The worst thing that can happen to your favorite sweater is that it eventually develops pilling which leaves it unsightly and no longer as beautiful as it had once been. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you are preventing pilling during laundry cycles. Simply follow the tips that follow.
The number one thing that you can do to prevent pilling is to use laundry detergent that is intended for sensitive fabrics. Standard detergents are extremely harsh on soft fabrics as they are formulated to cut through tough stains and grease. As long as you take great care to ensure that you do not heavily soil your garments that are at risk of pilling you can easily use a detergent that simply washes out the small amount of soiling that comes with regular wear.
It is especially important to not use detergent that comes in a powder form. These are difficult to dissolve in the wash and act like sand against your clothing. Most clothing can handle this, but soft fabrics that are often used in sweaters can not. If you must use a powdered detergent be sure to fill the washer with warm water and add the detergent before adding any clothing. This increases the chances that it will dissolve and not be as harsh on your clothing.
In addition to using detergents that are intended for sensitive fabrics, but it is also best to always wash these items on the delicate cycle. This cycle uses less agitation, which reduces the chances that the garments will be damaged in any way, including pilling. If your washing machine does not have this cycle you may want to consider washing them by hand to extend their life.
Another tip is to allow these garments to dry on a clothes line instead of putting them in a dryer. Dryers are a wonderful invention as they greatly reduce the time it takes to dry clothing, but the high heat that is used can be very damaging to certain kinds of fabrics. If you do not like to air dry your clothing you can dry them in a dryer on the lowest heat setting available. They may not last as long as they would otherwise, but it is better than drying them on a full heat setting.
One easy trick is to ensure that you turn the garments inside out before you wash them. This will reduce the friction applied to the outside of the fabric while it is going through the wash cycle, which then will reduce the chances that it will pill. It is a good idea to make this a habit with all of your laundry so that you do not forget when it comes to your sensitive garments.
It is also important to take great care with these documents when you are wearing them. If at all possible you should try not to wear any other clothing over them, including a jacket. The friction of other clothing against them can make them prone to pill. You also want to take care not to rub the clothing against itself or against other objects. This can be difficult at first as most people rub their arms against their sides while walking. Changing this habit can prove challenging, but if you want your garments to last the effort is well worth the results.
Finally, the easiest way of preventing pilling during laundry cycles of these sensitive garments is to wash them less frequently than you would wash your other clothing items. Americans tend to wash their clothes every time they are worn, but that simply is not necessary. For example, if you are wearing such an article of clothing to work in an office environment, they are not likely becoming very dirty at all. If the garment is a sweater you can simply wear a shirt underneath to ensure that it does not encounter any body odor or oils. Just as you would wear a jacket many times before washing it you can do the same with a sweater.
As long as you take it off when you get home and put it away, whether it be on a hanger or in a drawer, it is most likely perfectly fine to be worn multiple times before it really needs to be washed. There are even sprays that are gentle on fabrics that help to remove any odors that may be present. Not only will this reduce the chances that the item will pill, but it will also help it to maintain its color and softness. It may seem odd to not wash it every time that you wear it, but that really is something that only became common place when washing machines were invented. Before that very few people were able to wash their clothing on a daily basis.
Preventing pilling during laundry cycles is really quite easy as long as you follow the tips that were given above. It may take some time for you to make them habit, but working to do so will greatly extend the life of your clothing. Nothing is worse when it comes to your favorite items than to find that they are no longer wearable due to the unsightly pills that develop on them over time. Keep these tips in mind so your favorite item can last for years to come.