The Viral Hair Clipper Hack That Removes Unwanted Couch Lint

Have you sat on your couch recently and discovered that there are little tufts of lint that don't move when you try to brush them off? What you're dealing with is pilling. It's hard to prevent but easy to fix. That's why TikTok user Nina McDermott (@ninafrommanila) demonstrates to her followers how she uses her husband's clippers to trim the lint right off. She proves that you don't need a special tool to get the job done and finally sit on a smooth sofa again.

But why do couches pill? Similarly to clothing, it all depends on the type of fabric you own. When you sit on or wear synthetic materials, the friction created moves the fibers around. Over time, this loosens the threads. Since there is so much movement, they are rolled into little balls on the surface instead of releasing from the rest of the fabric. If you don't want to deal with pilling, stick to natural fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, or leather — they're less likely to have the issue. Couches made from polyester, nylon, rayon, and acrylic are man-made and will pill if there's enough friction. If you start seeing signs of wear in your fabric, try this trick.

Use a pair of hair clippers to trim off the lint

All you need to remove unwanted couch lint is a pair of hair clippers. TikToker Nina McDermott shows how she uses them to cut the pilling off the cushions of her Tanavi couch. Any electric razor will work for this hack if you remove the blade guards. Leaving them on will make it impossible for the sharp part of the clippers to cut the pills off from the root. Then there would still be lint left.

Once you're ready to trim the pills off your couch, plug your razor into a nearby outlet. Then hold your clippers so the blades are parallel to the fabric. All you have to do is glide them over your couch in short passes. It may feel daunting after a while when you realize how large your sofa is, but working in sections helps split up the surface area. Plus, it's likely you won't have any pilling behind your couch and on the bottom side of the cushions. However, you need to keep a steady hand and make precise movements with your clippers. You could accidentally slide the blades and leave a gash in the fabric if you're not careful. TikTok user @lizbrenden commented on McDermott's post, saying her hair clipper snagged on a loose thread and ended up leaving a hole in her couch.

Pill shavers are a safer option if you have shaky hands

If you don't trust yourself with hair clippers that have no guard on them, there are other tools you can use. While you most likely already own the clippers, buying a fabric shaver is usually no more than $15. The tool you need goes by the names fabric shaver, pill shaver, and fabric defuzzer. They are handheld devices that you put batteries in and will trim off the pilling without an open blade that could cut a hole into the fabric. Another option is to use a pumice stone.

Using these tools is just as easy, if not easier, than hair clippers. Simply turn on the device or hold the pumice stone in the palm of your hand. Then move them in circles over your couch. Be careful at first, only adding more pressure if the pills aren't separating from the fabric. With the electric tools, you may have to take breaks to empty the container that holds the fuzz. A sign that you need to do this is if you hear the machine trying extra hard to work. Since it's hard to prevent pilling, keep your tools on hand for touch-ups as you notice them forming.