How To Remove Burrs From Clothes

How To Remove Burrs From Clothes
How To Remove Burrs From Clothes

Anyone who has been of the beaten trail has probably walked into weeds, thorns, and other annoying plants. They get in the way of our walk. If you have ever felt a snag on your clothing and looked at where it pulled, you are likely to find something stuck in them. When you see small, spike balls stuck to them, they are called burrs. One of the challenges that you now face is how to remove burrs from clothes in which they are stuck.

If you are unfortunate to have found them in the summer, you are likely to know that they are a complete pain while you are walking. Every so often, you will feel a slight sharp stab in your arm, leg, or anywhere else. They can even irritate the skin without much exposure at all. Therefore, you must remove them as quickly as you can unless you are wearing thick enough clothes not to notice them at all.

The exact purpose of the burrs is to stick to you for as long as possible. They then expand their territory by falling off and growing somewhere new. But we can not let them get too far.

Luckily for you, there are a few ways that you can easily remove them from your clothes, and even pets if you take them with you on hiking trips.

How To Remove Burrs From Clothes – 5 Steps

How to Remove Burrs from Fabric

The best option that you have is to change your clothing as soon as you can. If the burrs are stuck into a shirt, change it, but make sure that you put it into a pocket of your bag that has no other clothing, preferably into a plastic bag to stop them from getting into the pocket.

1 – Wash Your Clothes

A lot of websites say that you should do that in a regular washing machine. However, we do not think that is the best idea. The reason for that is simple: The burrs may come off into the washing machine and clog up the filter, thus giving you more of a problem than the burrs. Therefore, we recommend letting the clothes soak in a bath or sink, or bucket, etc. with washing powder. Doing that will soften the burrs to help you remove them from clothes. Do not worry too much about rinsing them as you can wash them as usual after you have removed the burrs from the clothes.

2 – Dry the Clothes

As with washing, people advise you to use a tumble dryer. We recommend that you do not do that either. Hang them on the line, or over a radiator, or a chair, or whatever.

3 – Place the Articles on a Flat Surface

4 – Use a metal comb to remove them

Slide it under the burrs as far as possible. Then gently lift the comb to pull them out. If you cannot get a metal one, then a plastic one should work okay. You are likely to hear them snapping as you pull them out. However, there is nothing that you can do about that.

5 – Use a Lint Roller

Roll the insides and outsides of the clothes until you have removed all of the burrs.

Removing Them In The Field

The method that we have shown above is excellent if you can remove the clothing and wash it at home. However, if you only have the clothing that you are wearing, it becomes more vital that you remove the burrs while you are out and about.

How to Remove Burrs in the Field

One thing that we have found for how to remove burrs in clothes is to have a comb with us all the time. However, a plastic cap for a tin can, for paint or another aerosol, is pretty useful too. Having a roll of duct tape with you all the time is helpful for many things when you are in the field. It is suitable for repairing rips temporarily, but it is also useful for a makeshift lint roller, too.

Wrap some of the duct tape wrapped around your hand with the sticky side facing away from your hand. Then roll it over the left in burrs to remove the spikes. You may not get all of them out in one go, but it will undoubtedly be better than with them all stuck to you.

If you need to, you can remove the clothing and do the same from the inside to remove the final burr spikes.

Removing Burrs From Delicate Fabrics

When it comes to how to remove burrs in clothes from regular hiking clothing it can be a problem in itself. However, that becomes more challenging when you have accidentally got them in delicate or sensitive fabrics. If you can use the same method as above for soaking the garments, then do that, but be careful when you are scraping the burrs off. You may have to use tweezers to pull out each of the burrs individually so as not to damage the material, though.

How To Remove Burrs From Pets

Of course, many people decide to take their dogs with them when they go hiking. The problem is, the whole purpose of a bur was to latch onto the fur of a passing animal. Long before humans had textiles for them to use. So, How do we remove burrs from pets instead of clothes?

How To Remove Burrs From Pets
How To Remove Burrs From Pets

While there is only a little risk towards the health of the pet, there is some possibility of discomfort, especially if the animal has short fur. Therefore, you still need to remove the burr as quickly as you can. Again, like with your clothes, the best way to deal with them is to get them wet and soft. If the animal likes water, get them to jump in a lake or any other water that you are near. If you can wait to bath them, the warm water and soap will work better.

Next, you will need to comb the fur with a fine-toothed comb. Try to work in sections of fur and keep combing until you do not see any more burrs coming out. A brush will not work as well as a comb, as it will not get under the burrs.


Burrs can be a right pain, both figuratively and physically. Removing them is sometimes as much of a pain as them themselves. However, knowing how to remove burrs from clothes with the techniques that we provided in this article, you will find that it may be easier than you thought.


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