Conair Fabric Shaver
Credit: Amazon

Don't Buy New Kitchen Linens—Use This $13 Gadget to Refresh Your Old Ones Instead

Conair’s fabric shaver gets rid of pilling, fuzz, and lint.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Any cook worth their salt will tell you that quality kitchen investments require maintenance and upkeep. That professional-grade chef's knife? It must be kept sharp. The gorgeous end-grain cutting board? Don't forget to oil it. But how often do you refresh your kitchen linens and upholstery? Until I found Conair's fabric shaver, it was about once every never.

I'll back up here and address the "why" of a fabric shaver. Most natural fibers pill and fuzz-up over time. Longer fibers, like linen, are less susceptible to pilling. But shorter fibers, like the ones we so regularly use in our kitchen (looking at you, cotton) will pill with time and use. 

This may not matter if you go through dish towels with the same frenetic rapidity I do. But for cherished linens, like heirloom tea towels or luxe napkins, a good fabric shaver is a must. This tool is also indispensable for keeping upholstered dining chairs looking smart. 

To buy: Conair Battery-Operated Fabric Shaver, $13 (originally $15) at amazon.com

A fabric shaver works with rapidly rotating blades to gently shave away a superficial layer of fuzzy stuff. I know what you're thinking: Sounds messy! It would be, if Conair's fabric shaver didn't have a helpful lint tray attached to it. When the tray is full, just remove it and empty the contents in the trash. (I find this to be the most satisfying part of the process.)

If you're also worried about the safety of holding a set of small whirring blades in your hand—I was—you'll appreciate the mesh cover and plastic guard. Trust me, your digits will get nowhere near the sharp edges. The cover is also adjustable, which means you can dial it up or down, in accordance with how close to the fabric you want to get. 

To use Conair's fabric shaver, you just choose a setting, turn it on, and slowly run it over the surface of the pilled fabric. I found that pulling the napkins and tablecloths taut helped the process. Chairs take a little more patience, but the 2-inch diameter shaving surface does make quick work of the job. 

I constantly seem to be on the move, so I opted for the battery-operated model that typically costs $15 (and is just $13 right now). If you're looking for a little more power and don't mind storing a charging station, you'll definitely find the $30 rechargeable model more than sufficient. 

When I first made this purchase, I worried if it was a poor investment—after all, I don't need to de-pill my napkins every week. But I quickly discovered that a good fabric shaver will refresh so much more than kitchen linens. Between my couch, favorite old sweaters, and cozy socks, I haven't run out of uses for it yet.

To buy: Conair Rechargeable Fabric Shaver, $27 (originally $30) at amazon.com