.

Overloading your washing machine will prevent your clothes from moving freely around in the drum, increasing the rate of abrasion and thus resulting in more pilling.

Always check the fabric care label.

Your garment’s washing label gives you important information about which setting to use and what temperature you should wash your clothes on, all important factors if you want to avoid bobbling.

Use a fabric conditioner.

A liquid fabric conditioner like Lenor will infuse your clothes with long-lasting freshness, help protect against stretching, fading, and bobbling, while softening your fabrics, fighting static cling, and reducing wrinkles. What’s not to like?

To find out what to do after bobbling has already happened, keep reading on to learn how to restore your clothes to their former, unfuzzy glory!

How to Remove Bobbles from Your Clothing and Fabrics

We understand how frustrating it is to take out your clothes that’s become all pilled up from your washing machine. Lucky for you, we know just the steps to get rid of bobbling and pilling from your garments, and we’re not shy about sharing them!

  • Step 1. Roll.
    Use a Velcro hair roller over the bobble-covered areas of your clothing to lift the larger fuzz balls away. Alternatively, you can use a piece of sticky tape to remove bobbles from smaller problem areas.

  • Step 2. Sort.
    Separate your laundry items according to fabric type. Make sure you wash delicate items separately from harsher fabrics, like jeans, to lessen lint transfer and abrasion damages. And remember, turn your bobbling-prone clothing inside out before washing!

  • Step 3. Dose.
    Place one Bold All-in-1 washing capsule for medium loads or two for large loads inside the empty washing machine.

  • Step 4. Load.
    Load the garments into your washing machine, making sure that there’s enough space for your hand to fit between the wall of the drum and your clothes.

  • Step 5. Add fabric conditioner.
    Add your choice of Lenor fabric conditioner into your washing machine’s built-in automatic dispenser tray. During the rinse cycle, your machine will wash water up into the dispenser, releasing the fabric conditioner, infusing your fabrics with softness and freshness, limiting friction, and helps preventing fuzz balls from forming.

  • Step 6. Wash.
    Now that everything is where it needs to be, all you need to do is to select the proper wash cycle and water temperature according to what’s shown on the garments’ fabric care labels, and press start.

  • Step 7. Dry.
    When the cycle has run its course and it’s time for you to remove your de-pilled clothes, the only thing that’s left is drying them. As tumble-drying leads to friction between your clothes, it’s best to air-dry them, either on a flat surface, or with the use of a clothes hanger.

How to Get Bobbles Off Your Jumpers

Even though machine washing jumpers can leave them looking dull, bobbled-up, and maybe even shrunken, you can still wash them in the machine – they just need a little bit more attention. Whether we’re talking about cable knits or cardigans, one thing all knitted jumpers have in common is that they’re especially prone to bobbling and pilling. The good news is that by learning how to care for your jumpers properly, you can stay comfy and fuzz ball-free in your jumpers wear after wear. Removing bobbles from wool jumpers and cotton jumpers is a bit different, so keep an eye out for where we make a distinction!

Step 1. Read the care label.

Before you go and throw any jumper in the washer, read the label to make sure it’s washer safe. Keep jumpers separated from rougher, heavier fabrics like denim. The recommended water temperature for cotton is anywhere between 40 and 60°C, while for wool jumpers you should never go higher than 30°C. Turn them inside out, button all buttons, and zip up any zippers.

Step 2. Use detergent together with fabric conditioner.

Be sure to use a gentle liquid detergent such as Bold 2in1 Washing Liquid or a laundry capsule like Bold All-in-1 to clean your jumper. Add Lenor fabric conditioner to help protect jumpers from damage, and to Help remove and prevent any bobbling and pilling. Finally, don’t forget always to use the gentlest, most delicate wash cycle!

Step 3. Dry it right.

Lay your jumper out on a flat surface to air-dry to avoid damaging the fibres.

With these three simple instructions, you can keep all your jumpers feeling soft, smelling great, and help protect them from fading and bobbling.

Home Remedies on How to Get Bobbles Off Clothes

If you’re looking for solutions to salvage an already-pilled piece of clothing, you can use a shaving razor, a scissor, a sandpaper sponge, a Velcro strip or even a jumper/sweater stone. However, these “hacks” only treat the symptom and not the cause: They’re good to have in your luggage in case you need a quick fix for your pilling problem, but they do not provide you with a permanent solution. To help prevent pilling accidents from happening, you’re going to need a powerful liquid fabric conditioner, which reduces the chance for bobbling thanks to its softening active ingredients.

How Lenor Fabric Conditioner Can Prevent Bobbling and Pilling from Happening

Lenor offers a wide variety of liquid fabric conditioners that freshen, soften, and help protect your laundry. Lenor Spring Awakening is a great place to start if you are new to fabric conditioners and want your clothes to be softer, fresher, and protected from stretching, fading, and bobbling. The good thing about using a fabric conditioner like Lenor is that it doesn’t simply remove bobbling and pilling from your clothes, it actually helps to prevent it by smoothing fabric fibres to limit the friction garments experience in the washing machine, while helping to keep them looking as good as new for longer


  1. Why do clothes start pilling?

    Clothes start pilling as the fibres stretch and break from the friction occurred as you wear the clothes or when they go through washing or drying processes. It is perfectly normal for this to happen, and there’s little you can do to stop bobbling clothes completely.

  2. How do you get lint and pill off clothes?

    To prevent lint build-up on clothes, ensure your tumble dryer is clean before adding wet laundry. Clean the lint filter, wipe the mesh, vacuum the filter screen, and trap to remove stubborn lint.

    Lenor Dryer Sheets can be used to help fight static, reduce wrinkles, provide long-lasting freshness, and prevent lint attraction.

  3. Does washing clothes get rid of bobbles?

    Absolutely, washing your clothes correctly can remove bobbles from your garments. Following a proper laundry routine can prevent bobbling & pilling. Opt for laundry PODs, which are gentle yet impactful, sort laundry by fabric to prevent abrasion and lint transfer, wash clothes inside out to confine bobbling and avoid overloading the washer to minimize friction and pilling. Read the fabric care labels for washing instructions and employ fabric conditioner to safeguard against stretching, fading, wrinkles, and bobbles while keeping clothes soft.

  4. What is the fastest way to remove pilling from clothes?

    The quickest method to remove pilling from clothes is using a Velcro hair roller or sticky tape to gently lift bobbles from your garments. Additionally, prevent pilling by sorting laundry by fabric type and turning bobbly-prone attire inside out. Using the right amount of detergent, avoiding overfilling the washer, using fabric conditioner for softness, selecting suitable cycles and temperatures as per care labels will help remove pilling from clothes. Additionally, it’s better to air-dry your clothes than to tumble dry to avoid friction induced pilling.