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How To Wash Leggings So They Don’t Pill?

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Do your leggings start to pill after multiple washes? Washing leggings seems to require more attention compared to other types of everyday clothing. 

It feels like reading the care label and following the washing instruction is not enough to prevent the pilling from happening. So let’s stop the pill will just a few easy steps.

How do you wash leggings so they don’t pill? Pills happen in the wash due to friction and rubbing with other clothing in the washing machine. Turn the leggings inside out to minimize the direct contact to the surface which can help to prevent pilling. 

Furthermore, wash leggings using cold water, avoid using the dryer and select mild detergent so they don’t pill.

Pills on leggings form when the abrasion or rubbing results in broken or short fibers that get tangled into a yarn balls or knots. 

To wash leggings with no pill, select a wash with cold water and a gentle wash cycle. Also, choosing to hand wash your leggings will significantly lengthen the life expectancy of your favorite leggings. 

In this article, we will investigate what causes leggings to pill in the wash and how to prevent this from happening. If there is already pilling forming, learn the best way to remove them properly instead destroying the leggings. 

Read further to save your favorite pair of leggings from pilling all the time.

What causes leggings to pill in the wash?

The primary cause of leggings to pill in the wash is due to rubbing with other clothes in the appliance. For best results for expensive leggings, put only one pair of legging at a time to avoid creating abrasion with other clothes.

You can select legging material that is likely to pill as compared to other fabrics, but that won’t be guaranteed to work.

After wash cycle, you might have noticed firm and small lint balls on the surface of your leggings, workout garments or sweaters, called pills. They occur due to regular wear and tear. 

The clothing surface fibers attract other loose minor and micro threads and tangle them into a ball in the wash cycle. 

Pills are formed in the regions of clothing with the most abrasion on the leggings like the rear area or between the thighs. It also attracts other loose threads during a wash that can make other clothing start pilling as well.

Can a washing machine cause pilling?

Yes, the swishing motion within a washing machine can result in pilling. This is because the tumbling movement can cause the rubbing of fabrics and garments against each other, resulting in pilling.

Even when the garment is inside out and popped into the wash, there can be pilling, not as much as outside in. They are not so visible as well with the leggings turned inside-out. 

For best results, use a cold water wash and do not overload the washing machine. 

Let the clothes have space to move so that the rubbing is minimized with less or no friction. Sort your clothes and wash them in small batches. 

Also, wash lint givers separately and lint takers separately like cotton, fleece and towels do not gel well with corduroy or polar fleece. 

Turn your garments inside out before washing, and use mild homemade detergent instead of bleach. By proper washing and handling, pills can be minimized.

Does washing leggings inside out prevent pilling?

If you turn your leggings inside out and wash them, the fabric outer is not rubbing with other clothes. This can potentially minimize the contact of the legging with other pilling fabrics. 

The pills on the legging will be still there, but minimized and accumulated on the inside area of the garment.

By turning the leggings inside out, you protect the garment from rubbing and enhance pilling too. Synthetic fibers are pilling prone and when washing with other synthetic blends can enhance pilling. 

The friction is reduced to the external surface of the leggings when washed inside out. This also makes the clothes cleaner and it prolongs the life of your leggings. 

Clothing fibers that tend to break or fray can result in pilling. When turned inside-out, leggings and any other garment can avoid getting frayed or the fibers being broken.

How do you remove pilling from leggings?

The most efficient way to remove pilling from leggings is to use fuzz remover, fabric comb or a battery-operable pill remover to shave the fuzz or pills from the exterior surface on the leggings. 

The knotted fibers are pulled away making it look cleaner and pill-free.

The other method to remove pilling from leggings is by pull the taut or knot over on a curved surface and then snip the pill with sharp sewing scissors. You can also shave the leggings surface with a safety razor, however some caution should be maintained to not overdo it and do not press more than required.

How do you stop leggings from pilling?

Seeing the pilling happening around crotches or inside seam of leggings may look horrifying. Removing the pills using a fabric shaver is an option, however the more you shave, the more they form. 

Eventually, the leggings lose their new and fresh look. With these helpful cleaning tips, you can stop leggings from pilling.

Tips to prevent leggings from pilling

  • Rest your leggings in between the time of wear. Too much wearing over and over can also result in pilling because regular wearing can result in stretching of fibers and eventually breaking or chipping them. When the damaged fibers get tangled, pills form when washing.
  • Carrying backpacks/purses or accessories that rub against your legging can result in pilling as they cause movement and hence friction.
  • Limit the friction on your leggings to avoid pilling. These can include sliding on the floor, sitting over rough areas, crawling on knees, rubbing stains, coming in contact with Velcro, and so on.
  • When you are washing leggings, flip them inside out to avoid the rubbing of the leggings with the swishing motion of the washing machine to minimize pill formation.
  • Place the leggings in a garment bag and tie them up before popping them into a wash cycle.
  • Hand-wash pilling-prone leggings for extended life expectancy.
washing leggings no pill

Stop Pills on Leggings: Final Thoughts

Washing leggings to avoid pilling from happening requires more attention. Due to multiple wears, extended washing and added use can result in the pilling of your leggings, especially more so with improper washing methods. 

Refer to care label, do not overcrowd the washer and use cold water with gentle cycle setting. Flip the legging inside out to minimize the direct contact with other garment. 

Also, using mild detergent is highly recommended. Try to avoid the dryer, and  instead air dry with indirect sunlight

If you start seeing pilling happening along the crotch or inner legs, use a sharp razor or scissors to gently remove them, however use it wisely. The more you remove them due to broken fibers, you will see more pilling developed on the same spot. 

Instead prior to pilling, take care your favorite pair of legging with these simple legging cleaning tips. 

Dealing with pill on leggings or any clothes, it not pleasant. The general rule of thumb is to give your leggings a minimum of a day to rest to get back into their initial shapes, and then wear them again so you don’t need to worry about pilling.

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