Updated on August 12, 2022 by Sarina

This post lists all the best ways that I know can prevent lint and also ways to remove lint from clothes.

I know that grey is a color I get when I mix a lot of colors together. But getting grey lint on my clothes after I have washed my bright pink leggings, yellow skirt, and white and blacktop together bugs me really bad. It dulls all color off clothes. But don’t worry, you can easily keep lint off your clothes. Read more…

What is lint ? What is dryer lint? 

how does lint look on clothes - you have to find ways to keep lint off your clothes
This is what lint looks like on dark clothes

Lint is the grey fuzz which is seen on the surface of clothes (both old and new), highly visible on dark clothes.

Lint happens because small fibers get loose from the clothes and get settled on the surface of other clothes. They combine with dirt and makes their unsightly appearance, I have come to hate.

The new clothes get lint during the manufacturing process and the old ones during the wash.


Dryer lint which accumulates in the lint filter of your clothes dryer / washing machine is the most prominent sightings of the common lint.Those messy blobs you have to remove frequently actually saves you a lot of work if removed properly.

The more expensive the garment,  more tenacity they show in holding on to the lint – This is what I have found. Or is it just my frustration talking – because sometimes I find it impossible to remove those fuzzy fibers which cling to my favourite clothes.

My favourite black jacket is a LINT MAGNET. It is an expensive high quality cotton (with spandex) jacket and seems to hold on to all the lint it comes in contact with. Dark Wool jackets also behave in a similar fashion.

There are many reasons why lint is bad for your clothes. The fluff which clings to your clothes, especially your beautiful dark-colored clothes, is an office goer’s nightmare. Haven’t you noticed that despite the way a person is dress, our eyes would invariably rest on that small fluff of lint on his or her clothes? They are attention grabbers of the worst kind.

You do not want to look shabby or careless and lint makes you just that. The lint in your clothes also damages the dryer and washing machine if not taken out properly. It can reduce the efficiency of your cleaning and drying machine. 

There are many tips and tricks to reduce or remove lint from your clothes especially the dark ones which shows them prominently. 

get off lint from clothes

How to prevent lint on clothes

8 ways  to prevent lint on clothes

1. Hand wash clothes

This is the number one tip for preventing lint from making their ugly appearance on your pants and other favourite dark clothes. When hand washing you are not tumbling the clothes inside the machine and that in itself will prevent the fibers of the thread from breaking away. But being very time consuming it is not a very feasible option for our everyday clothes. But this option can be used for clothes which are very expensive and which you know will end up looking unattractive if popped into the machine to wash

Checkout the post on How to hand wash clothes.

hand washing clothes

2. Take extra care when washing clothes in machine

Segregate clothes based on type and colour

 When washing clothes segregate the clothes into whites and coloured and wash in turns. Do not wash everything together. Wait till you have a number of whites or coloured for one wash. Separating them on the basis of colours will reduce the fuzz. Check out the post on tips for washing clothes in the washing machine for more details.

Know the Types of fabrics and clothes that give off lint

Most definitely do not wash your fluffy towels with that black pants. Anything made of fleece produces lint. So does chenille fabrics, flannel clothes. Tshirts and other knit clothes also produce lots of lint. Cotton underwear and cotton socks are another big time lint producers. Other culprits are woolen clothes like sweaters and blankets, napped fabrics like towels, flannels, velvet, chenille, velour, corduroy.

Lint attaches to some fabrics more than others – synthetic blends (many shirts and t-shirts are made of this) and all dark colored clothes.

Wash them separately. Even if they are of the same colour it is better if they are washed separately from your less lint producing clothes. 

Turn the clothes (especially the pants) inside out and only then, put them in the wash.

If your clothes have velcro fastening, remember to keep them closed. Otherwise it will be matted with lint.

It is also a good idea to check inside the pockets for paper cash or tissues. They will make your clothes nonwearable for days. I know from experience. 

A gentle cycle is enough to clean the high lint clothes.

3. Wash less often

This may offend the clean freaks but this is solid advice to reduce the wear and tear in the clothes which result in lint. Definitely, wash your underclothes and clothes in contact with sweat and of course soiled clothes more frequently. But the not-dirty skirt or pant can be worn one more time after hanging them in your cupboard after the first use.

4. Use the dryer less often or never

A laundry drying rack or a clothesline can be used to hang your clothes to dry naturally. At least use the dryer a little bit and then hang them to dry

5. Keep clothes in dryer for less time

Do not keep the clothes in the dryer for more time than necessary. Take the clothes out as soon as the cycle is over.

6. Clean the lint filter

Dryer lint cleaning – You will have to frequently wash the lint filter or vacuum the inside of the dryer. You can use the narrow add on brush of the vacuum to clean the dryer. After every bit of lint is taken out, wipe with a clean dry cloth. The vacuuming need to be done only once a month. But you will have to take out the lint from the filter manually after every wash or every other wash using your hands . Clean out the filter cover/ lint screen with the help of a small brush.

