It's easy, affordable and surprisingly fun to use.
Nothing's more frustrating than finding your favorite sweater covered in unsightly pill balls. While there are certain things you can do to prevent pilling in the first place – e.g. checking the labels while shopping to avoid blends with multiple fibers – your best bet is to use a fabric shaver once you've spotted the pills. These handy gadgets give you an easy and affordable way to save your sweaters and sofas from fuzz, lint and pill balls.
The Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Appliance and Cleaning Products Lab tested 18 different pill removers, ranging from motorized electric shavers to simpler tools like fabric combs and pumice stones. Each fabric shaver was lab tested on rayon-polyester blend fabrics after 15 wash and dry cycles to create the worst possible pilling scenario. The picks ahead are top tested options along with newer models that have rave reviews from real users.
While they're fairly easy to use, pill removers should be handled with care so you don't damage the fabric. "For the best results, you need to hold the fabric taut," advises Carolyn Forte, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Cleaning Lab. "If you don't and it bunches up, that's when it gets nicked."
There are several types of pill removers to chose from, but the most popular ones are the battery-operated fabric shavers with a built-in motor. These are most effective and are ideal for both clothing and couches. Manual options like sweater combs and pumice stones are more compact and don't require batteries, but they take longer to remove pills.
Here are the best fabric shavers to buy now to treat pilling: