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Excessive lint/dust on clothes after washing


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  • Root Admin

Hi Louise. We have a lot of dust and the wife dusts regularly, but we've never thought of it as anything other than normal. I've always hated dust, and often said someone should invent something to get rid of it.

However, to be honest they have. These air purifiers are said to remove most house dust. If you don't already use one I'd strongly recommend researching Which? to find a really good one and invest in one. It would have to help. 

I did some research a while back and found that contrary to common belief household dust is only about half made up of human skin (so the more people in the house the more dust). The rest is made up from fibres and stuff coming in from outside. 

This is a photo of my bedside table now. It's covered in fibres as you describe. But I've been shaking and thrashing clothes about. I also never normally even look for dust, and couldn't see it anyway without my reading glasses on. 

My own experience is that the dust only floats in the air a lot when it's caught in rising hot air when sun streams through window. I just shook stuff now with no sun shining in, and the small amount of dust/fibres just dropped onto the floor and bed. 

3A0C9664-5E66-45C9-858D-BA1047AEEC9C.jpeg

 

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7 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Hi Louise. We have a lot of dust and the wife dusts regularly, but we've never thought of it as anything other than normal. I've always hated dust, and often said someone should invent something to get rid of it.

However, to be honest they have. These air purifiers are said to remove most house dust. If you don't already use one I'd strongly recommend researching Which? to find a really good one and invest in one. It would have to help. 

I did some research a while back and found that contrary to common belief household dust is only about half made up of human skin (so the more people in the house the more dust). The rest is made up from fibres and stuff coming in from outside. 

This is a photo of my bedside table now. It's covered in fibres as you describe. But I've been shaking and thrashing clothes about. I also never normally even look for dust, and couldn't see it anyway without my reading glasses on. 

My own experience is that the dust only floats in the air a lot when it's caught in rising hot air when sun streams through window. I just shook stuff now with no sun shining in, and the small amount of dust/fibres just dropped onto the floor and bed. 

3A0C9664-5E66-45C9-858D-BA1047AEEC9C.jpeg

 

Thank you Andy, so I’m assuming that this is an issue that most people have it just became more noticeable since moving house? I vacuum my carpet daily, I dust every day too. It’s just so disheartening to wipe something and then come back half an hour later to it covered in fibres again. 

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  • Root Admin

It's difficult because your description of your issue sounds much worse. My wife only dusts once a week.  We don't have dust everywhere that comes back soon after dusting. 

Have you made sure your vacuum cleaner is capturing all dust effectively? Some can just end up recirculating dust. 

But yes dust is normal and relentless but my wife dusted the other day and there's no dust on surfaces apart from the mess I've made in the bedroom 😂

But then there's only 2 of us in the house and she's out all day for half the week. So our dust should be nowhere near as bad as someone with a house full of kids or pets for example. 

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Just now, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

It's difficult because your description of your issue sounds much worse. My wife only dusts once a week.  We don't have dust everywhere that comes back soon after dusting. 

Have you made sure your vacuum cleaner is capturing all dust effectively? Some can just end up recirculating dust. 

But yes dust is normal and relentless but my wife dusted the other day and there's no dust on surfaces apart from the mess I've made in the bedroom 😂

But then there's only 2 of us in the house and she's out all day for half the week. So our dust should be nowhere near as bad as someone with a house full of kids or pets for example. 

Honestly I could wipe my electric hob and the cloth I use could be clean but because it’s got lint embedded inside it just leaves a streak of fibres. And then if I get rid of them with a cleaning wipe instead they will still be back within half an hour. 
 

I recently purchased a new vacuum it’s amazing, but I’m yet to see any change with the amount of dust within the house. I feel like it just whatever I do to get rid of the lint resets as soon as it goes through the machine. I just dried a hot white wash on the line and there are clouds and clouds of tiny fibres coming off them. 
 

I’ve tried using more powder, less powered, liquid detergent, white vinegar, water softener tablets. So many different things and I’ve not noticed any change. I can sympathise with the other poster as it has made me depressed with suicidal thoughts, and I know that may seem dramatic as it is just laundry but it’s affecting my life so bad. 
 

Honestly I have to dust the whole house daily, I dusted my blinds yesterday and they were covered in lint dust again today. I have no pets just two children and a partner. 

