Why Are My Egyptian Cotton Sheets Pilling?

Egyptian cotton sheets are known for two things: being incredibly comfortable and being very pricey. When you spend a significant amount of money on something for you home you hope that it is money well spent and that the purchase will endure for years on end. This is especially true for Egyptian cotton sheets, which are some of the most luxurious sheets in the world.

Unfortunately, there is an issue that many people who buy Egyptian cotton sheets find themselves dealing with and that issue is pilling. Pilling is a sign that the sheets are losing their durability which means they will eventually lose their comfort. Here are some of the reasons why pilling occurs and what you can do to prevent it and salvage the sheets you currently have.

What Is Pilling?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, pilling is what you experience when your sheets begin to have small balls of fiber start to materialize on your sheets. These balls of fiber are fuzzy and seemingly stuck to the sheet. You have likely experienced this on older, lesser quality sheets. When pilling happens on a set of sheets it can make a once comfortable sheet become a scratchy, uncomfortable nightmare.

What Causes Pilling?

Pilling is a seeming inevitability for many sets of sheets. However, this does not have to be the truth. Before you can know how to prevent pilling you have to know what causes it in the first place. The first thing you need to know is that all material made of fibers, including Egyptian cotton, are capable of pilling.

This is because sheets that are used long-term and are put through repeated washings will developed fiber ends that are frayed. Those ends become tangled and develop small knots that pick up lint, dust, and even other fibers. In this regard it can seem like pilling is unavoidable. However, there are some methods you can use to prevent pilling and ensure that you are getting the most out of your sheets.

How to Prevent Pilling

The first thing that you need to understand is that you cannot do much to prevent pilling on a cheap set of sheets. If you find that your Egyptian cotton sheets have begun to pill after less than a year and you got them at a seemingly “great price” then you may want to look into whether or not you actually purchased a set of Egyptian cotton sheets. Companies are getting better and better at passing off sheet sets as Egyptian cotton without actually being 100% Egyptian cotton, so it is an easy enough mistake to make.

In the case of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets you are looking at a type of cotton that is highly durable due to its longer fibers. If pilling does occur in the case of Egyptian cotton sheets it is usually after long term use. If it has been a few years of using your Egyptian cotton sheets then you can rest easy in knowing that you likely did an okay job of taking care of them.

If you really want to prevent pilling then you should wash your sheets on the short wash cycle with very gentle liquid detergent instead of powders. You want to also use a front load washer if you own one or have access to one because the spin cycles are more gentle than a top loader. The reason why you should focus on gentle washing is because this helps to keep the fibers in their place and helps to prevent the knotting effect that starts the pilling process.

You should also make sure that the water you wash your sheets in is cool instead of hot. Heat can lead to fibers trying to contract and that can kickstart the pilling process in a big way. You also should hang your sheets to dry instead of using a dryer. This will keep the sheets from being exposed to harsh heat. If you absolutely must use a dryer then use it on its lowest heat setting and take the sheets out the minute they are finished drying.

How To Deal With Pilling That Is Already There

When you deal with pilling you have two major options. One of them is to use a lint roller to take up small, looser pieces of pilling. Another solution is to use a fine razor blade to cleanly remove them from the sheet. The Wonder Lint electric razor is actually designed for taking up lint and pilling that occurs in clothing, but it is just as useful when applied to your sheets.

Pilling is not the ending of your sheets. So long as the pilling is removed and you remember to take proper care of your sheets after the pilling is removed. If you follow the previously mentioned steps and instructions then your Egyptian cotton sheets should last for a very long time.