How to Remove Pilling from Flannel Sheets

How to Remove Pilling from Flannel Sheets?

The best flannel sheets always become the first pick during wintertime. Not only it gives you a warm and cozy experience, but you can easily use it for an extended period of time if you maintain it properly.

Since it is made of natural cotton fiber, you will notice that the surface of your sheets is getting lumpy with time. These are known as ‘Pills’, and if you don’t solve the problem immediately, you will be in jeopardy.

Now, you might ask yourself, ‘How to remove pilling from flannel sheets?’ If you feel overwhelmed with this issue, you will be happy to know that we have covered it for you in this article. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive right into it.

What Is Pilling?

Pilling is small-sized threaded balls that form on the flannel sheets. After it has appeared on your cotton sheets, you will experience more of this problem when you wash the fabric.

As the washing process is a bit rough, you have to be mentally prepared that this situation will happen.

What Causes It?

Researchers have said that pilling forms when the small threads present in the sheets start to disassemble. This happens because of internal friction, and you can’t prevent it from happening.

Whenever you become comfortable in your bed with these sheets, your body weight and movement initiate the friction. You might not notice the pilling immediately, but you will find it out after washing and drying the sheets. The small threads twist with each other and form knots.

When you touch it, you will feel the bumps present on the sheet’s surface, and unfortunately, this can ruin your sleep. If you don’t take the problem seriously, the material will start getting thin. The situation can become so intense that a hole can form in your beloved sheet.

To increases its longevity, you should care for them as your other belongings.

The Step-by-Step Process

Here, we have included a very easy guideline that you can follow to get the job done. Check it out.

Things Needed

  • Scissors or razor
  • Washing machine
  • White vinegar

Step 1: Take the Sheets Out from Your Bed

First things first, you must take the sheets out from your bed. Do it slowly and gently, or else you will end up ripping it.

Fold them nicely, and take them to another room where you will do the work. After that, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Use White Vinegar

Please don’t use laundry detergent for this purpose because it won’t decrease or eliminate the pilling problem. Instead, it would be best if you went for the white vinegar.

Wash the sheets with a single cup of high-quality white vinegar. This ingredient is potent and can eliminate pilling easily. Moreover, it makes sure you don’t experience this issue in the future.

Step 3: Go to the Rinse Cycle and Add Vinegar

This step is critical, so you must be careful throughout the whole process. Go to your washing machine and take a half cup of vinegar. Then, slowly add it to the rinse cycle.

Step 4: Start Cutting the Pills

When everything is all done, you are now left with the exposed pills. Since it is more visible than usual, you won’t have a problem cutting it manually. You can cut it with scissors. If you don’t have one, you can use a razor.

Now, take the sheet and stretch it gently. It would be best if you did it on a smooth and even surface. When you are done with the stretching part, take the cutting equipment and shave the pills one by one.

Be mentally prepared that it will cost you time. If you are in a hurry, it is recommended that you finish the task the next day.


Please have a look at our tips, as these will help you out in the long run. Keep reading.

Tip 1: Avoid Purchasing Low-quality Flannel Sheets

If you are on a low budget, don’t purchase the low-quality flannel sheet. This will be a wrong decision, and you will surely regret it in the future.

Thankfully, the high-quality ones are not expensive as the manufacturer made sure everyone can use them without thinking about money issues. Though you have to add a little bit of extra cash to have it in your arsenal, you should consider going for it.

If possible, wait for some time and then add some cash to your current budget. In this way, you won’t have a problem buying the best quality flannel sheets vs fleece.

Tip 2: If You Use the Flannel Pillowcases, Turn Them Inside Out During Washing

Friction is the main culprit behind the pilling problem. Whether you rub the sheets against your body or wash them in the washing machine, you have to go through this issue at some point.

If you are using flannel pillowcases, and plan to wash them, make sure you turn them inside out. Plus, adjust the washing machine’s settings in a way that provides a gentle and smooth cycle.

This is a strategic approach because it allows the pillowcase to go through less friction when it is getting washed, resulting in less pilling.

Tip 3: Never Wash It with Hot Water

Always wash the flannel sheets in cool water. You can even use warm water, but don’t use hot water as it will expose the fiber to start forming pills.

Tip 4: Put Your Faith in the White Vinegar All the Time

If someone suggests you use fabric softener (liquid form) for the washing machine’s rinse cycle, don’t fall for that trap. It won’t soften the sheets and instead makes the fiber weak. As a result, it heavily increases the chances of pilling.

So, put your faith in the white vinegar when it comes to dealing with the pilling issues.


How to remove pilling from flannel sheets is not a mystery anymore, thanks to this article. Now, you know what to do and what not to do.

Read the whole thing a couple of times and take notes of the important areas.

Best of luck!

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