Banish Burrs: Expert Tips for Removing Them from Clothes

What are Burrs and How do They Get Stuck in Clothes?

To fight an enemy, you first need to understand them, and burrs are no exception. They’re actually seeds or dry fruits that hitch a ride on unsuspecting passersby—be it humans, animals, or even the wind—to disperse and propagate. Designed by nature, their hooks and spikes make them exceptional hitchhikers, allowing them to cling tenaciously to fabric, fur, and hair.

When you’re out and about, especially in the countryside, it’s easy to brush against plants bearing these sticky nuisances. They’re mostly unnoticeable until you spot them clinging to your clothes with steadfast determination.

Burr-Busting Tools: Fine-Tooth Comb, Duct Tape, Tweezers, and Specialized Burr Removal Tools

A key part of any battle strategy is choosing the right weapons. Our adversaries, the burrs, might be small, but they’re stubborn. Luckily, we have a variety of tools to choose from, each with its unique strengths and methods of operation. Your choice will often depend on factors such as the number of burrs, the texture of the fabric, and the size of the burrs.

Method 1: Fine-Tooth Comb

Perhaps the most readily available tool in your burr-removal arsenal is a fine-tooth comb. It’s likely to be found in your grooming kit, and it’s simple yet effective for dealing with burrs.

  1. Set the Stage: Prepare your garment by laying it flat on a sturdy, clean surface like a table or bed. This not only provides a better view of the battlefield but also grants you better control over the process.
  2. Launch the Attack: Start your operation at the top of the burr-infested area. Holding the comb at an angle, carefully guide it over the fabric, moving downwards, mimicking the process of combing hair.
  3. Master the Flick: Reach the end of the area, then confidently flick the comb upwards. This lifts and dislodges the burrs from the fabric, freeing your clothes from their prickly grip.
  4. Persistence is Key: Remember, the battle against burrs is one of endurance. Continue combing and flicking, moving systematically across all affected areas. Your patience will pay off!

Method 2: Duct Tape – The Multi-Purpose Lifesaver

If your garment is adorned with a plethora of tiny burrs scattered over a larger surface area, duct tape can be your secret weapon.

  1. Stick to the Plan: Cut a manageable piece of duct tape. Adhere it to the burr-afflicted area, applying gentle pressure to ensure contact with as many burrs as possible.
  2. Wax on, Wax off: In one swift motion, similar to waxing, pull the duct tape off. The sticky surface of the tape should bring the burrs with it.
  3. Debrief and Repeat: Check your progress. If any stubborn burrs remain, repeat the duct tape process until the area is cleared.

Method 3: Tweezers

Larger, more stubborn burrs call for precision tools—tweezers. They allow you to remove each burr individually, which is particularly useful for tough or delicate fabrics where you need to avoid pulling at the threads.

  1. Eye on the Prize: Using the tweezers, carefully select and grasp a burr. Remember, this is a process of precision, not speed.
  2. Slow and Steady Wins: Once you have a firm hold on the burr, apply a gentle, steady force to pull it off the fabric. Tugging risks damaging the clothing, so proceed with care.
  3. One by One: Continue this process, treating each burr as an individual opponent until you’ve cleared them all.

Method 4: Specialized Burr Removal Tools

For those seeking more specialized tools, there’s an array of burr removal gadgets out there. These include brushes with rubber bristles designed to catch and dislodge burrs, or lint removers that operate on a similar principle to duct tape.

The procedure for using these tools is similar to the methods outlined above. Choose the tool that best fits your situation, and then follow a systematic, patient approach to ensure you remove every last burr from your clothes.

Don’t Rush, Be Thorough

When it comes to getting burrs out of clothes, slow and steady truly wins the race. Hurrying might lead to fabric damage, while skipping over areas may leave behind burrs. So, be patient and meticulous. Remember, you’re a burr-busting warrior, and no burr should escape your keen eye!

Finishing the Job

Once you’ve successfully removed the visible burrs, use a lint roller to remove any remaining burrs or spikes that might still be lodged in the fabric. This is especially important if you plan on washing the item afterward, as any remaining burrs could spread to other clothes.

