How to Remove Buttons from Clothing

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Buttons can easily be removed with a few simple snaps of the thread.
Buttons can easily be removed with a few simple snaps of the thread. (Image: Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski)

The sweater is garbage, but it’s buttons are still cool. Or perhaps it’s the other way around, and your sweater came with chintzy buttons you want to replace. Whatever the case, you can remove buttons from clothes neatly and without ripping up the garment with a few simple steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Stitch remover
  • Scissors
  • Small container for removed buttons

Flip the garment inside out so the back of the fabric where the button is knotted is exposed.

Use a stitch remover, or other very sharp, small item, to break the thread at the base of the knot.

Flip the garment over, using the stitch remover to also break the threads on the front near the base of the button.

Gently pull the button off the garment and place in a small container.

Carefully pull out and snip away any unwanted threads that linger.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some clothing may have small buttons on the back to secure the larger buttons. Remove those first using the same methods.
  • Don’t just yank at the buttons unless you like holes in your clothes.

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