How to Remove Lint

A close up image of a woman using a lint remover on her sweater.
Lint removers can be very helpful, especially if you have a pet. Grace Cary / Getty Images

Let's face it, lint is something you have to deal with -- especially if you have a dog or cat around the house. While lint is more visible on light colored fabrics, dark fabrics seem to attract it more. In addition, besides making your clothes look dirty or ugly, lint is the bane of allergy sufferers [source: Patterson].

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to reduce or eliminate lint from your clothes and environment. Let's take a look at several methods:


  • Battery-operated lint shaver Gently move the shaver over the fabric to remove the lint, which is stored in a cup for easy disposal.
  • Masking tape Roll some masking tape, sticky side out, around your hand, and alternately press and lift the tape on the garment to pick off the lint. Alternatively, cut strips of masking tape, press them on the garment and then lift them off with the lint.
  • Lint roller Move the roller back and forth over the clothing until all the lint is removed. Scented lint rollers are available that give your clothing a fresh smell. Replace the adhesive lint sheet when it's covered with lint.
  • Single-edged razor Hold the razor at an angle and gently slide it over the garment, being very careful not to cut or nick the fabric. Be patient, as this method can be very time consuming.
  • Pumice stone Roll the stone lightly over the garment. Don't press too hard or the stone may tear the fabric. Alternatively, gently rub some soft-grain sandpaper over the garment [source: How To Get Rid Of It].

It's sometimes easier to prevent lint from accumulating on your fabrics than to remove it. Here are two ways to avoid the lint problem altogether:

  • White vinegar Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to a load of wash along with the laundry detergent.
  • Separate darks Wash dark clothing separately from such lint magnets as dishrags, towels and washcloths [source: Robbie's Kitchen].