3 Easy Ways To Stop Socks From Pilling

Wearing socks is an everyday occurrence for most people, and with wear have you noticed that your pair of socks start pilling? Why is this? Pilling occurs from wear, washing and materials used to produce the socks.

Here Is 3 Easy Ways To Stop Socks From Pilling:

If you are wanting to stop your socks from pilling, try:
Add Vinegar to your wash
Wash your socks inside out
Use a gentle detergent while washing

Below we have explained why socks get lint balls, including the three easy was to stop socks form pilling and if your socks already have lint balls what to do to remove them from your socks. Thanks for reading.

Why Do Socks Get Lint Balls?

Lint balls are extremely common, but also extremely frustrating. When you take your socks out of the washing machine and find that they’ve started to accumulate lint balls, there seems to be no way to remove them. This process of fibres forming tight balls on the surface of your garments is called ‘pilling’.

When your garments undergo strenuous processes like washing, drying and being worn, the fragile fibres inside them start to break down. These broken fibres then collect together on the surface of the garments, forming hard little balls of lint that are difficult to remove. These lint balls can ruin the appearance of a garment, especially because pulling them off can distress the fibres even more.

Socks are some of the worst offenders for pilling because they are such small garments, so the breaking down of fibres after you wash and dry them is more noticeable. Of course, your socks need to be washed just like any other garment, and they need to be washed after every wear in order to get rid of sweat, stains and odours. However, this also means that they are more likely to get lint balls.

The daily friction that your socks experience against your feet and your shoe soles can also speed up the pilling process. The harder that the delicate fibres in them are worked, the more likely that they are to break and form hard lint balls. If you notice your socks starting to become fuzzy or fluffy, either inside or out, then they are probably starting to go through the pilling process.

As soon as you notice even one lint ball on a sock, you should take action, otherwise more will quickly build up and become even trickier to remove. Try to identify what you think might be the main cause of any damage or friction, then work out a potential solution that will work for you.

Most importantly, don’t give up on your lint-covered socks because there are several ways to discourage pilling and also get rid of the lint balls that have already formed.

Ways To Stop Socks From Pilling

Add Vinegar To Your Wash

When it comes to stopping your socks from pilling, some solutions are stranger than others. One of those stranger solution is actually vinegar! It might sound unrealistic, but adding a little vinegar to your laundry as it goes through a rinse cycle is a great way to remove lint from your socks and also prevent any from shedding in the first place.

A cup of distilled white vinegar truly can work magic when it comes to getting rid of lint balls and stopping any more of them from forming. It works to help loosen the lint by relaxing the fibres, which encourages the balls to move away from the fabric of your socks.

This process of relaxing the fibres during a washer cycle so that the lint comes away naturally is also much kinder to the fabric than attempting to rip the balls off with your hands when the socks are dry. And if your socks don’t have any pills on them, the vinegar will keep the fibres soft and relaxed, which will prevent shedding.

It is recommended that you try this method on a rinse wash, after having thoroughly washed your socks first in a laundry load to ensure that they are clean. You don’t need to use any detergent or washing powder for this second cycle because you won’t need to clean your socks; you just need to keep the lint from shedding.

Once you’ve got the machine ready, throw in your one cup of distilled white vinegar, as well as a bit of fabric softener. The movements of the washing machine should encourage the lint balls to start moving away from the fabric of your socks, allowing the vinegar to get at them and relax them. It is also recommended that you add a microfibre cloth to the cycle too because the displaced lint balls will be drawn to them instead of your other socks.

By the end of the rinse cycle, the lint balls on your socks should have either come away entirely, or be loosened to a point where you can gently remove them yourself without ripping them away.

Check all of your socks for any lingering lint balls while they’re still fresh out of the machine, then hang them up to dry. This vinegar rinse method is great for both when your socks have pills on them and when they don’t because it prioritises caring for the fibres.

Wash Inside-Out

Though the vinegar rinse wash can help to reverse the effects of pilling on your socks, you’ll then be left trying to think of other ways to stop pilling from actually happening in the first place. One option that you have is to start washing your socks inside-out, protecting the outside of the fabric from the roughness and friction of the washing machine. Although, this may still cause lint balls to form inside your socks.

Lint balls ruin the look of your socks if they form on the outsides of them, but this isn’t a problem for the insides, so washing them inside-out is one of the easiest ways to preserve your socks. If you think that your socks are starting to pill, turning them inside-out before you wash them will help to prevent it from getting any worse.

There are other benefits to turning your socks inside-out in the washing machine as well. Specifically, this will make it easier for the water and detergent to remove oils, bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat and odours from where your socks have been in contact with your feet for hours. The better cared for your socks are, the better they will look, without any pesky stains or lint balls on them.

Use A Gentle Wash Cycle

The kindest way to wash your clothes is on a gentle wash cycle because they won’t be thrown around as much, or subjected to high heats that might compromise the shapes and sizes of each garment. Socks are quite durable in the washing machine, but a gentle cycle will still help to ease the pilling process. After all, pilling is caused by friction and movement that distresses fabric fibres, so lessening both of those things offers great protection.

You should also choose a lower spin cycle to go with your gentle wash cycle because the spin at the end can cause a lot of distress to fibres too. As socks are such small garments, they should be treated as delicate, especially since they don’t need a very hot wash or fast spin cycle to get thoroughly cleaned. Washing them gently will prevent the fibres from tearing inside your socks and forming hard lint balls.

Encouraging your socks and other garments not to shed a lot of lint is also helpful when it comes to preserving your washing machine. Loose bits of lint can get stuck to the inside of the machine, or, worse, to other garments that you put in it afterwards. A gentle wash will minimise any shedding that does occur.

Another tip is to avoid washing all of your socks in one laundry, something that can be easily achieved if your socks aren’t all the same colour! This will allow you to spread them out and avoid lots of lint accumulating in one load. This is also something that you should try to do with other garments that are liable to shed lint, which will lead to more pilling.

What If I Already Have Lint Balls On My Socks?

Use A Fabric Shaver To Remove Them

Lint balls shouldn’t be removed by hand because you could end up causing more damage to your socks, so a fabric shaver is the perfect alternative. This device will carefully work away at the lint, loosening it without damaging the fibres that are still attached to your socks. Like the vinegar rinse method, this will encourage the lint balls to detach by themselves, without using any rough force.

The razor blades in a fabric shaver are fast and precise, targeting areas of fabric affected by pilling without digging any deeper into the fibres themselves. With the damaged balls of fabric removed, your socks should feel much smoother and softer. To use a fabric shaver, simply move it across your socks as you would move a razor across your skin to remove hairs.

However, if you don’t own a fabric shaver, you could use one of a few alternative options. As well as a vinegar rinse, there are other ways to remove tough lint balls, such as a strip of masking tape to encourage them away, or a lint roller. But whichever method you choose, removing lint balls from your socks should always be done as gently and carefully as possible, otherwise you’ll end up damaging even more of those delicate fibres.

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