laundry lint

tater1112July 8, 2006

I like to hang my clothes to dry, but I wear a lot of black for work, and the lint on my black clothes is terrible! I use powdered laundry detergent, and I think some of what I'm seeing is detergent that isn't dissolved, but some is really lint.

Any suggestions for getting rid of the lint without using the dryer? There's enough of it that I don't want to use the rolled-up tape removal method.


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

If you are seeing powerdy residue, you may be using too much soap, or it isn't desolving properly. Possibly you are using soap in cold water, that is not specifically made for cold water cleaning, or washing too big of loads in not enough water?

You could maybe first disolve the soap in the washer b4 adding the clothes (set to small or mini) and agitate a bit, then set to the proper size water setting and add clothes).

I have and use a fabric lint brush shown at the link below. It is double sided, and you just brush backward to clean it (the brush). Works well for spray starch residue also, but I found there isn't much of that since switching to spray Magic Sizing.

The lint brush can be found at different places I believe...WM, and possibly big chain drugstores.

Would tumbling the darks in an 'unheated' dryer be an option, for your important darks anyway?


Here is a link that might be useful: Fabric lint brush

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 7:39AM
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I think the secret is in the washing machine. Some produce more lint on clothing than others. My current machine does not have filter for the washing water. It results in much more lint than my old washer.

Also, are you washing polyester type clothing with cotton fabrics? I frequently was polyester slacks with dark cotton shirts, but get more lint. I'd be careful and do small loads with only like fabric content. Very little detergent and see what happens. The lint has to be coming from somewhere, which is usually other clothing.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 5:42PM
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Forgot to mention, be sure you are turning the black clothing wrong side out during the laundry process. That should help.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 1:11AM
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Don't wash towels with your clothes.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:12AM
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Another possible answer is too many clothes being washed in one load. I also have to wash my towels seperately because their lint gets on everything. Fluffing in the dryer for 5 min. with something damp helps alot(after they are dry). My husband hates line dried clothes so I have to fluff all mine but it is still saving LOTS of dryer time.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 11:08AM
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I find dryer sheets used in the dryer help repel a lot of the lint and pet hair. I also wash towels and washcloths separate from clohes.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Add an extra rinse cycle (obviously not a good idea if you're trying to conserve water).

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 3:42PM
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A few minutes in the dryer without heat - just on "fluff" should get rid of much of the lint.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:35PM
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Vacuum with a brush attachment?

Or better yet, have Old Joyful come over and pick the lint off for you! He should be able to get enough off a load of clothes to A) Heat his house for a week in his "lint burning" stove; B) Spin it into yarn and make a cozy sweater or blanket for those winter nights, or; C) Make a nice pillow bed for some of the critters that get dropped off at his place!

I would not recommend the dryer lint casserole, however. ;)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 3:03AM
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I'm speechless.


ole joyful

P.S. Don't wash flannelette sheets with 'em, either.

P.P.S. to cynic - I don't know about "lint" in a stove, and I doubt that, at this time of year, anyone's going to research it much.

But none o' your "corn"y jokes, if you don't mind!

Actually, at this time of year, a lot of folks say that they'd rather use corn as a flake.

Wait a minute - did I say that?

Better amend it to " ... as flakes", I think.

o j

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 2:22PM
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I am having the same problem with lint left on my dark clothes after they come out of the washer. I wear a lot of natural materials, especially cotton for around the house. I use either Arm & Hammer powdered detergent or A & H liquid. The powdered version is extremely fine-textured, just short of being talc-like, so it dissolves great. I start out with a pretty warm (to hot) wash when I'm doing my denims and gardening tees. Then warm water for the more delicate stuff (I add on a few extra cycles so I can wash all the darks at once and then the rinsing, spin & liquid fabric softener is done altogther), so I know the powder is getting well-dissolved.

I turn everything inside out. I don't wash any linty stuff in these wash loads. I don't overload the washer - these are maybe half-load size. I put the delicate stuff (like my fine cotton, silk, ramie sweaters/slacks in those mesh wash bags, inside out, to do those in the cold cycles.

The washing machine isn't that old, a one-step-down from top-of-the-line Whirlpool that I bought at Wards just before they closed their doors forever.

This lint thing is just making me crazy! All my black sweaters (I wear a lot of black for dressier clothes, especially washable silk and linen)are all linted up and if I use anything resembling a brush on them it will give what are supposed to be very flat weaves a nap, which I certainly don't want.

What I'm looking for at this point is a way to de-lint my sweaters, slacks & tees.



    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:07PM
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As said above - Don't wash "fuzzies" with "unfuzzies".

