Zero Waste Alternatives To Lint Rollers

When I was living in the U.S., I had two cats (who now live with my Mom and Dad), and I was constantly removing their hair from my clothes, especially my coats.  This may be because I always took off my coat as soon as I walked in the door and threw it on my kitchen table, which was situated right in front of the heating vent, where my two feline buddies loved to nap.  If I’d been less lazy and hung up my coat every day, it wouldn’t have been constantly covered in cat hair, and I may not have had needed to use a lint roller so much, but as it was, I used one at least weekly.

Convenient as they are, lint rollers don’t really have a place in a zero-waste lifestyle.  The handle is usually made of plastic and is not recyclable, nor is the paper itself, due to its glossy and sticky coating.  Fortunately, there are a few other ways to remove lint and hair from your clothing.  Here are my favorite zero-waste options:

  1. Paper tape.  Find yourself some compostable paper packing tape and create a makeshift lint roller that you can compost when you’re done.  Wrap it around your hand and pat your clothes to remove the lint, or wrap it around a rolling pin from end to end and roll it over your clothes just as you would with lint roller.  Make sure to put the tape in your compost bin when you’re done.
  2. Rubber glove.  If you have a pair of clean rubber gloves in your kitchen or bathroom, you can put one on and rub your garments to remove hair and lint.  Just make sure you’re rubbing in the same direction as the grain of the fabric to avoid creating pills.
  3. Old nylons.  Due to their static charge, an old pair of nylons can be great for picking up loose lint and hair.  Put your hand into a stocking and rub your garments to pick up lint and hair.
  4. Plastic-free lint brush.  You can also pick up one of these natural lint removers that will do the job nicely. 

Of course, the easiest way to get lint out of your clothes is to avoid putting it there in the first place.  A few ways to accomplish this:

  1. Identify which of your garments is creating the most lint, and which is attracting the most lint, and wash them separately.  If you can’t wash them separately, a least turn them inside out before washing.
  2. Line-dry your clothes, rather than tumble drying.  You can see from your lint catcher that tumble drying creates plenty of lint.  Avoid letting it migrate from your garments by line-drying your clothes instead.
  3. Put your clothes away properly after you take them off.  If your clothes don’t lie around when they’re not being worn, they’re less likely to become cat napping spots, or to collect stray airborne dust and lint.  They’ll look better and last longer if they’re neatly folded or hung when not in use. 

What zero-waste tricks do you use to keep your clothes looking fresh?