How to Get Pills Off Sweaters With Pumice Stone

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Soft, warm, comfortable and stylish -- these are the words that should describe your favorite sweater. “Covered in pills” should not be on that list. But no matter the quality or cost of the sweater, those hard, tiny balls of fabric happen. Pills accumulate in the areas where the sweater sees the most friction -- generally the arms and sides of the garment. Whether it's a pricey cashmere cardigan or a polo you picked up at the thrift store, de-pilling your favorite fuzzy top is cheap and quick with the help of a pumice stone designed for sweaters.

Lay the sweater flat on a clean surface.

Try the pumice stone on a small, indiscreet section of your sweater to ensure that you receive the desired result before expanding to a wider area.

Brush the flat side of the pumice in one gentle motion over the pills on your sweater. Brush in one direction.

Remove the ball of sweater fuzz that accumulates from brushing and toss it in the trash.


Pumice stones designed for sweater de-pilling are often sold at department, fabric, specialty and online stores, as well at as some drug stores and stores specializing in linens and housewares. Prices vary depending on the size and brand of the stone. Some stones cost as much as $20, but many stones are available for under $5.

Softer sweaters and sweaters made from natural fibers are more likely to pill than those of man-made and acrylic fibers.

When you send your sweaters to the dry cleaner, ask about de-pilling. Many dry cleaners include this service with no extra charge as part of the dry-cleaning process.


After using de-pilling pumice stones, some users report minor damage to their sweaters from some products. Compare de-pilling pumice stones by reading online customer reviews before you buy one.

Although it's possible to de-pill a sweater with a general pumice stone designed for household cleaning, damage to the sweater may be more likely to occur. If you decide to use a regular pumice stone, proceed with caution on a seldom-worn garment -- perhaps on that ugly Christmas sweater you don't mind damaging.