what is lint
Clothing care

What is lint made of, and how do you remove it?

Tired of clothes looking fluffy? Learn what makes lint on clothes and find tips on how to get rid of lint and prevent it from forming.

Key steps:

Knowing how to remove lint from clothes and reduce future build up is fairly straightforward, as long as you follow a few key steps:

  1. Wash lint-attracting and lint-producing items separately
  2. Clear pockets before washing
  3. Use the recommended amount of detergent
  4. Use tape or a lint roller to remove lint from clothes
  5. Keep your machine’s filter clean to reduce lint on clothes

There are plenty of household oddities that will always be a mystery (where socks disappear to, how come you never finish a pencil?) but lint – those little flecks of fluff that find their way onto clothes when we least want them – doesn’t have to be one of them.

Once you know what it is and how to remove lint, things become a whole lot easier. This article will not only answer the question of “what is lint?” but it’ll also show you how to get rid of it and prevent it in future. That includes learning how to remove lint from clothes when you’re pushed for time and a few preventative steps you can take when doing the laundry.

What is lint on clothes?

Before we address how to remove lint from clothes, there are a couple of questions that need answering:

1. What is lint made of?

Lint is made up of small fibres that can easily break off clothes during washing, drying, or just as part of general wear and tear. Wool and cotton are some of the most common fibres you’ll find in your lint.

2. What is lint on clothes?

Due to the makeup of lint, it can cling onto clothing and other fabrics easily. This gives them that unwanted “fluffy” look.

How to get rid of lint

So, now that you know what it is, it’s time to learn how do you remove lint from clothes? One of the most common ways is to use a roller to pick up the loose fibres – something that also works well for other unwanted materials that can stick to clothes, like pet hairs.

If you’ve got the time you can make a homemade roller to remove lint on clothes. Grab something cylindrical (a rolling pin works well) and carefully wrap it in tape so that the sticky side is facing outwards. Next, gently roll it up and down your clothing and the lint will lift away.

If you’re more pushed for time, then you can also use your hand. Wrap it in tape (sticky tape, parcel tape, masking tape… whatever you have), also with the stick side facing outwards, and pat down your outfit to remove lint from clothes.

Reduce lint on clothes and prevent it from being a problem

Knowing how to remove lint from clothes is one thing, but how do you prevent it? While you’ll never be able to stop it forming entirely, regular cleaning of your washing machine filter will definitely help slow down the build-up. The filter of your washing machine collects lint during the cycle, and if it’s not cleaned often then lint on clothes will always be an issue.

In addition to cleaning the machine there are a number of other things you can do to reduce the amount of lint you find on your clothes:

  • Separate lint-producing items like towels from lint-attracting materials like synthetic fabrics
  • Turn out pockets to remove fluff before washing
  • Wash close that shred fibres easily inside out
  • Use the right amount of detergent from the likes of Surf and Persil – always read the instructions before you do so
  • Don’t overload your machine

With these tips, and a little help from a lint roller, your clothes will look clean and crisp without any unwanted fibres.

Cleanipedia recommends


Wash your clothes with a high quality detergent, like Persil, and always follow the instructions on the care label to reduce damage to your clothes. Take care to avoid loose fibres from being snagged on delicate clothes and contributing to lint.