Every year when swimsuit season finally rolls around, we gleefully whip out last year’s suits only to find that they’re covered in pilling (and strangely a size or two too small!). If you don’t know what pilling is, it’s when the ugly little bobbles of fabric form on well-worn clothes (via The Spruce). It occurs when clusters of broken or shortened fibers get tangled up into a knot, or a pill. Because the rubbing that happens during normal wear causes pills, they’re frequently found in places that get the most use, such as the armpits of shirts, the middle of bedsheets, or between the thighs of yoga pants.
Because swimsuits are typically made from delicate materials and experience more wear and tear than other items in your closet, the things seemingly always end up with pilling, especially in the booty area. It’s safe to say that no one wants to strut around the pool with discolored balls of fabric hanging off their rear end. So if you want to get another summer out of last season’s bikini, here’s what you can do to effectively get rid of the little buggers.
Chances are, you already own everything you need to make your swimsuit as good as new
Swimsuit 101 provides several different ways of going about this. The first method requires a shaving razor, and it’s best to break out a new one instead of grabbing the gnarly one straight out of your shower. First, splay the suit out on a flat surface. Then, use one hand to keep the fabric flat and the other to gently scrape off the pills with the razor. If the razor becomes filled with pills, take them out carefully before proceeding.
The second option involves using a Velcro strip from a bag, shoe, or hair rollers. You’ll need to spread out the affected area on a flat surface and then place the Velcro over the pills and pull. The sharp strands should latch onto the pills and remove them with ease. But if you don’t have any kids rocking Velcro shoes and threw out your hair curlers circa 2005, you can use an alternative item you’re sure to have handy: a pair of scissors! For this method, you simply cut the pilling out at its base. If you don’t want to end up with a Regina George-style cut-out top, you’ll need to be extra careful with this one. For that reason, the smaller the scissors, the better the results.
Obviously, the easiest thing to do is to prevent pilling in the first place. So if you want to save yourself minutes spent de-pilling, the best thing to do is wash your swimsuit the right way – which includes hand washing and hanging to dry, rather than just tossing your suit in the washer and dryer.
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