How to Remove Excessive Lint from Laundry


Tina asked: I washed my chenille blanket with other clothes, and it shed all over everything! How do I get the shed off of everything?

Chenille, along with towels, flannels and sweatshirts, are known as “lint givers.” This means they commonly release moderate to high levels of lint during the wash cycle. Removing this lint from other laundry can be a challenge, but in most cases, there is no permanent damage. Here are some steps to get the other laundry items back to normal.

You Will Need:

  • Cold water
  • Washing machine
  • Lint roller, shaver or brush
  • Wide tape
  • Dryer sheets

Steps to Remove the Lint:

  1. Start by taking each piece and giving it a good shake. This will shake loose some of the lint.
  2. The best way to remove the lint is by running it back through the washing machine and allowing the agitation of the water to do some of the work for you. Fill the machine with cold water and return the other pieces of laundry inside. Do NOT put the shedding garment back in with this load.
  3. Do NOT add laundry detergent.
  4. Run a normal cycle.
  5. Once finished, dry as normal, either line drying or machine drying. If the pieces can be machine dried, the dryer will remove additional lint. Dryer sheets can be added to reduce the amount of static that helps the lint stick to clothing.
  6. After the pieces are dry, remove them and give them another good shaking.
  7. Any remaining lint can be removed with a lint roller, brush or shaver.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • In the future, wash the chenille blanket by itself as it will continue to shed during future washings. If the item is small, add some old towels or old jeans to make the load larger.
  • Wipe out the interior of  your washing machine after washing your chenille items. There will likely be a layer of lint. If it is not removed, it will be transferred to the next load of laundry.
  • Be extra careful when washing “lint takers.” Items such as corduroy, permanent press clothes and velvet attract lint and she not be washed with items that tend to shed their lint.
  • Wide tape also works well as a lint remover. Simply wrap it around your hand so that the sticky side is facing outward. Press it on the fabric and peel away. The lint will stick to the tape.


  1. I wish I read on how to wash chenille garments before I did what I did! I put a new, grey chenille sweater in the wash, along with some dark new clothes since the chenille was shedding and I don’t like wearing dark clothes without washing them, because they stain my undergarments. Well, I tried washing them twice and nothing. I’m sticking them in the dryer without the sweater and seeing if it comes off that way. I have orientation at 9:00 a.m. and it is 2:14 a.m.; I’m not happy at the moment. I don’t want to go looking like a grey fluffy cat rubbed all over me! I loved the sweater in the store, but now I’m starting to loathe it! Thanks for the tips!

  2. My blue blanket sheds all over my black sheets! Any suggestions?

  3. D.,
    Add a cup of vinegar to the wash and add two dryer sheets to the dryer. Lint roll the blanket before placing it on the bed. You can use duct tape instead of a lint roller if you have that handy.
    Another option is to check the tag to find out the specific fabric of the blanket and research that fabric. For example, fleece shedding is related to “fleece pilling,” which is when the lint builds up into matted balls on the fabric. To stop fleece pilling, it is recommended that you scrape the fabric with a fabric shaver to remove the loose lint, which would also aid in general shed prevention.

    Source: – How to Wash a Shedding Blanket
    Source: – How to Remove Pilling from Fleece

  4. For lint – use masking tape, packing tape, or any sticky tape.

  5. Most helpful. Many thanks!

  6. Help, towels that I have been washing together for months, even years, are now getting lint on each other in the washing machine. I just moved apartments and no longer have a nice new front loader, but a refurbished traditional top loader. I’ve tried vinegar! I ran a hot wash with bleach! Nothing has helped. Is it the quality of the washing machine? I’m scared to wash anything nice in this machine!

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