I have always used the 'old style' ("beater" style) washer/dryer. When we moved (almost 3 yrs ago), we didn't have washer/dryer for first couple of months. We shopped around - online, physically looking at stores, ads in papers for 'used', etc. We settled for used/refurbished fm private party for $300.00/set - lg capacity. (didn't like the $1200.00+ pricetags on NEW.) The 'rotater' thingy inside the washer is the new style - 'supposedly' gets clothes 'cleaner' - (pushes water up and around vs beating clothes to death with the 'old style'.)

I used powdered soap (still - as I had always done), and clothes came out with lots of 'soap residue' on them. Tried the 2nd rinse cycle...still residue. (NOTE: I got in habit years prior of doing as poster above mentioned: Dissolve soap in wash cycle on lowest water level, then turn up water level and add clothes.) STILL was getting soap residue! I cut down on soap - still problem.

Finally, I resolved to liquid soap. I do not use the 'recommended amt' - (I use less). I still put water level on lowest to cycle the soap in, then raise level and add clothes. Sometimes I use the 2nd rinse cycle - depends on what I'm washing. I make full loads when possible, but I NEVER overload. I haven't used the fabric softener in washer for years. I DO use fab softener sheets in dryer tho.

You like to hang your clothes to dry.
MAYBE - use the liquid fab soft for washer. Do your darks first before any "fuzzy" or lighter colored stuff. Even maybe a 10 minute tumble in dryer with a fab soft sheet - then pull out and hang? (ALWAYS clean the lint filter on dryer after/before each load on dryer! I've seen SO many people who seem to be too lazy to take this simple step!)
I've never tried it, but maybe you could use a fab soft DRYER sheet in your wash?

Only other thing I can think of - try to do your dark "unfuzzies" first before any towels/white "linty" clothes. Maybe use a fab soft sheet to do a wipe down of your washer barrel before doing your darks?

I'd love to hang certain clothes out to dry - but where we live - too much dust kicks up in the desert winds!
Wish I could be of more help...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 6:57AM
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*Posted by florabelle1*I am having the same problem with lint left on my dark clothes after they come out of the washer.I use either Arm & Hammer powdered detergent or A & H liquid.

I bought a box of Arm and Hammer laundry deteregent ONCE.

It left white residue on everthing no matter what I did.

Never again. Never again.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 9:06AM
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I LOVE Arm & Hammer! It's never left any residue. I've been using it for at least 15 years. I use hot to nearly hot water for almost every washer load. I have allergies and I have to kill dust mites and their eggs so cold water is not an option. All my bedding and bathroom linens are 100% cotton so is the majority of my clothes. Plus, I feel that hot water is just more sanitary overall. The coolest water I use is luke-warm but if I'm using that then I'm doing delicates, and the A&H powder still dissolves completely. I put the clothes in, I scatter the powder on top of the clothes, the water gushes in on top of everything during the "fill", and voila, no problem (for me).

I also do a double rinse, with cold water each time.

I'm devoted to Arm & Hammer. I hate laundry detergent that makes a lot of suds.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 3:02PM
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Believe it or not, detergents can actually cause lint because of it's abrasive action on clothes. See link below for a way to avoid using detergents and softeners altogether. Go to site and click on the "Water Treatment" drop down list and select "LaundryPure."

Here is a link that might be useful: Pure Living Technologies

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 11:25PM
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A note -- several posters on the Laundry Room forum have taken issue with the claims of those promoting LaundryPure.

Back to OP -- if you haven't already done so, try washing your black clothes with a liquid detergent. If the lint remains, it's not likely a detergent issue.

Does your washer have some sort of a lint trap in its innards? If so, it might need cleaning out.

Posting an inquiry about your problem at the Laundry Room forum with your make and model of washer might elicit some insightful responses from repair techs (and Laundr-o-maniacs will chime in). If you know whether your water is hard or soft, include that in your post.

The last toploader I used regularly circulated the wash water from the bottom of the tub and spit it out on the top. The inside of the "spitting out" part on top would get all coated with lint. Ick. So I got a popsicle stick and scraped it out. It helped reduce deposited lint.

I endorse the suggestions above to line dry -- maybe until the clothes are just a hair damp to the touch -- then fluff in the dryer for a few minutes. Be sure the dryer's lint trap is clean before starting!

Finally, your washer *possibly* could be rough on clothes and scrapes the fibers off some of them.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Laundry Room forum

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:57PM
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If you are washing in cold water, keep in mind that "cold" to a detergent manufacturer can be a lot warmer than your incoming water. A call to the manufacturer and an inexpensive fish tank thermometer could eliminate this problem, or you could try warmer water.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 1:35PM
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