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  • Root Admin

Just found this which looks interesting. As well as reading, you might be able to contact him for help and advice

https://gleem.co.uk/blog/dust

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12 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Just found this which looks interesting. As well as reading, you might be able to contact him for help and advice

https://gleem.co.uk/blog/dust

Thank you, I do already follow the tips here and I noticed they don’t really mention fibres at all more focused on pet hair and skin cells but it’s worth getting his opinion on this issue. 

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  • Root Admin
8 minutes ago, Louise1305 said:

it’s worth getting his opinion on this issue

I think you should definitely send him an email, maybe even a link to this thread. You have very little to lose. Ultimately although I have tried my best, we don't even know if it is in any way related to your washing machine. This guy deals with dust as a specialist.

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  • 4 months later...
5 minutes ago, Louise1305 said:

So I bit the bullet and bought a new washing machine and this was how the first wash came out. What am I doing wrong? I can’t cope with all of my clothes looking like this anymore.😩

BDE177E1-7FBF-43A1-BDC8-7B4FDFF66263.jpeg

what did you put in with that garment in the same wash cycle? something grey and felt like material or have you just tested washing only a black garment with only other black garments in the wash?

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  • Root Admin

Hi Louise. That's a shame, though the very first post in this entire topic was from Lily who stated that she had this problem, had bought a new washing machine, and it did not cure the fault. To be honest I've been sceptical all along with the idea that this is an actual fault on any washing machine.

My suspicion is, after reading all of these contributions, and my own observations of my own laundry, is that virtually all modern laundry sheds these very small fibres. Black and dark laundry sheds hundreds of these small fibres, but they are dark, and would show up on light coloured laundry. Conversely, white and light coloured laundry shed white and light coloured fibres, which stand out on dark laundry.

I can't be sure, but that's where I'm leaning right now on this problem. At my house we do not have this issue of lots of fibres showing up on laundry, but I don't think we wash a mix of light and dark laundry that both shed these small fibres.

I posted a photo some months ago where I found that when the sun was streaming through my bedroom window one morning and I accidentally shook one of my T-shirts, the room was almost filled with small microfibres. This is why I think that they are shed by most modern clothes. My clothes were full of them, but we just didn't know about it. Whether or not they contaminate other clothes could very well be dependent on whether light fibre sheddings can get onto dark laundry and vice versa.

I would definitely try only washing darks together. If only to see if it makes a difference.

 

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27 minutes ago, andyr12345 said:

what did you put in with that garment in the same wash cycle? something grey and felt like material or have you just tested washing only a black garment with only other black garments in the wash?

Just a normal dark wash. It had a grey pinafore in there do you think that would have caused this?

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  • Root Admin

Hi Louise. Yes the fibres looked grey to me. What is the Pinafore made of, and what exactly does it say on its wash label?

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25 minutes ago, Shazzer said:

Have you tried reducing the spin it really helped for me. Now spin at 800.. higher the spin the more lint was over the clothes.

Higher the spin was like it was shredding  the clothes. So washed everything with 800 spin then tumbled it and it reduced lint loads 

Thank you I will try that. 

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1 hour ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

Hi Louise. Yes the fibres looked grey to me. What is the Pinafore made of, and what exactly does it say on its wash label?

Sorry I am out of the house now on the way to work I can check tomorrow. But the pinafore is a type of felt material. I just did another wash without those items I will check them when I get home. 
 

I used the mixed fabrics cycle on the machine so assumed I would be okay to mix fabrics without this issue. But if I need to be more strict with separating fabrics as well as colours I feel like I will constantly be washing clothes but if that’s got the slightest possibility to help then I’m willing to try anything. 
 

I bought a new washing machine as if you remember I had a washer dryer combo machine and though that this was contributing to my issue. And to be honest I’m not expecting miracles that all this lint will go away in one cycle so I haven’t lost hope in the new machine yet. 
 

I am planning to replace my hallway carpet in the next few weeks aswell as I believe this could be one of the contributing factors in this issue of lint dust. I have attached a photo of the carpet surface and the amount of raised fibres. When I clean the bottom of our hard sole slippers there are loads of grey fibres coating the surface. If you are barefoot in my house and then get in the shower loads of lint comes off your feet. 

C5869014-033C-4C2B-BCD3-59373FB01555.jpeg

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48 minutes ago, Louise1305 said:

I used the mixed fabrics cycle on the machine so assumed I would be okay to mix fabrics without this issue.
 


