How to Stop Pilling of Towels

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Towels get a lot of wear and tear, but you can avoid letting them shed all over.
Towels get a lot of wear and tear, but you can avoid letting them shed all over. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

If you've ever dried your hands on a towel and come away with lint all over your hands, you've probably wondered if there is a way to stop the towel from pilling so much. Pilling is most common on towels made from very short fibers, as well as those made of fibers that break easily. The washing and drying process often exacerbates the damage, and adjusting the way that you wash and dry your towels can reduce pilling to some degree.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 capful fabric softener
  • Nylon netting
  • Lint roller or masking tape

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Add 1/2 capful of fabric softener to an average load of laundry before beginning the washing cycle. Continue with the cycle.

Clean out the lint filter in your dryer after each use, as well as any area around it that contains lint.

Add a large section of nylon netting to the load, and place it in the dryer. (The netting knocks against the towels, removing some of the loose pills.)

Tumble dry the load, making sure the temperature of the dryer is at a warm setting.

Remove the towels from the dryer and use a lint roller to lift off the remaining loose pills. Alternatively, wrap a length of masking tape around your hand, sticky side up and press it onto the towel repetitively.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you purchase towels, choose those with the label "combed cotton." These towels are made with the longest and most durable fibers, but they may be more expensive than other towels.
  • Do not use too much fabric softener in the load. Doing so can affect the towel's absorbency.
  • Do not over-dry the towels.

References

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