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How to remove pilling from couch quickly and effectively

How to remove pilling from couch quickly and effectively

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After a while, your fabric couch may start to look like a colony of lint balls are forming all over it.  And while those pills are not harmful they are very annoying.  They aren’t pretty to look at either.  They make your couch look run-down and untidy.  I am gonna share some simple ways to get rid of those lint balls.

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How to remove pilling from both upholstered furniture

The easiest way I found to de-pill my couch and throw pillows is by using a fabric shaver.  This handy little tool does all the work and makes cleaning up the mess a breeze.  

Let me explain how a fabric shaver works.  The shaver has a rotating blade that spins and removes the balls of fabric but cutting it right off.  What is so convenient about a fabric shaver is that it comes with a blade cover which prevents you from damaging your furniture.  

Some fabric shavers come with multiple blade covers to allow you a closer shave or for a better de-pilling on some fabrics. But the point is that the shaver gently and quickly removes fuzz balls and unsightly pilling.

The fabric shaver I have is the Evercare Gentle Fabric Shaver.  My model is older now but this link will take you to the newest one.

Remove pilling steps:

Step 1: Place your pillow or fabric on a flat surface if possible.  And for couches try to smooth the surface flat by using your hand to help make it taunt. 

Step 2: Remove the blade guard from your shaver and make sure the removable waste bin is attached.

Step 3: I like to use a circular motion and hover over the fabric to be sure to get all the pills removed.  

Step 4: Once you’re done shaving you can follow up with a lint roller to make sure all the fuzz balls come off

Step 5: Empty your shaver and enjoy your renew couch and pillows


What causes pilling on fabric?

So if you are wondering if there is something that you are doing wrong to your couch.  The answer to this question is no.  

Fabric pilling is a natural occurrence and happens at different lengths of time depending on the type of fabric you have.  

But the cause of it is from the friction of the fibers.  It’s not necessarily damaging to your furniture.

How do I stop my furniture from Pilling?

The truth is you can’t prevent it all you will do it have to treat it when it happens.  But it’s known that natural fabrics will tend to pill less than synthetic fibers.  It all has to do with their makeup.

What are the best tools for pilling? 

While the pilling shaver I mention above is certainly not the only tool you can use.  It’s the best one I have found and easiest.  And it’s the cleanest option.  But I wanted to share some other options that you might find helpful.

Option One: Cheap shaver 

Personally I am not a fan of just using the shaver but it works.  However, it needs to be like the cheap dollar store kind.  The other kinds of razors with gel and skin protectant aren’t good. 

The way to use the shaver method is to pull your article taut and then shave in a downward direction.

You will see the pill start to come off and gather.  To me this is a bit messy but perfect hack for on the go emergencies or when you can’t travel with your fabric shaver.

Option two: Handheld lint remover 

This little gadget I have never used full disclosure.  And I was skeptical about it.  Based on the reviews I found people said it snagged their clothes and ripped through the weave of some fabrics.  

However, due to the nature of a couch and couch pillows.  People did say they found success on their couches and carpets especially for dog hair.  It is an option and the price tag on one of these is around $12 on Amazon.  Again based on the reviews I would just say beware.

Option three: Gleener Ultimate Fuzz Remover Fabric Shaver & Lint Brush

This eco-friendly motorless shaver is my second top choice when it comes to removing pills.  However it is labor intensive.  So it will take a longer process to remove the lint.  

It has removable heads to adjust to the type of fabric which is one of the things I like and I love the fact that I can use the other side to remove lint off.

Helpful tips when deciding to de-pill your couch

Before using any method I mention above consider the following: 

  • Always test inconspicuous part of the couch just in case 
  • Be gentle when using any lint remover 
  • When using a lint remover around seams as they can pull-them apart and damage stitching 
  • Adjust your pressure when using any defuzzer

After you have shaved every part of your upholstered couch you will find such great satisfaction and a re-new love for it.  There is no set timeline on how often you should be de-pilling your couch because it depends on the type of fabric and usage.  

Personally, I look for signs or you could just make it a part of a regular Spring cleaning routine.  Maybe every 6 months.  

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