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How to treat bobbles on clothes

Bobbles on clothes are always a pain. Make use of these tips on how to stop clothes bobbling and how to get bobbles off clothes.

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How to treat bobbles on clothes

It’s hard to keep your clothes looking their best if they keep bobbling in the wash. Here’s our guide to how to stop clothes bobbling, and how to get rid of bobbles on clothes if the bobbles have already hit.

Key Steps

To cut down on bobbles on clothes:

  1. Reduce friction when you’re washing. Use fabric conditioner, don’t overload the machine, and avoid the tumble dryer.

  2. Wash inside out if you’d prefer to have the bobbles on the inside.

  3. Remove bobbles on clothes by using sticky tape, a hair roller, a razor or a pilling comb.

If you’re only dealing with a few bobbles on clothes, you might be tempted to pick them off with your fingernails. For a cleaner removal, try scissors instead.

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How to prevent bobbles on clothes

The culprit behind bobbles on clothes is usually friction. If you’re in the habit of rolling around on sandpaper, that’s probably the cause of your bobbling woes. Otherwise, give these tips a try:

  1. Pay attention to care labels

    Washing or drying your clothes in the wrong way will put them at risk of all sorts of damage, including bobbling.

  2. Don’t pack your washing machine too densely

    Leave a little space for your clothes to move properly. Washing machines vary, so check the instructions, but as a general rule a normal load should be about three-quarters full.

  3. Use fabric conditioner in the wash.

    Something like Comfort Intense Fresh Sky will soften the fibres of your clothes, meaning there’s less friction and less risk of bobbling.

  4. Avoid the tumble dryer.

    If you’ve got the time, let your clothes air-dry, rather than subjecting them to the extra friction of tumbling about in the machine.

If nothing you do seems to prevent the dreaded bobbling, you can wash your clothes inside out. This means the bobbles will end up on the inside, rather than the outside, and no one but you has to know.

How to remove bobbles on clothes

Yes, it’s guiltily satisfying to pick the bobbles off one by one, but surely there’s a better method for how to get rid of bobbles on jumpers? Here are some ideas for how to get bobbles off clothes.

  1. If the bobbles are confined to a small space, you can use Sellotape.

    Press the sticky side to the bobbled area, then lift it away, hopefully bringing the bobbles with it.

  2. For a larger de-bobbling job, a Velcro hair roller is a great tool for getting bobbles off jumpers.

    Roll it over the fabric to snag the bobbles and lift them away.

  3. No hair rollers to hand?

    It might sound strange, but you can shave your clothes. Draw the fabric tight and carefully run a fresh disposable razor over the bobbly parts. (Don’t do this while you’re wearing it, obviously.) This won’t work on loose knits, as there’s too much for the blade to catch on.

  4. Use a pilling comb.

    This is a comb that’s designed with how to get bobbles off jumpers in mind. Like a razor, you can draw it across your clothes to catch and remove bobbles. Unlike a razor, it doesn’t have a sharp blade, so putting it against your favourite top is a bit less stressful.

Has your lifestyle during the Covid-19 lockdown affected the type of stains you get on your clothes?

No method for how to stop clothes bobbling is perfectly guaranteed. With these tips on prevention and how to remove bobbles from clothes, though, it’s easy to cut down on your bobbling problems.

Originally published