How Can You Reduce Lint In Your Laundry & Clothes Dryer?

ByMarc Silberberg


Nothing is as frustrating as taking your favorite garment out of the dryer only to discover that it is covered with white lint. The simplest reason for this inconvenience is failure to separate dark colored laundry items from light and white items. This particular issue is probably the easiest to solve as far as a lint problem. No matter how hurried you are, how small your load will be, never mix dark colors with white or light-colored objects.

If only your current lint problem could be so easily solved. Unfortunately, there is no cure for lint but there are certainly ways to lessen the buildup of lint both in your clothes dryer and on your belongings.

What is Dryer Lint?

When purchasing a new garment or bath towel you cannot always tell which type will be a lint shedder. Sometimes you can pick up a towel at the store and lint will shed right onto your black wool coat and this is a sure sign that that item is a lint shedder. However, it is usually not so obvious which clothes and other laundry items will throw off lint. Tiny fibers will shed because of frictional pressure caused by different types of fabrics and particles that make up the material of the item during the wash and dry cycles. These tiny fibers that stick out of the clothes especially wool and cotton fabrics will be more probable to cause lint.

Marie Altobelli is a fabric spinner. She explained that yarn thread is made up of millions of tiny bits of fiber which are twisted to unite the tiny ends of these fibers and locked together becoming a strong thread. What happens during spinning is that each thread that was spun has a halo of fluff surrounding it with one end of the thread hanging out so that once the fabric is used and washed these tiny fiber strands break off causing lint. According to Marie, the more an item is washed the more the threads loosen causing an increase in lint.

Buying New Clothes & Towels

When you purchase the above items from the store there are broken and snipped threads that are remainders from the manufacturing process. These fabrics have broken trimmed threads and fraying fibers at both ends of the material’s primary layer that come loose during the first few laundry cycles.

Towels are notorious lint shedders no matter how many times they are washed. In fact, buying the fluffiest towels and sometimes the more expensive ones will cause you to suffer with lint as long as those towels are yours. Many folks like to use their old towels as rags to clean their homes since they are absorbent and can hold lots of water and cleaning products protecting your hands from coming in contact with the dirty counters and walls.

Since you may insist on keeping those old towels forever, they will become a nuisance for your dryer. A large bath towel is too large to clean with so folks will end up cutting it up into convenient size cleaning pieces. The problem is that there are loose fibers around each piece, and these will easily find their way into your lint filter. The filter will become overwhelmed with lint and is not large enough to hold so much. Experienced cleaning experts recommend buying special cleaning clothes in superstores such as Costco, which are made of synthetics which a home economist can choose to either throw out after each use or wash and dry. You may believe that it is too expensive to throw out these cloths after one or two usages, but you may be saving money in the long run by not abusing your clothes dryer. Amazon sells them as well.

Lower Your Dryer Temperatures

The best way to protect your dryer from excess lint buildup is to reduce the time that your laundry stays in the dryer. By taking out the laundry before it is absolutely dry you can hang it on a clothesline that you have handy in your laundry room to finish drying. Some people will claim that they do not have a laundry room, only a stacking washer and dryer in a closet or hallway. There are many options out there for retractable clothes lines that come out when needed and then hidden back in the laundry area.

If you are really serious about cutting down on lint creation in your dryer and venting system, just try drying your clothes until most of the wrinkles have disappeared and hang them on hangers or a clothesline to finish drying. Permanent press shirts and clothes will not have to be ironed and your clothes will certainly have a longer shelf life and look newer. A bonus of reduced drying time is energy costs since many people keep their laundry in the dryer too long.

Some people turn their clothing inside out before placing it in their washing machine. There are conflicting opinions about this practice since it can reduce the efficiency of getting some nasty stains off work clothes and such. However, with regular clothing such as pajamas and under wear it could help but then the sorting and folding of the clothes will take additional time.

I remember as a young mother complaining to a close aunt about my excessive laundry. She commented that there are some items that can be worn more than once. For most of us it is easier to just throw the day’s clothing in the hamper than to fold or hang it up before retiring.

Babies’ clothes of course get soiled and smelly after one wearing so we are not claiming that a new mother of an infant should not put the baby’s clothes in the hamper. Once a child is toilet trained and keeps dry at night it’s pajamas can be worn for two nights instead of one. Their towels as well can be hung to dry on hooks in the bathroom instead of throwing them into the laundry automatically.

Sometimes we tend to overload our washers and dryers by pushing the garments into the washer and then dryer. Most washers have rows of holes on the drum so make sure that your laundry is not piled up higher than the top row of holes. Shorter cycles and smaller loads are known to reduce lint from your garments. Use a smaller water level setting to just cover the load.

Why Do I Have Excessive Lint in and Around My Dryer?

You may be the type of person that is very diligent about cleaning your lint trap before or after each load. That means that every load that is put into your clothes dryer starts out with a clean lint trap and yet you still find lint around the top of your dryer and inside the hole where a removable lint trap is inserted. So, you can be cleaning your lint trap after each drying cycle but what about the hose that leads to the vent? There may be a buildup of excessive lint in the vent reducing the amount of air that is leaving the house. Clogged lint traps are very often the cause of lint circulating in your laundry over and over and more seriously causing home fires.

If You Still Have Lint Problems After Trying These Various Ideas

If you are still finding excessive lint in and around your lint trap and vent hose it is time to call a professional dryer vent cleaning company. A professional will come into your home and not only clean your lint trap but the venting system as well. This expert will determine if your dryer is working efficiently and why you are getting so much lint buildup. By examining your dryer and venting system internally, this person will get to the root of the problem and fix it. If you have a large family and are doing a few loads a day you should call a dryer vent clean specialist on a regular basis to maintain your system.

Final Words

Most folks are happy as long as their laundry is washed and dried each laundry day. However, there is that annoying problem of lint building up from towels and garments that go in and out of your clothes dryer. Certain garments and towels have a decrease in lint as they age, and other fabrics have an increase in lint as they get older. It depends on how the fabric was manufactured and spun. There is a mixed feeling when you open up your lint trap after each load and see the consistency and amount of the lint. On the one hand, you feel righted that you are cleaning the lint trap and see the abundance of lint. On the other hand, you may wonder why your lint trap is saturated continually by lint. Those towels are not new anymore so why are they shedding lint? Those dark colored clothes are a few years old so why is their dark colored lint in the trap after drying those garments?

We hope that some of the ideas that were presented in this article will help reduce your dryer lint. If not, please call a professional dryer vent cleaning specialist not only for your garments and linens but for the safety of your family.

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