 

 

 

I think personally you can maybe look on 'mixed fabrics' more as that you can mix cottons with say (non delicate) synthetic or 60'c and 40'c in one wash (lower temp wash and softer drum action) rather than a cycle to stop lint transferring from one garment to the other in a wash which I think maybe what is happening in yours. 

If you find that even with doing your dark /blacks even separately on their own are still coming out the same with this lint on them is that quite possibly the previous washing you have done has not rinsed the drum (inner and or outer) properly so the lint from your previous wash could still be lurking on the drum surface . So you put in your black garments and the link from the previous wash then sticks to the black garments ... and leaves you scratching your head as you had not even put in grey or light garments in with that wash so how on earth is light coloured lint still appearing on your black garments! 
All you can do in that situation is thouroughly rinse your machine between washes , so thats put a rinse consisting of 2 or 3 rinses on with no detergent or fabric conditioner whatsoever so all it is doing is washing the inner and outer drum with clean fresh water and then rinsing away (and hopefully lint from previous wash)  down the drain  so that next time you go to wash a load then the drum is starting off nice and clean . 

not all washing machines rise the drum out *after the cycle* - I believe the other day I saw a AEG washing machine that did exactly this after every wash (if you wanted it to) is rinse the machine after every was cycle. I think they may have called it hygiene mode or something. 

Another thing to check is the grey rubber door seal. - if that has any lint whatsoever on it when you put in the black garment (say from previous wash or washes)  if that black garment brushes past the door seal with the link on the lint will stick to your black garment, thats another way you could be picking up the lint on the black garments. All you can do in that situation is with a bit of soapy water after every wash is to wipe the grey rubber door gasket thoroughly every time . - the door gaskets can be magnet for lint / dust / mould and dirt to be honest most of the time ... and even get even worse over time as the rubber breaks down with use, and use of chemicals in detergents and the like and can become sort of 'sticky' picking up all kinds. I know you say you have just bought the machine  so even though this shouldnt be the case at the moment this can and does happen later on as the machine gets older. As I say though a quick wipe down with even a damp cloth after every wash although a bit inconvenient , may help prolong the door gasket, stop leaks from it and stop it from perishing, and also get rid of dirt so that when you are loading and unloading the machine the clothes are not brushing up against the door gasket and picking up dirt or lint from the door gasket. 

good Luck.

 

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  • Root Admin

I know I keep mentioning wash labels but many modern clothes have restricted wash instructions that most people just don't look at or understand. For example, here is the wash label from just one of my ordinary t-shirts.

It says 40 degrees so many people may wash it on cottons but the single line under the symbol means it should be washed on a cycle with reduced agitation. This implies the fibres may be damaged otherwise. 
 

It also says to wash inside out. Which again implies that it shouldn't have other items rubbing against it. It's always possible fibre damage is one of the causes of all these fibres on laundry. 
 

It's always worth checking every items wash label and making sure you understand what all the symbols mean. This article  has some help on the wash symbols though there are more comprehensive ones out there

https://www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/what-do-the-wash-symbols-mean/

C065BDB0-B344-4360-BB5A-8DC54742E3F5.jpeg

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  • Root Admin
33 minutes ago, Whitegoodshelp (Andy) said:

It also says to wash inside out. Which again implies that it shouldn't have other items rubbing against it. It's always possible fibre damage is one of the causes of all these fibres on laundry

If you zoom in on the photo, you can see a lot of fibre damage, and bits on it. This is because it doesn’t get washed inside out as my wife doesn’t take any notice of the wash labels 😂

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello just jumping on this thread as I have the same problem. I am so anxious as I have 2 children. A 5 month old and a 2.5 year old and we’ve all been suffering with respiratory illnesses the past month. I have read the entire thread and was hoping for some solutions but appears that no-one has eradicated the problem yet. 

The only thing I can think of that I have changed recently is that instead of buying normal  ‘fairy non-bio capsules’ I bought the new platinum fairy non-bio extra stain removal capsules so I’m going to stop using these to see if it helps.
 

Ours is a Beko washer/dryer. 


I took my daughter out today and when I picked up her large Aden & Anais Muslin there was a huge dust cloud formed and I’ve noticed for a while when the clothes have been drying on the airer when I move them when they’re dry huge dust clouds are formed. These are brand new sleepsuits from next which have only been washed once with the issue 😕 

I also washed some brand new clothes from TU for my son yesterday on the washer/dryer setting and they looked so worn and faded after like they’d been worn.lll  50 times and still had dust clouds.

 

we are also getting fibres all over the glass electric hob which I wipe daily. 
 

