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How to Remove Lint and Pet Hair From Clothes — No Lint Roller Needed!

Plus, how to prevent lint from sticking to clothes in the first place

Lint: It’s one of those things that can make or break an outfit. Though it’s often made up of stuff like hair (both animal and human), Carol Mehas, founder and CEO of arbOUR Products, says it’s just as frequently “the loose material of the clothes themselves created by the pulling and pilling of the fabric.” And it’s easy enough to remove from your clothes with a lint roller. But when you’re about to run out the door for an important meeting and don’t want to show up with cat hair on your sweater, but your lint roller is nowhere to be found… you may be wondering how to remove lint from clothes without picking each hair off by hand. Scroll down for the simple hacks from cleaning pros.

How to prevent lint from sticking to clothes

Before tackling how to remove lint from clothes when you don’t have a lint roller, it’s important to know what kind of clothes are magnets for lint. “Synthetic fabrics are more likely to attract lint because they usually carry more of an electric charge than natural fabrics like organic cotton, wool, leather, and suede,” Mehas says. Regardless of the clothing though, you can always minimize the lint load.

1. Clean the dryer filter

Mehas’ number one tip for preventing lint is to remember to clean out the dryer filter after every run (not doing so is a fire hazard anyways).

2. Wash clothes inside out and/or separately

Washing clothes inside out and/or separately (darks and synthetics together) accomplishes two things: the first is cut down on shedding and the second is cut down on sticking.

3. Throw a microfiber cloth into the dryer

Microfiber cloths are a cleaning essential because of their ability to attract and trap everything from dirt and dust to fluids. Because of this, it makes sense that Marieke van der Graaf, founder and owner of Laundrylicious, recommends that you “add a microfiber cloth to the dryer to catch a lot of lint.”

4. Add distilled white vinegar or fabric softener

Using either distilled white vinegar or fabric softener in a laundry load can relax the fibers in your clothes, which in turn relaxes the grip lint has on them.

Related: 13 Brilliant Uses For White Vinegar Guaranteed To Make Your Life Easier

5. Try an anti-static spray

The less static, the less chance of lint collecting. If you’re dressed in something you think is going to become a magnet, do yourself a favor and spritz on some anti-static spray.

Related: How to Remove Static From Clothes: Laundry Pros Reveal Their Absolute Favorite On-the-Go Trick

6. Check the pockets

It’s easy to forget about things like old tissues and receipts — things that, frustratingly, will break down in the wash and become the lint you’re trying to avoid.

How to remove lint from clothes

Different kinds of lint are more annoying to remove than others. Mehas finds the lint from white restaurant napkins to be the most stubborn (to the point that she requests black ones), while van der Graaf says hair and pillow stuffing are the worst. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to remove any lint you come across.

1. Use a rubber glove or nylon stocking

“Rubber gloves, like cooking or medical gloves, are great because when rubbed on fabric quickly, the charge pulls off lint and fur,” explains van der Graaf. “Rubbing in one direction is the best method to create strokes of energy.” Nylon stockings work the same way.

2. Use a lint brush

For more sensitive clothing such as silk and organza, Mehas prefers to use a lint brush (Buy on Amazon, $6.99), which is double-sided with directional fibers to pick up lint. This solution is also more sustainable than a lint roller.

3. Use contact paper

Typically used as a drawer or shelf liner, leftover contact paper is a great hack because the sticky side is basically a giant lint roller. 

4. Use a damp towel or sponge

How to remove lint from clothes when you don’t have a lint roller: Woman hands squeeze wet blue towel and water drop
Sasiistock/Getty

According to van der Graaf, if you have a little extra time, throwing the clothing back in the dryer with a damp towel or sponge will take care of the lint. This is because moisture reduces static, which is partially what keeps lint latched onto clothes. You can also wipe a damp towel or sponge across a piece of clothing yourself.

5. Use a dryer sheet

Speaking of reducing static, consider giving dryer sheets, which are specifically designed for this purpose, a chance. Similar to a damp towel or sponge, you can either rub the clothing down with the dryer sheet or toss them both in the dryer on air dry.

Related: 17 Brilliant Uses for Used Dryer Sheets That Have Nothing To Do With Laundry

6. Use a vacuum cleaner

This may be a bit much depending on the type of clothing and the amount of lint, but it should be unsurprising that a handheld vacuum or the upholstery attachment on a regular vacuum can quickly suck up any and all lint.

7. Use duct or masking tape

One of the most popular ways to remove lint without a lint roller, the method is simple: “Use tape around your fingers with the sticky part outside and rub over the lint to attract it,” van der Graaf says. Duct or masking tape are most effective, but any kind can get the job done.

To see this trick in action, watch the video below:


For more clothing tips, click through the links below!

How to Remove Static From Clothes: Laundry Pros Reveal Their Absolute Favorite On-the-Go Trick

Experts Share Why Using Too Much Laundry Detergent May Be Making Your Clothes ‘Dirty’

The Bathroom Leftover That Can Prevent Moths From Damaging Your Clothes

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