How To Fix A Pilled Sweater in 5 Minutes With Two Things You Already Have in Your House

The best part about having a friend that you have known all your life, or is as close to you as a sister would be (if you had a sister), is that she can tell you anything – no holds barred. Such is the friendship I have with my bestie. Not only do we tell each other when one has something in her teeth, but we will pick it out for the other. We are not beyond being brutally honest if it’s in the best interest of the other’s well-being – be it appearance, health, or otherwise. So when my new sweater, after only a few wearings was covered in a pilled mess, she was the first (and only) person to let me know that I need to fix it, and fix it fast.

I’m not the kind of person who needs a gadget for every need, but my bestie has a tool for every need. She probably has the best kitchen gadgets for someone who spends so little time in the kitchen (I just love her mini scoops for candy dishes). When she was getting married, she registered for a waffle iron (how often does a non-cook/cereal addict actually use a waffle iron?).

It’s not that I don’t like the newest gadget, it’s that I don’t want to wait long enough to fix the problem to get the right tool, and I like the challenge of using what I have to fix an issue. If I don’t have screwdriver handy, I use a coin (did you know you can do that with screws that require a flat head screwdriver?) and if I don’t have the “pilled sweater removal tool” that she has, I accept the challenge to come up with something else to do the job.

Her “pilled sweater removal tool” looks like the electric razor my grandfather used to use, and I just didn’t have something like that around. So I pulled my Gillette Venus razor from Costco out of the shower and tried it out. Just before shaving my sweater, I considered for a moment that it could damage this cashmere beauty, but I put the thought out of my head and in my kamikaze way, I got to work as a pill remover.

I took the razor, along with a sticky lint roller to a flat surface and laid out the sweater. I shaved the sweater in one direction; from shoulder to waist in a downward stroke. I followed the direction of the weave of the sweater, so to continue that on the arms (everything was pilled!), I shaved from armpit to wrist. I wouldn’t suggest going against the weave for fear of catching a stitch and pulling the sweater fibers out of place.

As the pills came free, some stuck to the razor while the rest balled up on the sweater. The best way to collect them was to use the lint roller to pick them up. The roller itself won’t remove the pills, but it will removed the pills that have been shaved from the sweater and left behind by the razor. You could sit and pile up the pills, but I found it faster using sheet after sheet of my little lint roller to help the process along.

In the end though, it was worth the ten minutes; my sweater looks as good as new.

Once the sweater was completely de-pilled, I removed the blade from my razor and stored it away for the next de-pilling session. Consider it a razor blade upcycle!


I am so grateful to have my bestie in my life – now I won’t be walking around for the rest of the winter in a new sweater that looks old. And how did I repay the favor? I promised her that I would pluck her chin hairs for her when we are old and in the nursing home together; it was the least that I could do!

Originally posted at Beth’s blog

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