There is nothing in the pump filter. 

I’m going to try some of these suggestions on here to see if it helps. I have been using the quick wash setting recently (30 minute wash on 30 degrees as someone suggested that isn’t long enough, so I’ll try the other longer  cycles) 

I also regularly clean our washing machine on a 90 degree 2 hour wash with bicarbonate of soda so I shall do that tomorrow morning. 
 

 

 

 

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  • Root Admin

Hi Taramac. With anything like this, my first thought is always, are the wash label instructions being followed? I've asked several times over the course of this topic, but no one that I can remember has ever posted a photo of a wash label (except me). There are some quite restrictive instructions on modern wash labels. Also, many of the symbols are very difficult to understand.

Many wash labels say to wash the item inside out, do not tumble dry, only wash on 30°, or only wash on 40° with the gentle agitation setting (in other words not normal 40° cycle, which is for cottons ) and so on. They also often say wash with similar coloured items, which may be part of the problem when dark-coloured bits of fabric transfer to light-coloured fabric and vice versa. 

I would also say that washing on quick wash is not advisable. Quick wash just does not wash properly. It washes very, very quickly. It misses out a lot of things that help to clean and rinse properly, and maybe even what helps to rinse away many of the microfibres.

Shedding of microfibres appears to be totally normal, although some people on this topic definitely appear to have an extreme issue with it.

Here's a photo that I posted some months ago of my own bedside cabinet after I shook one of my T-shirts vigorously before putting it on. The room was filled with a cloud of microfibres, which was pretty striking because the sun was streaming through the bedroom window at the time. After a minute or so, all of these fibres settled on my bedside cabinet, and presumably all over the bedroom.

However, I personally did not consider we have a problem. I know for a fact our washing machine is working perfectly okay. I also know my wife doesn't observe the wash labels, despite me mentioning it several times. Her attitude is that it is totally impractical to observe them, and I have to concede that she has a very good point.

But after this incident I just forgot all about it, we have never noticed any other problem. For me, I just assumed that as long as I don't vigorously shake any items, the microfibres just stay stuck to the laundry and invisible – as long as you have not washed dark items with light items. In that situation, any light microfibres that get onto dark fabric will show up, and any dark microfibres that get onto light items will show up.

This could well be why so many of our clothes say to wash only with similarly coloured fabrics, although to be fair we have always been expected to separate light and dark's due to risk of colour contamination.

Having said all that, I cannot rule out any specific and real issue with individual cases. All I can say is, it's quite obvious to me that modern laundry seems to shed a ludicrous amount of microfibres.

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  • Root Admin
6 hours ago, Taramac said:

The only thing I can think of that I have changed recently is that instead of buying normal  ‘fairy non-bio capsules’ I bought the new platinum fairy non-bio extra stain removal capsules so I’m going to stop using these to see if it helps.

 Yes, definitely try that.

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Hi Andy, 

 

I honestly do not take notice of care labels. However I am beginning to think I should as maybe the fabrics cannot cope with the way I am washing them. 
 

mum going to get rid of the cotton Muslins as these seem to be the worst. New ones I will wash differently I.e. 30 degree cotton cycle and no tumble dry to see if this helps regards to the shedding. 
 

I have also ordered an air purifier for the bedroom and if I get on with it I’ll order another for our living room. 
 

 

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  • Root Admin

Let us know how you get on with the changes and purifier please, Taramac.

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So I put the washing machine on a 90 degree hot wash (2 and a half hour cycle) this morning, without bicarbonate as I ran out. Then I put in a few items of clothes and selected ‘Wash and Dry Anti-allergy’ on 30 degrees. The cycle took about 5 and half hours but the items had significantly less fibres just a few came off when I shook them in front of the sunlight.

 

I was also curious how many fibres new clothes have so I opened a packaged sleepsuit set that I ordered from H&M organic cotton - it was sealed in plastic packaging when I shook the sleepsuit - a significant amount of fibres fell of. I therefore think that it could be the way the items are manufactured rather than an issue with the washing machine.

 

I have hoovered & dusted everywhere today and had all the windows open most the day to try and eliminate some of the dust build up.

I have now put a load on a cotton cycle 2 and a half hours on 30 degrees with 1400 spin and will hang the clothes up to dry and will see what the shedding situation is tomorrow,

 

I’ve also got the air purifier coming tomorrow so hopefully that helps. 
 

 

 

 

 

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