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How Can Lint Balls on Pants Be Prevented?

By Kimbry Parker ; Updated July 18, 2017

Lint balls on clothing -- sometimes referred to as pills -- show up when fabrics rub against each other during laundering and everyday wear. Pilling from normal wear is often unavoidable, but proper laundering techniques can help you prevent lint balls on pants.

  1. Turn the pants inside out before washing and drying to minimize pilling. Wash the pants on a short wash cycle -- such as the gentle cycle -- and take them out of the dryer promptly.

  2. Put your pants inside a mesh laundry bag before tossing them in the wash. The bag still allows the pants to get clean, but helps to protect them from other items in the washer that may transfer lint balls.

  3. Avoid overfilling your washing machine. Put only enough clothes in the washer so that they can all move around freely. Preventing the garments from tightly rubbing against each other will reduce pilling.

  4. Put a piece of nylon netting in the dryer with your lint-prone pants. Nylon netting will hit the pants during the drying cycle, knocking off the lint balls that formed during washing. Buy nylon netting at most craft or fabric stores.

  5. Tip

    If your jeans are already covered in lint balls, use a lint roller or wrap thick tape around your hand with the sticky side facing out and use it to remove the pills. You can also gently shave the balls off using a sharp, clean razor, but be careful not to press too hard or you risk damaging the fabric.

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