When it comes to bedding, there are several different natural fibers on the market for consumers to choose from. Silk is treasured for its elegant luster, linen is favored for its durability and wool is preferred for its exceptional warmth. Then there is cotton: breathable, soft and easy to care for.

Of course, there are downsides to each option as well. Silk and wool require extra tender, loving care and linen is prone to wrinkling. Cotton? While it is easy to care for and cleans up well, it does tend to shed – and this shedding can drive some folks absolutely bonkers!

Luckily, there are several ways you can combat shedding. In addition to following the manufacturers care instructions, we recommend adding some of these tips to your care regiment.

1) Harness the Power of Vinegar

There are countless applications for vinegar in our everyday lives, one of which is the power to reduce shedding in cotton blankets and bedspreads. Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your wash to help battle the build up of lint.


2) Accept the Harsh Reality of Softener

Fabric softener may sound like a good idea, but cotton is soft enough on its own. In fact, fabric softener can actually weaken cotton fibers and cause them to break, resulting in an increase in the amount of shedding. So, whatever you do – be sure to avoid fabric softener and detergents with softener additives.

3) Keep Cool

Much like fabric softener or harsh detergents can damage cotton fibers, so too can hot water. Preferably wash cotton fabrics in water that is cold or, when necessary, merely warm.


4) Kick-it Old School

Some of us can live with a little bit of lint and maintain our sanity, but those of you who go crazy over the persistent hitch-hikers might want to consider hand washing your cotton blankets and bedspreads. Less agitation during the washing process = less shedding overall.


5) Do Not “Set It and Forget It”

The dry cycle plays a crucial roll in the fight against shedding, so don’t simply walk away! Empty the lint catcher several times throughout the dry cycle to allow as much lint to escape as possible. The newer the blanket or bedspread, the more frequently you will have to empty the trap.


6) Call for Back-Up

Keep a soldier on the front lines while you wait to empty the lint trap. By “soldier”, we are referring to an object that attracts lint away from the blanket or bedspread and onto itself. It can be something simple like a piece of corduroy or you can invest in some dryer balls.


[Photo Source]

7) Shave It Off

If you find that your blanket or bedspread still has loose fibers or pilling after proper laundering, you can use an electric shaver to finish it off. Unlike synthetic fibers, where pilling is typically permanent, pills on cotton fabrics can be removed.


While shedding of cotton fabrics may never completely cease, the above tips should help to minimize and reduce it over time. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share in the comments below!

July 27, 2016 — Katie Cloutier


Sue C. Pigg said:

I’m wondering what a tennis ball (Linda Fuller=4-22-19) can do? However, I’ve never used Dryer Balls for anything so have no idea what they do either, but will purchase some after reading the suggestion above. I purchased a Martha Stewart Collection Chenille Medallion Queen Size bedspread 4-22-19, & it has “ruined” everything I’m wearing when I’m close to my bed. Washing & drying the bedspread has not helped one bit. (Brushing my clothing with a Fuller Clothing Brush takes at least 20 minutes each time also before they look decent again.) After reading the above suggestions (vinegar plus cleaning lint trap frequently, I’ll try again to resolve the problem. Had no idea (before purchasing) that I would get sooooo frustrated -
to the point of tears-with a bedspread!!

Linda Fuller said:

I have tried all the above except dryer balls I was also thinking of a tennis ball and delicate cycle and still bonkers as to how much lint my bedspread sheds. It is 100% cotton made in India next time I will look closer although I love it every 4 days cotton all over bedroom…we don’t have rug floors which is probably a good thing. Any more ideas beside a new one let me know.

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