Safety First: Precautions to Take When Removing Burrs

Though not dangerous, removing burrs from clothes can be a prickly task—literally. Therefore, it’s recommended to wear a pair of gloves to protect your fingers from potential pricks. Also, always pull burrs away from your body to avoid any accidental harm.

Prevention is Better Than Cure: Avoiding Burr Encounters

While knowing how to remove burrs from clothes is useful, avoiding them in the first place is even better. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Choose Your Paths Wisely: When outdoors, stick to cleared paths and avoid walking through tall grass or thick underbrush where burrs are likely to be present.
  • Dress Smart: Wear smooth, tightly woven fabrics that are less likely to trap burrs. If you’re going on an adventure, consider investing in specialized outdoor clothing designed to resist burrs and other outdoor elements.
  • Check Often: If you’re out in a burr-infested area, check your clothes regularly and remove any hitchhiking burrs before they multiply.


How do you get burrs out easily?

For easy burr removal, use a fine-tooth comb or a piece of duct tape. With a comb, gently glide over the fabric, then flick upward to dislodge the burr. If using duct tape, stick it onto the burr-ridden area and then peel off, taking the burrs with it.

How do you get prickly weeds out of clothes?

Prickly weeds can be removed similarly to burrs. A comb, duct tape, tweezers, or specialized tools can be used to pick them out. Always remember to be gentle to prevent fabric damage.

What are the burrs that stick to clothes?

Burrs are the seed pods of various plants, designed to hitch a ride on passing creatures (or clothes) to disperse their seeds. They’re characterized by their prickly surface, which allows them to stick stubbornly to fabrics.

How do you get burrs out of human hair?

Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair first. Then, using a fine-tooth comb, gently comb through the hair, moving from the roots to the ends. Apply a detangling spray or conditioner for easier removal. Always be gentle to avoid hair damage.

What can I do if the burrs are too small to remove?

If the burrs are too small to remove with a comb or tweezers, try using a piece of duct tape or a lint roller. The sticky surface should help pull out even the smallest of burrs.

Can I wash clothes with burrs on them?

Washing clothes with burrs on them isn’t recommended as the water can make the burrs stickier and harder to remove. Moreover, the burrs might spread to other clothes in the wash. Always remove burrs before washing.

Can burrs damage the fabric of my clothes?

Yes, if not removed carefully, burrs can damage your clothing fabric. They can pull threads or leave marks, especially on delicate materials. Always use gentle, non-destructive methods to remove burrs.

I’ve removed the burrs but my clothes still feel prickly. What do I do?

After removing the burrs, there could still be tiny spikes left in the fabric. A lint roller can be useful to remove these. If the clothes still feel prickly after this, it may be best to wash them before wearing.

What clothes are most resistant to burrs?

Clothes made from tightly woven fabrics, such as synthetic blends or high-quality cotton, are more resistant to burrs. Clothing designed for outdoor activities often incorporates such materials and is less likely to pick up burrs.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our comprehensive guide on how to get burrs out of clothes. It’s our hope that the strategies and methods we’ve discussed will help you swiftly handle any burr-related situation that may arise. Remember, patience and gentleness are your best allies in this task.

Getting burrs on your clothes is, after all, a part of the adventure of exploring the outdoors. It’s a small price to pay for the joy and excitement that comes with hiking, camping, or just frolicking around in a field.

So, equip yourself with the right knowledge and tools, and don’t let the fear of a few prickly burrs deter you from embracing the wild. Embrace the challenge, knowing you’re well-prepared to tackle it. Happy adventuring, and remember to leave no burr behind!

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about taking care of your clothes and home? Here are a few more articles that can help:

  1. How to Get Fiberglass Out of Clothes: Similar to burrs, fiberglass can be a nuisance. Discover how to safely remove fiberglass from your clothing.
  2. How to Get Grass Stains Out of Jeans: Those green stains on your jeans from a day in the park needn’t be a concern anymore. Follow this guide to get rid of grass stains effectively.
  3. Iron Stain: Learn how to deal with iron stains, whether they are on your clothes or your ironing equipment.
  4. How to Clean Carpet on Stairs: Stairs can be a high traffic area and can accumulate dirt quickly. Check out this article for some tips on how to keep your stair carpet spotless.

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