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How to stop clothes bobbling

Want to make sure your clothes stay bobble-free? Follow our simple tips to help stop bobbling on clothes.


By Cleanipedia Team

Blue jumper sleeve

Pilling on clothes can cause your garments to look well past their best. Those little balls of fluff can be quite noticeable and take a bit of time to get rid of.

However, there are some simple steps you can follow to help stop bobbling on clothes in the first place.

Why do my clothes bobble?

It’s both useful and interesting to know why clothes bobble before you start looking at prevention. Bobbling happens when friction causes the fibres on the clothes’ surface to rub together. This is why the underarm area and down the side of jumpers and cardigans are often the worst-hit.

Wool, cotton, polyester and nylon can all be affected by bobbling while linen and silk tend to avoid the problem.

How to prevent clothes bobbling

Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can follow to stop clothes going bobbly:

  • Use a gentle, liquid detergent like Persil. Powders can sometimes rub up against clothes as they dissolve in the washing machine.
  • Wash your clothes inside out. That way if bobbling does occur, at least it’ll be on the inside of the garment.
  • Separate your clothes before washing. Be careful not to wash terry cloth items with polyester, for example, as any lint will cling to broken fibres. Delicates shouldn’t be washed with harsher fabrics like jeans as these could cause abrasion.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine. If there are too many clothes in the drum they won’t move freely and there’s more chance of damage to the clothes’ surface.
  • Wash on the correct cycle. For example, if you’re washing a jumper, you’ll probably want to wash it on a short, delicate cycle.
  • Use a fabric softener like Comfort. This conditions the fibres so there’s less abrasion.
  • Consider handwashing. If you have the time, the gentlest way to wash your clothes is by hand using a specialist detergent.
  • Brush your clothes regularly to smooth out the fabric.

These tips should hopefully help prevent bobbling – but if they do still occur, it’s not the end of the world. Follow our tips on how to remove bobbles from clothing to return your clothes to their former glory.

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Originally published