Lint describes is the tiny fabric fibres that are shed from clothes during a wash cycle. Inside the washing machine, these fibres can stick to other clothes, making them look dirty. This can also happen just after a wash when they are damp.
Natural wool and cotton generate more lint than synthetic materials and some washing machines might be more likely to create lint issues than others. The production of excess lint can be symptomatic of a faulty washing machine, or sometimes it may indicate an issue with your washing processes.
When lint is shed from lighter clothes to darker ones, it can give a worn or faded appearance. If this is happening every time you wash your clothes in the washing machine, then it can quite quickly become a problem.
Top tips to help you prevent lint on clothes
Separating clothes in accordance to colour will not only ensure that you avoid clothes from running colours, but it can also reduce the visibility of lint on your clothes. This is because any lint from clothing will be roughly similar shades to the item that it sticks to – making the lint less visible.
Wash “lint attracting” garments inside out
By turning your clothes inside out, you’ll reduce its ability to stick to the outside of your clothes. Do this before placing them into the washing machine or tumble dryer. Any lint that does form should be on the inside of your clothing and not visible to others.
Clean your filter
A build-up of fluff inside the washing machine filter might result in the lint coming off on your clothes. If the wash can’t filter the drum, then it will be left to circulate with clean clothes. Blocked filters may also become fire hazards, as the washing machine may heat to higher temperatures than it’s supposed to. To stop this from happening, regularly clean your washing machine or tumble dryer filter. This will stop the machine from clogging up and will reduce the chance of lint sticking to your clothes.
Use gentle cycles or try hand washing high lint clothing
If you separate the clothes that are more prone to shed lint, you can put them in a gentle cycle, which will disturb the fabric fibres less – meaning they’ll be less likely to shed lint. Alternatively, you might choose to hand wash particularly delicate fabrics like wool or fine cotton.
Deep clean your washing machine
If your washing machine needs a little TLC, then give it a deep clean. We recommend that you deep clean your washing machine every month or two in order to ensure that it runs effectively. This will get rid of any fluff that had built up in your washing machine and reduce any build-up of lint. For full instructions on how to deep clean your washing machine, check out our guide “How to look after your washing machine”.
What to do if you are still experiencing problems
If you follow our advice and are still experiencing lint problems, then your lint filter could be damaged or there may be a more serious problem with your washing machine.