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What is a Lint Brush?

Niki Acker
Updated May 16, 2024
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A lint brush is an implement used to remove lint accumulated on clothing or upholstery. There are a few different models, but any one can be a useful addition to nearly any home. In addition to lint, this brush can be used to remove other types of debris that cling to textiles, such as pet fur or dust. Some styles are also useful for removing pilling from sweaters.

Typically, the cheapest type of lint brush, sometimes called a lint roller, consists of a roll of paper-backed tape, sticky side out, on a plastic handle. The tape can be rolled over clothes or upholstery to pick up debris, and when the tape becomes very dirty or is no longer sticky, the top layer can be peeled off to reveal a fresh layer underneath. Refills are available for when the roll runs out. The same effect can be accomplished by wrapping some tape around one's hand and moving it over clothing, but the brush may be easier and more convenient for most people to handle.

Another type of lint brush more closely resembles a hair brush, but instead of bristles, one end is covered with a special fabric designed to attract and hold dust and lint. This type can be brushed over fabric similarly to the way one brushes hair, although it usually only works in one direction. For this reason, many of these brushes are reversible models, with a two-sided head or a swiveling head that can be adjusted to suit right- or left-handed users. These tools can be cleaned by rubbing the brush head in the direction opposite to the one that picks up debris.

A third model is made completely of rubber and resembles a curry comb. Like a curry comb, it is used in a circular motion over the fabric to be cleaned. This type of lint brush can be cleaned in the dishwasher and is gentler than other styles. It can even be used on delicate fabrics like silk.

One popular lint brush available today is the self-cleaning brush. This uses special fabric to pick up the lint and debris, and a button or lever cleans the brush immediately. The lint is stored inside the brush until it is emptied into a trash can. This model improves upon the basic fabric-backed version because it eliminates the annoyance of brushing your clothes lint-free, only to have a dirty, lint-covered couch when you set the down.

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Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a HomeQuestionsAnswered editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By StarJo — On Jul 02, 2012

I usually keep a lint brush at home, but there have been times when I needed it while I was somewhere else and had to improvise. At work, I came up with another way to get the fuzz off of my pants before a big meeting.

I spied a roll of tape on my desk, and I put two and two together. I held a piece of tape at both ends and pressed it down onto the lint covered areas of my pants one at a time. I pulled it back up quickly, and most of the lint came with it.

Though I did have to go over some areas several times with fresh tape, I got all the lint off. It's not the speediest way to remove lint, but it works when you don't have a brush handy.

By lighth0se33 — On Jul 01, 2012

I love my lint dryer brush. It helps me get the lint out of the deep crack right behind the dryer door where all the grayish-blue fuzz lingers.

I always clean the lint off of the filter, but some of it inevitably gets down in this crack. The lint dryer brush has a really long handle, and it has tough yet flexible bristles. They will fold up enough to let me stick the brush all the way down inside, and they will fluff back out to their original shape once I pull the brush out.

The brush is fairly easy to clean, too. I just pull the lint off of it with my hand and toss the furry stuff in the trash.

By cloudel — On Jul 01, 2012

@orangey03 – I have five dogs that live in the house, and if a lint roller brush works for me, it should definitely work for you. I have to use mine every day before leaving for work, so I keep one in the house and one in the car, in case I missed some fur on my clothes.

The surface is extremely sticky. I've gotten my fingers stuck to it before, and I had to really jerk hard to get them off. So, you know it will really cling to pet hair.

The problem is worst on my black pants. It shows up so well. I go over these pants several times with the lint roller, and it gets the hairs off, but I always have the extra brush in my car in case I see more before I get to work.

By orangey03 — On Jun 30, 2012

How effective is a disposable lint remover brush? I have been keeping my grandmother's cat inside my house while she recovers from surgery, and I have cat hair everywhere. I need something to get it off my clothes, but I don't want to buy something expensive, because I will only be needing it for a short time.

The cat hair on my black trench coat is the hardest to remove. Just brushing it off with my hand is not working at all. Would one of those refillable lint brushes with sticky sheets be able to take care of this problem for me?

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a HomeQuestionsAnswered editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide...
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