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How to remove pilling from carpet

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Pilling, also referred to as “bobbles, fuzzing, shedding or hairs” are very small bobs on top of fabric. These are partly pulled fibers from the carpet that have clogged together to form a small ball of fibers that is stuck by a few fibers. These can make a piece of carpet looks very messy. Removing them is not difficult, but time consuming.


Why remove pilling

Pilling often happens with pieces of fabric that are made from long strings of fabric, such as a woolen sweater or a high pile carpet. Some of the strings are pulled loose from the backing, or get loose from the twisted string it’s made from. The loose fibers get tangled up together and form a small ball of tangled up strings. These look messy and out of place. They can also cause other things to get stuck to them, or they fall off and get stuck to other things.


A trimmer that men use to trim their beards can be used. You can either use the divider to keep a safe distance from the other fibers, but can sometimes also be used without the divider. The cutting blades are stronger than those of a hair-clipper, and will easily cut through the fibers. This can be a very effective method, however it might not work very good with an uneven surface. Car should be taken as well, because it is easy to cut into the carpet, creating irreparable damage.


A razorblade works very good at de-pilling a carpet as well. Because of the price, the most common choice is to go for disposable razors. These are used on the carpet to cut off the fibers at a certain length. The razor might not last very long, because the fibers of the carpet are quite rough and quickly dull the blade. Disposable razor blades are a fairly cheap option.


If the pills are big enough, a scissor can be used to cut the pills at length. A piece of tape can be used to pull them straight up while the scissors cut them at length. This might be more time consuming, but works great at difficult to work with shapes like corners.

pumice stone

If a bit of rough work is allowed, a pumice stone might be a fast option. The stone can be rubbed over the surface to literally pull the pills from the carpet. The rough surface of the pumice stone will get the pills get caught, you then pull the pills out to remove pilling. This technique is not very recommended on sensitive carpets or at places that are often in sight. It might leave a slightly rough finish that could use a bit of refining.

Fabric shaver

These electric devices can be compared with an electric shaver for men. Except the openings on the bottom are a bit bigger and the blades might be bigger. The devices has hole for the pills to get through where a blade cuts them off. It is a similar technique as the razor blade, but with less physical effort. A quality fabric shaver can work properly, the cheaper ones often get dull blades quickly are simply hardly remove anything. Because of the grid on the bottom, they are quite safe to use.

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