How To Get Rid Of Pilling And Fuzzies On Leggings

You grab your favorite leggings and slip them on for the gym only to look down and notice they are covered in pilling and fuzzies. What now? Are they ruined forever? Fortunately, there are ways to remove pilling and fuzzies on leggings, and we've researched the topic in-depth so you don't have to.

Remove pilling and fuzzies on leggings by following the steps below:

  1. Choose a pilling removal tool 
  2. Lay the leggings on a flat surface
  3. Use the tool on the area to remove the pilling and fuzzies
  4. Go over the area with a lint roller (optional)
  5. Take steps to prevent pilling in the future

We've given you the basic steps to remove pilling and fuzzies from your leggings, but keep reading as we elaborate on each one. We'll also answer some other questions you might have about pilling, fuzz balls, and whether they are a sign of bad quality.

A young woman in leggings drinking coffee sitting on the sofa, How To Get Rid Of Pilling And Fuzzies On Leggings

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How do you fix pilling on leggings?

To fix pilling on leggings you simply need to purchase a pilling removal tool to treat your leggings and the area you see the most pilling. Follow the steps below and your leggings will be pilling and fuzzy-free in no time.

Step 1: Choose A Pilling Removal Tool

Modern fabric shaver for lint removing on purple background

The simplest and most effective way to get rid of pilling and fuzzies is to purchase a tool made for the task. There are three main options when it comes to pilling removal tools. You can use a fabric comb, a fabric shaver (pictured above), or a pumice stone.

Fabric Comb

A fabric comb is a small comb that you can brush across your fabric to remove fuzz and lint.

Click here to see Fabric Comb on Amazon.

Fabric Shaver

A fabric shaver can be battery operated and will remove pilling and fuzz from your leggings with a built-in motor. This option has become the preferred method for lots of people.

Click here to see Philips Portable Fabric Shaver on Amazon.

Pumice Stone

A pumice stone will quickly lift away the pilling and fuzz. If you have a cat or dog, it'll also help remove any pet hairs which can sometimes be more frustrating than the pilling itself.

Click here to see Dritz Clothing Care Sweater Stone on Amazon.

Any of these options will help you rid your leggings of pilling, but be sure to read the descriptions of each when browsing your products. This will help you decide which option is best for you. Be careful if you have particularly thin leggings and try a test area first. You don't want to make a hole!

Step 2: Lay The Leggings On A Flat Surface

If you've already put your leggings on, take them right back off. It's easiest to remove the pilling and fuzzies by laying them on a flat surface. If the pilling is near the crotch area, focus on one side, to begin with, and then switch to the other leg. Place them spread out on an ironing board or a table.

Step 3: Use The Tool To Remove The Pilling

Following the directions on your chosen tool begin treating your leggings. If you are using the comb or the pumice, brush the area in a  downwards motion. If you operated for the battery-operated shaver, you can check out this YouTube video below to see how it works! However, if you don't feel like watching the video, gently go over the fabric with the shaver in a small circular motion.

Step 4: Go Over The Leggings With A Lint Roller

While most of the lint was likely removed by the pilling removal tool, you can go over your leggings with a lint brush to remove any remaining finer pieces that might have been left behind.

Click here to see Lint Rollers on Amazon.

Step 5: Prevent Pilling In The Future

You can't always prevent pilling, but if you have leggings that seem to pill way more than others then you should save them for lower impact activities. You'll often notice that pilling occurs most in the crotch area where the fabric can rub against itself. If you plan on going for a run, choose a pair of leggings that are less likely to pill.

You can also prevent pilling by washing your leggings inside out. Try not to overfill your washer as this can prevent constant rubbing in the same place on your leggings. Fewer clothes in the washer mean more room for them to move around. Also, if you can, choose to hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. The dryer can be abrasive to fabric and cause pilling.

Leggings and other clothing items aren't the only things that are susceptible to pilling. You might have noticed your flannel bed sheets have also got those pesky balls of fuzz. Fortunately, there are ways to combat it. Check out our other blog post: "How To Wash And Soften Flannel Sheets To Keep From Pilling" for help.

Is pilling a sign of bad quality?

You might be wondering if your leggings are pilling because you opted for the cheaper pair at the store. However, pilling isn't a sign of bad quality. Pilling just occurs because fibers are looser in certain fabrics and have more opportunity to interact. In fact, if you have a sweater that's more prone to pilling it might be a sign that it is of high quality as more luxurious wools aren't spun as tightly.

What does lululemon do about Pilling?

Lululemon has been around since the late 1990s and has gathered a cult-like following for its leggings. Their high price point might have you believe that problems like pilling might not be an issue with their leggings. However, this is not the case. So what do they do about it if anything at all?

Unfortunately, Lululemon does not allow returns due to pilling. This change to their return policy was added in September 2019. They state that pilling is a non-quality issue. Fortunately, they do offer styles less likely to pill.

So, if you simply must have Lululemon leggings and want to reduce the chance of them pilling you can opt for one of their designs less likely to pill. One Lululemon fan has tested multiple styles of Lululemon leggings to decide which ones pill the least. The user found that Everlux, Nulux, and Swift Lululemon leggings are least likely to pill.

Click here to see LULULEMON Swift Speed Hi-Rise Tight 28" on Amazon.

What causes fuzz balls on leggings?

The fuzzballs you see on your leggings are caused by pilling. It is essentially the same thing. The fuzzballs occur when loose or broken ends of fabric become mangled together to form a ball. This usually occurs because the fabric is rubbing against something else.

You might notice fuzzballs in the crotch area from your thighs rubbing together. You might also notice them on your knees or backside if you are doing a lot of workouts that involve contact with the ground. Pilling and fuzzballs result from normal wear and tear, so don't worry too much if they occur.

How do you get fuzz off leggings?

You've probably realized by now that you can indeed remove fuzz from your leggings. The best way to do so is by following our steps above. If the fuzz is relatively loose, you can also try lint rolling the fuzz away. Remember, if your leggings are made from a pretty thin material, be careful using a fabric shaver because you don't want to create a hole.

Final Thoughts

Pilling and fuzzballs, no matter how many, are not a reason to throw your leggings away. Hopefully, our article has helped you realize you can bring them back to life inexpensively by following our steps above.

Since we're discussing leggings, you might also like this other blog post: "Should Leggings Be Skin-Tight?" Check it out for an interesting read about whether leggings should be skin-tight!

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