woman using lint roller to remove lint from clothes before putting in washing machine
Tumble Dryers
7 min. read

Why Does Lint Form in the Tumble Dryer?

When fabric fibres shed from the clothes we wash or dry, this can cause a considerable buildup of lint in your appliance. Often, wool and cotton are the most likely culprits when it comes to the production of lint and it could become an irritating problem over a period of time, with people often not knowing how to combat the issue. Lint build up is a common tumble dryer issue so, in this article, we’ll be explaining what lint is, why it’s bad for your appliance and how it can be removed from your machine safely.

What is lint?

Lint comes from fabric fibres that shed from clothes and other garments that we wash or dry. Cotton, linen and wool can all contribute lint, although washing or drying these clothes alone isn’t the main reason why there could be a buildup of these fibres.

Why does lint form?

Fabric fibres can form as a result of friction which is most likely caused by simply wearing our clothes. Friction causes the fabric fibres to loosen which will then come off during the washing and drying process.

Why is lint bad?

Lint is bad for a couple of reasons, including:

It can be bad for the environment

It’s likely that lint can contain microplastics that are small enough to get into the water system. Microplastics can lift from clothes when we wash or dry or dry them, and often take thousands of years to break down. Not only this, but microplastics can be ingested by marine life, putting a major strain on the ecosystem in general.

A considerable buildup has been known to cause dryer fires

Not only can there be a buildup in the lint trap, but it can also get into the vent and ductwork if there’s a considerable amount of it. This can cause a problem with drying efficiency and airflow, ultimately leading to poor dryer performance. Often, this is when homeowners look to replace their dryers as opposed to having them serviced, but the removal of lint is a simple, effective process made even more worthwhile when you consider the safety of yourself and others who live in your home.

The combination of lint and reduced airflow creates the perfect conditions for a fire to breakout. Lint is highly-combustible and is therefore more than enough to fuel a fire, hence why it’s important to regularly identify and remove these fabric fibres as quickly as possible.

Dryer safety tips

  • Never leave your dryer running when no one is in the house
  • Clothing or fabrics that have come into contact with flammable liquids or cooking oil should not be put through the tumble dryer
  • Do not store flammable liquids, or fabrics that have come into contact with flammable liquids, near the dryer or the washing machine
  • If you suspect a problem with your dryer, shut it down completely and consult a professional as soon as possible.

How can lint be removed?

Lint on clothing can be a very persistent and common problem, but finding out where it all comes from can be just as troublesome. Most likely, your clothes pick up lint from washing machines and tumble dryers, but eradicating lint from these appliances isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Removing lint from your clothes

There are many methods for removing lint from your clothes, including:

  • Using masking tape to lift the lint off your clothes
  • Wash your clothes inside out
  • Use a specifically designed lint roller
  • Blow it away with a hair dryer
  • Have your washing machine serviced
  • Have your tumble dryer serviced
woman using lint roller to remove lint from clothes before putting in washing machine

Removing lint from the dryer

It’s relatively easy to rid your dryer of lint. Most of the time, it’s as easy as cleaning out the lint trap or simply not overloading the dryer. For condenser dryers, not observing this simple maintenance tip could cause a blockage in the heat exchange unit, also known as a “condenser unit”, which leads to severe reduction in dry times or even dryer malfunction.

As and when that happens or if you’d like a more detailed investigation and a professional repair service for your peace of mind, then our team here at Domex will always be happy to assist you.

However, if your wet clothes have come out of the washing machine covered in lint – which you then put in the dryer – the likelihood is that your dryer will now start to accumulate copious amounts of it as a result. Such a build up could then become a permanent problem when it comes to tumble drying your clothes. To rule out lint in your dryer, it’s important to banish it from your washing machine as well.

Removing lint from tumble dryer

Removing lint from the washing machine

There are a few things you could try to rid your washing machine of lint, including cleaning the lint trap, much like you would with the tumble dryer. Deep cleaning your machine could also help in the removal of lint, but the problem could soon come back.

To be sure that your washing machine is free from a lint buildup, calling a highly-qualified engineer to inspect your machine will put your mind at ease. Our team at Domex will always be on hand to help our customers, whether you have a lint problem or something more serious.

Woman putting clothes in washing machine

The future

The year 2020 could see the arrival of the world’s very first washing machine with a built-in microfiber filter. Thanks to the unique design, the machine will block around 90% of the lint, or microfibre, from entering the water. This new advancement was created and announced by Arcelik, the parent company of Beko. What’s more, Arcelik is planning to make this innovative technology available to their competitors to help the environment, giving this technology the chance to be commonplace in the future.

For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with us to make an appointment. Once a member of our friendly team has booked a slot for you, you’ll be able to track your repair using the ‘My Repair’ page on our website. Here, you’ll be able to see a photo of your attending engineer, change your appointment time, view important documents and more – Domex strives to deliver excellent customer service every single time, so you can always count on us.

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