Bobbling on cotton items in Washing Machine

Seeing bobbling or even fading on your cotton items following several washes in your machine is generally the result of broken cotton fibres. You may rest assured that this is not a fault with your washing machine, and it will not be necessary to call out an engineer.

You will, however, be pleased to know that if the bobbling has not gone too far, you should be able to remove these bobbles by:

  • Brushing
  • Cutting
  • Picking

This may not be that easy if the problem is much too widespread over the garment, as the remedies may actually weaken the material further.

Prevention is always better than the cure for both bobbling and fading,  and set out below are reasons for the problem and solutions:


  • Washing cotton or cotton rich garments regularly can cause friction, which can break the fibres resulting in bobbles on the surface
  • Fading is more likely to occur with cotton or cotton rich fabrics.  Regular washing can cause the colour to fade from its original colour.


  • The best way to protect not only your cotton items, but all your garments, is to use the best washing detergent that you can afford.  There is an enormous choice on supermarket shelves for these detergents, but you should generally go for a well-known brand.  You also have the choice of different types for different laundry, such as Gentle, Colours and Sensitive.  It may be necessary to try two or three different brands and types before you are happy with your selection.
  • Selecting better quality dyed fabrics may also help to reduce this problem.  Although the items may be more expensive to start with, they should last much longer, and continue to look as good as new for as long as you want.

Hopefully the above will help you to avoid a repetition of the problem






Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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