This Game-Changing $20 Amazon Find Makes My Favorite Throw Blanket (and Winter Coat!) Look Like New — All Winter Long

published Jan 13, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Erin Derby

I’m okay with splurging on some investment pieces when it comes to my wardrobe and home, especially in the latter category when it comes to furniture that’ll stand up to heavy usage or textiles I know I’ll cuddle up in time and time again. Sure, it takes time to save up for said items, but I’m all about buying better once (when and where I can) so I don’t have to buy again. In particular, I have a soft spot for alpaca blankets (you can see an oatmeal one above in my former New York City apartment) and wool jackets. What I don’t like about these cozy fabrics though, even when you spend on something high-quality? They still tend to pill with use — you know, those stubborn fuzzies that make clothing and furniture look worse for the wear.

You’re not really supposed to pull pills off. Maybe this is an old wives’ tale, but it doesn’t seem like the best idea, in the same way you’re not really supposed to pull threads out of sweaters; this tends to make snags worse over time. What you can do to remove pills? Use a fabric shaver! I know this isn’t a novel tip, but here’s the thing: So many of the motorized de-fuzzers I’ve seen (and used) on the market do more harm than good by shaving off too much. That’s why I’ve turned to The Gleener, an old-school fabric shaver that you can order from Amazon for less than $20.

How do I love thee, The Gleener? Let me count the ways. First, as someone who never seems to have the right size battery on hand for anything battery-operated, the fact that this tool is battery-free is a huge plus. It’s small, easy to stash (or travel with, since it comes with a little on-the-go storage pouch), and a cinch to use. All you have to do is select one of the three included attachments edges to safely depill a variety of fabrics, including wools, cashmeres, and way more (the tool comes with a little guide that explains which edge to use for different materials). Pop on the right edge, and go to town “shaving” off the pills by giving the fabric a once- or twice-over, depending on how pilled your piece is.

The Gleener resembles a tiny squeegee, so that’s how you hold it, and even better, its opposite end features a lint brush for removing dust, hair, and other debris from items, too. You can use either side on blankets, cushions, pillows, upholstered furniture, clothing, and more, which makes it so versatile and a must-have for me in the winter, when cozy fabrics tend to pill the most due to increased use.

I first tried The Gleener on a beloved Buffalo checkered wool coat, which was pilling under arm area in particular. I couldn’t believe how quickly it removed the fuzzies that were making it look a little shabby. The Gleener did this job so well, I tried it on the alpaca blanket from my living room and had success there, too.

I’m not saying you’ll never need to bust out a stronger defuzzer again; I don’t have any nubby or pilling upholstered furniture, for example, to test The Gleener on right now, but I’d love to see how it would do in this scenario. Large pieces may require a more intense solution (or maybe a lot more effort with The Gleener to spiff up? The blanket and coat were pretty low effort). For finer fabrics though, The Gleener is well worth considering, especially if pilling bums you out, and you want to get more milage out of your pieces.