Q:

How do I keep lint off clothes?

A:

Reducing lint from clothing is a matter of keeping fabrics or other substances that shed away from those that attract the lint. This can be done by separating fabrics that shed, such as cottons, chenille and natural fibers, from the knits, flannels and synthetics that are lint magnets.

Sometimes what looks like lint is actually soap residue. If the spot feels granular and spreads out when it's touched, a second rinse should remove it. Clothing that already shows lint should be run through a dryer on air-only, with a dryer sheet to attract the lint. Preventing lint in wash cycles is easier with smaller loads; overloading the washer doesn't allow the rinse water to take the lint away, and instead it is re-deposited on the clothes. Overuse of bleach or fabric softener can weaken fabrics and cause more lint, as does a wash cycle that's overly long. Many clothes, especially polyesters that pill, benefit from being washed inside out.

An older washer often has an external lint filter that needs periodic cleaning. Newer washers have self-cleaning lint filters, but these also need to have cleaning cycles run about once a month. Lint traps in dryers, as well as hoses and vents, should be cleaned regularly as well. For quick clean-ups away from the laundry room, lint rollers and anti-static sprays are good to have in the car, a purse and a desk drawer at work.


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