Monday, January 16, 2012

DIY: How To Deball Sweaters

No matter how good I am to them and how hard I try to prevent it, some sweaters get balls on them.  They always seem to show up by the dozens so it's impossible to pick them off by hand, so I set out to try to research and experiment the best way to get rid of them.

After googling for a bit.  I only came up with 2 methods to try:  1)  Buy an Oreck fabric shaver and 2) Use the same razor I do for my legs on my sweater.  Challenge accepted.

I went out and bought one of these bad boys for $20:

Then grabbed my Venus razor from the shower and put a brand new razor head on it.  Bing, Bam, Boom - we were in business.

Sweater #1 is an olive green number I got from J Crew.  I checked the tag and it is 80% Lamb's Wool and 20% Nylon.  This one is pretty clumpy, and the clumps are big.  It's a larger size knit and it has a woolly look to it so it shouldn't be too hard to get looking good again.  Here is a couple befores...

To be fair, I decided I would shave it with the Razor on one half, and use the Oreck on the other half.  I honestly didn't know what to expect, but here are the results...

The work of the razor astonished me.  It was very quick and had immediate results.  I just treated the sweater like a piece of wood and shaved "with the grain" so to speak in a downward motion.  I did overlapping 3 inch sections at a time and it worked amazingly. 

The one con I found is that the more I shaved, the more I shaved.  It was almost like my shaving created more shaving. But the end result made the sweater look as good as the day I bought it.  You can see in the pic below the section on the left of the sweater I shaved versus the untouched side to the right. 

Then it was time to try out the Oreck.  To be honest, I was expecting NOTHING out of this thing, but was pleasantly surprised.  It did a really good job at sucking up the balls once I got a good feel for how much pressure to use.  It didn't get as close a shave as the Venus, but if I hadn't used the razor on the other side, I think I would not have had to touch it up with the razor later

Comparison:  Left side=Venus; Right Side=Oreck. 

Because the Venus had shaved the left side so smoothly I shaved the right side of the sweater too.  This turned into the perfect combination so I used the Oreck on the remainder of the sweater and then did the Venus over it.  Here is the final result:

Here is what the canister for the Oreck looked like when I was done. 

It really did look as good as new.  I was so impressed, and it only took me about 10 minutes to do the whole thing which was a bonus.  So I decided to move on to the next sweater.

Sweater #2 is also from J Crew, but its made of:
36% Viscose
34% Nylon
25% Merino Wool
5% Alpaca

The ingredient list tipped me off that this one was going to be a pain in the ass.  And oh, was it ever.  Here is a pic of the sweater:

You can see it's a much smaller, tighter knit than sweater #1, and the balls were smaller too.  The Oreck almost had no affect on it whatsoever.  So out came the Venus.  After 30, yes 30 MINUTES I got this thing looking good.  I shaved it in a downward direction and then had to shave it in an upward direction to get it looking good again.  But in the end, I availed. 

There is no challenge too great for the likes of E3.  The harder I'm fought, the harder I fight back!  Let me know what I can help you with around the house - the accountant in me loves to figure things out!


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