light brown sweater with lint

How to Get Lint Off Clothes

Lint has a knack for appearing on our clothes at the most inconvenient moments. Whether it’s a favourite sweater or a sophisticated suit, the presence of these tiny fibres can dampen your overall appearance and leave you seeking speedy solutions.

In this guide on how to get lint off clothes, we explore various methods to effectively and efficiently bid farewell to lint.

From understanding the nature of lint to mastering techniques for its removal and exploring long-term preventative strategies, we’ll equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to keep your wardrobe looking like new.


Does Lint Come Off Clothes?

lint on fabric

If your clothes are covered in lint, don’t worry! Lint can be removed from clothes using various methods, which we explain below.

Lint is essentially tiny fibres, often that have shed from the fabric itself or from other materials that come in contact with the clothing during washing, wearing, or drying processes.

These tiny fibres cause no lasting damage and can be removed as quickly as they appear.


How Do You Remove Lint from Clothes?

There are numerous methods for removing lint from clothes, including using a lint roller, lint shaver, lint brush, or sticky tape.

Here are step-by-step guides for these four lint removal methods that you can try at home today.

Method 1: Lint roller

lint roller on sweater

Lint rollers are convenient and efficient tools for removing lint from clothes and other material surfaces.

These small hand-held devices are commonly used before important events or meetings to ensure garments look clean and presentable.

Lint rollers typically consist of a handle attached to a roll of sticky sheets or tape. The sticky sheets or tape are wrapped around a cylindrical core on the roller.

When you roll the device over fabric, the sticky surface of the sheets or tape attracts and picks up lint from your clothes.

The used portion of the sheet can be torn off and discarded, revealing a fresh, clean adhesive surface for continued use.

To get lint of clothes using this method, follow the below steps:

  1. Always start with clean and dry clothes.
  2. Take the lint roller and gently roll it over the fabric where you see lint.
  3. The sticky surface of the roller will pick up the lint and fuzz.
  4. Roll in one direction, picking up as much lint as possible.
  5. Replace or clean the lint roller sheet as needed.
  6. Continue rolling until the fabric is primarily lint-free.


Method 2: Lint brush

lint brush

A lint brush (also known as a fabric brush or lint remover brush) is another tool designed to get lint off clothing.

They are a reusable alternative to disposable lint rollers, making them an eco-friendly choice for managing lint and maintaining the appearance of your clothes and other fabric items.

As the name suggests, these devices typically resemble a brush. The head of the brush features either soft bristles or a fabric pad made of materials like velvet, velour, or similar soft fabrics.

These materials are effective at grabbing and removing lint without damaging your clothes. They can also remove small debris from other fabric services in your home, such as hair from carpets.

To use a lint brush, you gently brush the fabric with the bristles or fabric pad as so:

  1. Wash your clothes and allow them to dry completely.
  2. Take the lint brush and gently brush it over the fabric in one direction.
  3. The soft bristles of the lint brush will lift and remove the lint.
  4. Brush the entire fabric surface until most of the lint is gone.
  5. Clean the lint brush as needed to remove collected lint.


Method 3: Lint/fabric shaver

Using a lint shaver to debobble a wool sweater

A lint shaver is an electrical device designed to remove lint from clothing. Unlike rollers and brushes, a lint shaver typically has a rotating head with sharp blades or a shaving surface made of fine mesh. Powered by a small motor, this part is responsible for cutting and removing lint.

To use a lint shaver, gently glide the rotating head or shaving surface over the fabric, and the sharp blades or mesh surface shave off the lint.

The removed debris is collected in a built-in container or chamber that can be emptied.

Lint shavers are especially useful for revitalising garments that have developed pilling as well as removing lint.

lint shaver and sweater with lint

Below are the steps you need to follow if using a shaver to get lint off your clothes:

  1. Ensure the clothing is clean and dry before you begin.
  2. Turn on the lint shaver by pressing the on/off button.
  3. Gently run the shaver over the fabric, following the instructions provided with the shaver.
  4. The shaver will trim and remove lint from the surface of your garments.
  5. Continue until you’ve removed lint from the desired areas.
  6. Clean the lint shaver according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Method 4: Tape

lint on clothes and tape

You can get lint off your clothes using something you likely already have in your home: sellotape.

When pressed against your garments, the sticky surface of the tape picks up the tiny fibres and fuzz on the surface. You can then throw the tape in the bin once you are satisfied with the results.

Tape isn’t as effective at removing lint as the other three methods, but it is a decent makeshift lint removal tool for when you don’t have access to specialised tools like a lint roller, brush, or shaver.

It’s perfect if you’re travelling or if you’re you’re heading to an important meeting, event, or occasion, and you notice lint or debris on your clothing at the last minute.

Here is how to use this makeshift lint removal method to improve the appearance of your clothes:

  1. Wrap the tape around your hand with the sticky side facing out.
  2. Press the tape-covered hand gently onto the fabric with lint, then lift.
  3. The tape will pick up the lint from the fabric.
  4. Repeat this process until most of the lint is removed.
  5. Replace the tape when it becomes too covered with lint.


How Do You Remove Lint from Clothes Permanently?

laundry bag and lint filter on dryer

The above methods effectively remove lint from garments before you want to wear them, but they’ll look temporarily clean and fresh.

Your clothes will likely get covered in lint the next time you throw them into the washing machine or dryer.

Therefore, if you want to remove lint from clothes permanently, you must introduce preventative measures that reduce lint accumulation.

While it is impossible to eliminate lint completely, you can significantly minimise it and maintain your clothing better.

Follow thee tips to keep lint to a minimum:

  • Sorting laundry: Separate clothes before washing based on fabric type, especially separating lint-producing fabrics (like flannel, sweatshirt, and fleece) from lint-attracting fabrics (like corduroy and velour).
  • Close zips and fasten buttons: Before washing, make sure to close zips and fasten buttons on clothing to prevent them from rubbing against other fabrics, producing excess friction, and causing lint to shed.
  • Avoid overloading the washer: Do not overload the washing machine when laundering your clothes. Overcrowding can cause excessive friction between clothes and lead to lint, as well as causing potential damage to your washing machine.
  • Use laundry bags: Put delicate or lint-prone items in laundry bags to protect them during the wash cycle and reduce lint generation. Although lint can get through the mesh, the clothes inside are exposed to significantly less than in the machine drum.
  • Turn clothes inside out: Turn your clothes inside out before washing them in the machine. As the insides are more exposed, the majority of the lint fibres will stick to parts of the clothes that are not visible when wearing.
  • Clean lint filter regularly: Clean the lint filter in your dryer regularly to prevent lint from accumulating and making its way to your clothes. A build-up of lint from the dryer also acts as a fire hazard, whereas removing it enhances the efficiency of the appliance.
  • Opt for a gentle wash setting: Wash your clothes on a gentle or delicate cycle that uses a slower spin speed than regular washes. This helps to reduce stress on the fabric and limit the amount of lint and fuzz produced.
  • Dry clothes correctly: Air-dry delicate fabrics instead of using the dryer, as the dryer can cause friction and generate lint on delicate fabrics. When using the dryer for other items, do not overdry clothes your clothes—this can weaken fibres and lead to lint and fuzz.

jacket with lint