Lint balls occur on sweatpants because of abrasion and friction. This usually occurs when sweatpants are not washed or dried properly. Before we move on, take three minutes and learn how to wash your sweatpants properly.

It’s OK, we will wait.

Heck, while your at it give this a quick read also how to wash sweatpants without shrinking. I can’t have you wearing pilly sweatpants that are 2 sizes too small.

Lint balls are annoying and can definitely mess up your style when wearing sweatpants. (Do you need more style? What to wear with sweatpants)

Once lint balls appear on your sweatpants we have 3 methods to choose from to remove them, however prevention is always the best strategy. 

Our article will give you guidelines on how to remove lint balls from sweatpants, as well as information on how to prevent lint balls from occurring in the first place. 

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How to Remove Lint Balls from Sweatpants

How to Remove Lint Balls from Sweatpants

Once lint balls have started to appear on the surface on your sweatpants, there are 3 effective ways for removing them. 

1. Fabric Razor

Use a fabric razor to remove lint balls from your sweatpants by gently sliding the razor over the fabric to remove the lint balls from the surface. You can also use a cheap 2 blade facial razor to achieve similar results should you not have a dedicated fabric razor. 

2. Lint Roller or Duct Tape

You can use a lint roller or the sticky side of duct tape to remove lint balls from your sweatpants. Press the lint roller or duct tape against the surface of your sweatpants and proceed to tear it off in order to remove lint balls.

3. Scissors

The most slow and laborious way to remove lint balls from your sweatpants is to use a pair of scissors to cut off each and every lint ball. Although effective, this method is extremely time consuming. 

What Are Lint Balls?

Lint balls are fibers that begin to appear on the surface of your clothing. These lint balls typically appear because of the occurrence of friction and abrasion during the washing process. Lint balls may also be referred to as pills, fuzz-balls, or bobbles. Although lint balls are annoying and unsightly, we do have options for minimizing and removing lint balls from the surface of our clothing. 

What Causes Lint Balls On Sweatpants?

Lint balls occur because of wear and tear taking place on the surface of your sweatpants’ fabric. Once you start wearing your sweatpants you will inevitably begin to damage them through regular wear and tear as well as during the washing and drying process. Some areas of your sweatpants, such as in the crotch, will develop lint balls simply from the natural friction and abrasion that occurs from movement of the body. 

How To Prevent Lint Balls When Washing Sweatpants

The best way to save your sweatpants from lint balls is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Use these tips and tricks to prevent your sweatpants from getting lint balls while in the wash.

  • Turn your sweatpants inside out before placing them in the washing machine.
  • Use liquid laundry detergent as this prevents friction and abrasion from occurring in the wash.
  • Put your sweatpants into a mesh laundry bag before washing.
  • Wash your sweatpants with other delicate or similar type clothing.
  • Place a lint catcher into the washing machine.

How To Protect Against Lint Balls When Drying Sweatpants

The dryer uses friction and heat to dry your sweatpants, which means your sweatpants may develop lint balls while in the wash. The best way to avoid this is to not use the dryer at all, even tumble drying on settings as low as tumble dry low can cause pilling. If you must use the dryer, make sure you know how to use the dryer correctly.

Instead of using the dryer you should either line dry or lay your sweatpants flat to dry. Find more tips on how to dry your sweatpants without a dryer, where we dive deeper.

Tips Tor Protecting Your Sweatpants From Lint Balls

Use these tips and tricks to avoid getting lint balls on your sweatpants.

  • Buy quality sweatpants. They may cost more but they will last longer and be more durable in the wash. 
  • Buy polyester sweatpants. Polyester is extremely resistant to wear and tear (also, learn how polyester interacts with heat with can you shrink polyester?)
  • Avoid creating abrasion on the surface of your sweatpants.


Dry cleaning is not intended to remove lint balls from your clothing. The main purpose of dry cleaning is to wash and press your clothing. If you want to remove lint balls from your clothing the most effective method is by using a fabric razor. 

Pilling is when loose fibers on the surface of your clothing start to appear and may look like little balls. Pilling is also referred to as lint balls, bobbles, and fuzz balls.

The best way to get rid of little balls (lint balls) on sweatpants is to use a fabric razor to remove the balls from the surface of the fabric. 

To get rid of sweatpants pilling you can choose one of three methods. You may either use a fabric razor, scissors, or a lint roller to remove pills from sweatpants.