Sweaters are my go-to clothing choices for work during winter months, but I have had to retire some of my favorites because of excessive pilling. Every year when I bring those pilling sweaters out with the rest of my winter wear I tuck them aside with the hopes of one day saving them.
Well yesterday was that day. I found a DIY way to de-pill my sweaters with two things I already own: a pumice stone and a lint roller. After pulling my two favorite sweaters out of retirement I grabbed my pumice stone and started scraping. The note on the DIY post says to hold the material taut and gently scrub away the pills. After a couple seconds I could see the pills were gathering at the bottom of my scrubbing path, so I grabbed the lint roll and easily removed them. It took about 25 minutes to get my sweater to an acceptable level of pilling -- which was nowhere near completely pill free, but it was good enough for me.
Most of my sweaters with this issue pill in odd places: sides, lower back and underarms. I’m guessing it’s because those areas get the most amount of contact with other things like purses, chairs, my arms. So my sweaters had two different types of pills. The ones on the underarms and sides of my sweaters came off after some effort with the pumice stone, but the ones on the lower back part of my sweater didn’t come off. After I looked at it closer I decided the worn-out material on the lower back part of my sweater wasn’t actually pilling yet. But I will definitely save this trick for when it has pilled all the way. I would suggest keeping an eye on material that is worn out, but hasn't formed actual little pill balls yet. Because as I started to remove the not-yet-formed pills I could see that I was pulling more material out of my sweater, which is not what I wanted to do.
DIY do or don’t? This pumice stone trick does work in removing a majority of pills, with some caveats. It does take some patience to scrub away all of the pills on a very pilly sweater, but the end result is worth it. If your sweaters pill in odd spots (on seams and in creases) like mine do, it takes even more patience because there are added barriers to getting rid of those annoying little fabric balls. And here’s a word of warning: removing pills is not a permanent fix, those tiny balls will return. And according to the DIY post I got this suggestion from, removing pills is removing chunks of the clothing’s materials which means eventually you could de-pill a hole in your favorite sweater. So de-pill at your own risk!