Check out this detailed article on cleaning dryer lint filter 

Do the same thing for washing machines with a lint filter. The  modern ones do not have lint filter and they should be wiped inside with a cloth frequently to clean the accumulated hair and lint especially the door. Always wipe clean the lint filter before you wash dark clothes. Time consuming but well worth it to do this.

7. Clean the washing machine

Once every two months deep clean your machine by running an empty cycle with detergent or vinegar. This will remove the lint and dirt build up in your machine

Use vinegar with caution and very much dissolved and always use rinse without vinegar- it may cause damage to the inside parts of a washing machine. 

8.  Do not buy lint attracting clothes OR Lint shedding ones.

If you notice when you go to buy clothes that a particular dress has even a bit of lint, you can be sure that it will attract way more at your home. Do not buy. Problem solved at the root.

How to remove lint off clothes

7 ways to remove lint from clothes

1. Use microfiber squares in dryer

Keep small microfiber clothes near the dryer and put them in the dryer along with your clothes. They collect the fuzz very well.

2. Keep a good lint roller or lint brush handy.

lint brush

The lint roller or brush is a handheld device which will pick up lint when it is brushed across the surface of clothes. Lint brush is better at it than a lint roller. When full of lint, rinse it off and let it dry.

3. Use a dryer sheet

Rub the surface of the fabric with a dryer sheet.The dryer sheet removes the static on the fabric and remove the fuzz on it.

4. Quick fix Masking tape trick

For immediate fixes, use the sticky side of the masking tape to pick up the lint ( imagine the band-aid taking off with your hair). 

5. Use fabric softener sheet in the dryer.

This helps in removing the lint. But ensure that you clean your filter after using these every time.

6. Use Anti static spray

You can spray the surface of your clothes with the anti-static spray. Once it is dry it will repel lint to a degree. You may need to spray them once every week or so. 

7. Use lint shavers

These are very handy battery operated devices which literally shave off the lint from your clothes. They claim to removes lint, pills and fuzzies from all clothes and fabrics with ease and are easy to use.

Check out the related posts on How to prevent pilling and 10 best ways to remove pilling from fabric 

how to prevent pilling on fabric

Washing white clothes – 15 tips; Basic garment care;  Washing Dark and coloured clothes.

 Related post:

 wash laundry lingerie wash bag


More lint related questions


Is there something I can spray on to reduce the lint attracting quality (?) of clothes?

You can use an Ant-static spray (Static guard spray) on your clothes – it atleast makes it easy to remove the lint.

How to get rid of lint inside the washing machine?

There is a cycle called cleaning cycle on all washing machines – run it frequently. Another good practise is to wash same colored clothes together – mixing all colors will result in lint from lighter clothes to fall on darker clothes. Clean the lint filter frequently.

How often should I clean the washer filter in a washing machine? And how to clean it?

One of the most important things to do to keep lint away from clothes is to clean the washing machine washer and dryer filters. It should be done at least once a month and more frequently, if you wash a lot of lint-giving fabrics.
Remove the lint and if it is removable take it to the sink and wash in running water with an old toothbrush.

Can lint make clothes look shabby?

Without a question. Lint forms a cast on the bright color of your clothes and dulls the look. It can pop out of seams unexpectedly (from unsuspecting seams; You may be attending a conference and this seam on your pant inseam will open up with all the lint inside; nightmare!) So it is always better to prevent lint and if you notice it, remove it immediately.

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  1. Just bought my black jacket and it’s a magnet for everything in the air I have used sticky buddy it looks fine in house but soon as I go outside it looks as if I have rolled about with bunch white towels how can I stop this as I haven’t washed it yet.

    1. Hi Kate
      ouch! that is sad. I know the pain. There are Anti-static sprays you can spray on fabric . I suppose you have to walk around with a lint roller

    1. Hi Suey
      Definitely 100% synthetic fabrics like polyester attract lint more than natural fabrics like cotton, linen etc. Blends of polyester with natural fibers attract less lint than synthetic alone. Then corduroy, velvet and other napped fabrics also are difficult when you have lint on them.

    2. I don’t know…the worst culprits in my closet are the thick black cotton twill fabrics. They hold color great, but also lint and dust.

  2. Not helpful
    What do you do when you have to use a lint roller every hour?
    Don’t tell me not to buy the pants…I already did.
    Besides I have to wear all black scrubs for work

        1. I am a consultant on collecting lint. Here are my solutions:

          1. Put your pants on the bonfire
          2. Learn to love lint
          3. Buy clothes made from material with a lint pattern on.
          4. As you start to need specs as you age, don’t buy any…..

          1. Ha ha! I needed a laugh since there don’t seem to be any real solutions. I’m actually considering spraying a 99% cotton denim jacket with a light coating of clear matte spray varnish. Not kidding!

          2. Please, not varnish! There is a spray available called Anti-statitc cling spray – you can spray this on clothes to prevent lint too (no personal experience, just heresay)