How can I minimize the amount of lint on my clothes?
December 26, 2009 1:32 PM   Subscribe

How can I minimize the amount of lint on my clothes?

I use a communal washer and dryer in my apartment complex.

Should I use drying sheets? I've used them before and they didn't seem to make much of a difference. I was using the cheapest generic ones available—does the brand matter? Can I cut them into quarters as suggested her?eg What about using fabric softener during the wash cycle?

I do a separate wash for my Smartwool socks and towels as these seem to generate much lint. It's worse if one washes the socks inside out as Smartwool suggests, so I've stopped doing that.

Is it more effective to use a lint roller before washing rather than after?

Other suggestions?
posted by grouse to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Check the lint traps on the dryers, if you don't. If nothing can get through them you'll get more lint and longer drying times.

Towels separately is a good idea. Another good idea is to separate things by colors, so you get the light lint on the light clothes and the dark lint on the dark clothes, and it's less noticeable.
posted by that girl at 1:47 PM on December 26, 2009

Dryer sheets and fabric softener aren't really about lint- they're more to soften clothes, to add a fragrance if you get the scented kind, and to eliminate the problem of clothes rubbing up against teach other and getting stuck to each other with static electricity. If you're interested in any of those three things yes, you can re-use sheets or cut them in half and it's pretty much okay.

You can use a clothesline, not a dryer, which helps a lot if you live in the right climate. You can also take your clothes out of the dryer a bit damp and air dry in your house.

Some web sites suggest adding a bit of vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your washer can help, but I haven't tried this out.

As mentioned above, really do check the lint traps and empty before each use- that's for sure the best thing you can do (full lint traps can radically change the way your dryer functions). You can also check and make sure that the exhaust hose is not also full of lint or kinked in a weird way, since that can also affect drying times and (maybe?) lint extraction.
posted by charmedimsure at 2:39 PM on December 26, 2009

I just saw these lint balls in a catalog, I can't vouch for whether they work or not.
posted by Duffington at 2:42 PM on December 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the good suggestions so far! I do empty the lint trap before every dry.

"as suggested her?eg" was supposed to be a link to this
posted by grouse at 2:52 PM on December 26, 2009

Hey grouse, definitely keep separating the towels. Separate any other loosely-knit or fleecy clothes like sweats, socks, and fuzzy sweaters. They all make lint. You could also try Tide Total Care. It's supposed to prevent fabric from fraying. I use it and it does seem to make my clothes a bit less linty. But you can do everything right and still have a little lint. So hang on to your lint brush or roller!
posted by halonine at 6:40 PM on December 26, 2009

I tried using half a dryer sheet in hopes of being thrifty and saving the planet. Guess what? Doesn't work as well. (I was using cheap store-brand sheets too.) I find that doing linty things separately is the best method, and buying large quantities of sticky rollers to use before and after the wash. The lint will always be with ye.
posted by scratch at 6:44 PM on December 26, 2009

I wash towels, dark and light clothes separately, which helps a lot.
posted by theora55 at 7:24 AM on December 27, 2009

I have had to put certain items thru the dryer before washing to remove lint, dog and cat fur. If I don't do that, the fur pills up on the clothing during the wash. So the cycle is dry-wash-dry.
posted by andreap at 1:55 PM on December 27, 2009

Response by poster: Consumer Reports said that liquid fabric softener is more effective than dryer sheets. I switched and noticed a big decrease in the lint problem.
posted by grouse at 6:28 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

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