No matter what your clothes are made from, they are all susceptible to a certain amount of snagging, pilling, and pulling. However, you can slow this process down significantly by taking certain precautions as you do your laundry at the laundromat. Below, you will find several proven methods that reduce these issues.

Turn Your Clothes Inside Out Before Washing Them

This is a simple but very effective laundry trick you can use to reduce pilling on the outside of your sweaters, shirts, blouses, skirts, and slacks where it would be most noticed. Pilling is caused by rubbing and friction as the individual fibers break or fray and then ball up. Although pilling tends to occur more frequently in synthetic fibers, it can occur to a lessor degree in natural fibers as well. The less friction generated against the surface of your materials, the less pilling they will accrue.

When doing laundry, turning clothes inside out also helps prevent buttons, zippers, sequins, beads, embroidery, patches, lace, ties, bows, and other raised decorations on your materials from getting snagged. It will also help prevent small imperfections in materials that you may not have even noticed from snagging and/or pulling and becoming much larger problems. Belt loops, collars, and pockets are also less likely to snag and pull.

Wash Laundry On Delicate Cycle With Delicate Detergent

This is another way you can reduce friction and rubbing on clothes like sweaters and knit blouses that are more susceptible to pilling. The delicate cycle agitates for less time than a regular cycle and the overall length of the wash is reduced as well.
In general, liquid detergents are less abrasive on clothing than powders. If you do use powders, be absolutely sure to allow the powders to fully dissolve before loading your more delicate clothing because powders can be very abrasive (think about how Ajax cleans a sink!). Additionally, some liquid detergents, such as Woolite, are less harsh and will not fray your fibers that lead to pilling as much.

Use Mesh Bags

Putting your clothing in mesh bags during washing and/or drying reduces the friction your garments receive. Mesh bags also prevent buttons and other items on your clothing from snagging. It is better to buy several smaller mesh bags than a single large one. This is because you want to put only one large item or two small items into a single mesh bag. Otherwise, the water will not be able to flow in and out well enough to give your garment a good washing.

Use Cold Water Washes

It is a proven fact that cold water gets clothing just as clean as hot water. On the other hand, hot water can wear out fibers more quickly than cold water, making your clothing more susceptible to pilling and pulling.

Don't Hang Heavy Sweaters On Hangers

Some people prefer not to put their sweaters in the dryer. This is probably a good idea but you should be sure not to hang heavy sweaters, especially wet ones, on hangers as this will pull the material out of its intended form. For the same reason, for all sweaters and heavier items, you should use padded hangers if you must hang the garment. Otherwise, lay them out flat to dry on a towel if wet or fold them neatly if dry.

Don't Mix Delicate Items With Towels and Jeans

If you mix a sweater that tends to pill with a material that is abrasive, you will get much more pilling! Towels and jeans tend to be quite abrasive on sweaters and delicate blouses and shirts so it is best not to mix them during washing or drying. In other words, it's better to use an extra washing machine and dryer at the laudromat to keep them separate.

Don't Mix Loose Weaves With Buttons

Loose weaves can become easily snagged on buttons and other items. Therefore, it is a good idea to separate these items from the rest of your garments or be very careful about what you mix them with.

Final Thoughts on Laundry Best Practices

Even though you may need to spend more time and a little more money on using more washers and dryers at the laundromat, the money you will save by extending the life of your clothing will be well worth it. Also, this extra time and small investment on extra washers and dryers will extend the life of your favorite garments, so often irreplaceable!


Sudsy Water is Harlem NYC’s leading provider of laundry and dry cleaning services. For more information about laundry and dry cleaning pick-up services offered by Sudsy Water Laundry & Dry Cleaning, call 347-366-8079 or book reservations online 24/7!