Why is There Lint on My Clothing After Washing?

Cleaners Talk is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links, we may earn a commission at no additional costs to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Lint, or the fibers that fray on clothes after normal wear, often falls off clothes during laundry. Lint is normal, but washers and dryers contain lint traps to contain the fibers. If you find lint on clothes after washing, there might be a problem with your machine or washing process.

There is excess lint on your clothes after washing because your lint filter is not cleaned regularly, you have a clogged water pump or an obstruction in your drainage system. Cleaning the lint filter before every wash and separating different fabrics and colors are easy solutions to your lint problem.

In this article, we will explain why there is lint on your laundry and some easy steps you can take to ensure your clothes get cleaned. You can say goodbye to lint on your laundry after reading this article.

Why Robot Vacuum Going in Circles
Why Robot Vacuum Going in Circles

Why is there lint on my laundry?

If there is excessive lint on clothes after washing, it likely means there is a clog somewhere in your machine. Lint, detergent, debris, and dirt can build up over time, creating clogged water pumps, vents, lint traps, or filters. If there is lint on your washed clothes, it could be because:

1. The lint filter is clogged

To avoid excess lint on your clothes, you must regularly clean your washer and dryer filters. Although not all washing machines have lint traps, they are in all dryers. Checking your lint traps before each washing and drying is crucial—excess lint build-up can be a safety hazard, leading to fires and mildew.

Crucially, it also prevents your clothes from getting cleaned, leading to excess lint on clothes after washing. Indeed, making sure your lint filter is not clogged is the best way to prevent lint in your laundry.

2. The water pump is clogged

Water pumps are critical to preventing lint from entering your wash cycle. Although some washing machines have a self-cleaning water pump filter, they are not always effective or efficient. Some pumps can become clogged from the remnants of previous wash cycles, causing lint to appear on your washed clothes.

3. The septic tank or drainage system is blocked

Lint, especially from synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, never breaks down. If it enters the drainage system connected to your washer, it will continue to build up. A blockage causes lint to redisperse on your clothes and a clog can lead to septic tank failure.

Pet and human hair are the largest contributors to clogged drainage systems, so make sure to regularly clean your dryer ducts and vents. While many of these items can be repaired through regular maintenance, excess wear and tear can lead to costly repairs.

How to prevent lint from getting in your laundry

While lint on your washing can be destructive to your clothing and unattractive to look at, there are three simple things to prevent it. Keep reading to find several easy steps to prevent excess lint.

1. Clean all lint traps and filters before every washing and drying

Lint filters need regular cleaning. Try soaking your filters in dishwashing soap and hot water to remove the lint that accumulated over many loads of laundry. For your dryer filter, or if you have a washing machine that contains a lint trap, you can use a toothbrush to clean the hard-to-reach spots inside the filter.

Make sure to read your washer or dryer manuals, which will tell you exactly where to find the trap or the filter (or, if you have not kept your manual, look up your device, brand, and model number online).  

2. Sort your clothes based on color and fabric type

Some fabrics, like fleece and chenille, tend to produce high quantities of lint, whereas other fabrics like corduroy and wool, tend to attract lint. Darker colors also tend to attract lint more than lighter colors.

If you mix and match your items, the lint fibers can cling to these receptive materials. Always wash similar fabric types and colors together. Taking the extra few minutes to separate your clothes is worth it.

3. Use the correct amount of detergent

Always use the proper amount of liquid detergent based on the size of your wash. It's simple but will make a world of a difference in the results. Using too little detergent can cause the soap particles to stick to your clothing, whereas excess detergent can cause a slimy layer to appear on clothes.

Place your clothes loosely in the washer, paying attention to the maximum load capacity. You can also add one cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle to protect against lint and remove stains. 

And remember: Always check your pockets and make sure they are empty before washing or drying. Once loose items like tissues or paper get shredded in the washer, it can take several loads to wash out.

How to remove lint from your clothes

If you just realized that there is lint on your clean clothes, there are a few home remedies for removing lint that can be easy and affordable. To remove lint, try the following remedies:

  • Wash your clothes inside-out.
  • Use a lint roller or clothes steamer to remove lint once your clothes have come out of the washer or dryer. If you do not have access to any of those items, you can make a lint roller from tape.
  • For delicate items, try hand washing them or hanging them up to dry, rather than placing them in with the rest of your laundry. This prevents them from shedding lint.
  • Place a dryer sheet in with your regular load so that it can attract any lint particles that circulate.
  • Wash new clothes separately at least twice before you wear them, so they can naturally shed any lint or dye that may ruin other clothes. It works like a charm.


Now you know why there is lint on your laundry after washing. Excess lint is a common and frustrating problem. No one wants to pull on freshly washed clothes only to discover that they are itchy and dirty.

Thankfully, there are plenty of easy remedies. If you follow these DIY hacks and maintenance suggestions, you can successfully prevent getting lint on your clothes after washing.