How to remove bobbles from clothes

Are you sick of lint and bobbles causing your favourite jumpers and clothes to look past their best? Learn how to get bobbles off clothes with our handy tips.

Updated 14 September 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Getting bobbles on your favourite jumper or clothing item is frustrating, we know! Whether well-loved or relatively new, your clothing will bobble in areas where it rubs against itself – like the crook of the elbow, under the arms, or the chest. Good news, though: if you’re wondering how to get rid of bobbles on clothes, the answers are right here.

Shave them down

If you’re removing bobbles from clothes that are reasonably sturdy (and that don’t have any sequins or embroidery), all you need is a disposable razor and some decent light.

How to remove bobbles from clothes

Gently pass the razor over your jumper, working downwards and following the contours of the fabric. Pick off the fuzz at the edges and hems with your hands. Be careful not to overdo it, or you could cut through the wool – and then bobbles on clothes will be the least of your worries!

Keep it rolling

It can be trickier to remove bobbles from clothes if they’re made of more delicate fibres, such as lamb’s wool and cashmere. The thought of using a razor on them could bring you out in a cold sweat.

Luckily, there’s a gentler and less risky alternative: running a Velcro hair roller over bobbles on clothes will easily lift them away. Better still, the lint can be scraped off with a comb and your hair rollers can be reused!

How to remove bobbles from clothes

Get stuck in

Wondering how to get bobbles off jumpers that have delicate decorations on them? The razor and Velcro tricks might not work, but something sticky might.

If the problem area is quite small – like under the arms, where the fibres rub together more – a bit of sticky tape is perfect for getting bobbles off clothes. For larger areas, or whole items of clothing, something like a sticky lint roller might be better suited to removing bobbles from clothes.

How to remove bobbles from clothes

Wash it right

Having covered some easy ways of getting bobbles off clothes, it’s time to think about prevention. If the question of how to get rid of bobbles on clothes comes up a lot in your household, here are a couple of good laundry habits you can get into:

  • Use a wash net for delicate items. They’re easy to find in your local supermarket or pound shop, and reducing the friction in your wash load can reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about how to remove bobbles from clothes.

  • Use fabric conditioner like Comfort Intense at the final stage of your wash. Fabric conditioning coats the fibres of your clothes to keep them soft and prevent bobbles.

  • Air-dry your clothes rather than tumble-drying them. The best way to dry your jumpers is to lie them flat, or hang them on a clothes hanger and cross the arms over the shoulders. Again, tumble-drying clothes leads to friction, which leads to bobbles on clothes.

  • Wash your bobble-prone items inside out. This won’t prevent bobbles on clothes entirely, but it will make sure they mostly happen on the inside of your clothes, so they won’t frustrate you quite so much.

How to remove bobbles from clothes

Using a wide tooth comb to de bobble

Using a fine-tooth comb for de-bobbling clothing is a cost-effective method. Lay the garment on a flat surface, ensuring it's stretched out. Hold the fabric firmly and gently comb the bobbled areas in one direction. The fine teeth of the comb will catch and lift the loose fibers, restoring a smoother texture. Exercise care to avoid snagging or pulling the fabric. This method works well for smaller bobbles and delicate fabrics. Remember to work patiently and gradually, checking your progress as you go, to achieve a renewed appearance without damaging the clothing.

Getting bobbles off clothes couldn’t be simpler, and bobbling is easy to prevent. If you’re interested in learning more about lint – what it is how and how to prevent it – then check out our article on how to remove lint from clothes.

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