Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for best lint removers

Nothing affects the look of a sweater quite like lint or fuzzy pills all over the fabric. A lint remover is a great way to make sure that your clothing looks as pristine as possible no matter how many times you’ve worn it.

With this handy little device, you can take the lint and pills off your sweaters, shirts, or pants in a matter of minutes. If you want a completely lint-free wardrobe, it’s important to choose the right lint remover. That means knowing what size, power type, and other features to look for.

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Friction causes nearly all fabrics to eventually develop lint, pills, and fuzz, which can make your clothing look shabby and old.

How a lint remover works

A lint remover is a handheld tool with at least one covered blade and a motor that moves the blades.

The device may run on batteries or have a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet.

When you turn the lint remover on, the blades begin to move. As you gently press the lint remover over the fabric in a circular motion, the blades shave off any lint, pills, or fuzz, leaving a completely smooth surface.

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Did you know?
Many lint removers automatically shut off when too much fuzz gets caught between the blades.

Lint remover vs. lint roller

A lint remover can sometimes be confused with a lint roller. While they serve the same purpose, they operate in different ways.

A lint roller has an adhesive strip. Lint and debris from the fabric stick to the adhesive when you roll it over the clothing. It can be fairly effective in removing loose lint or fuzz, but it doesn’t work well on deeply embedded lint or pills that are still attached to the fabric.

A lint remover shaves the lint and pills from the fabric. It can remove deeply embedded lint and pills that are attached to the fabric. When it comes to doing a thorough job of cleaning the lint and fuzz from a sweater or other item of clothing, a lint remover is often the better option.

Lint remover features

Power source

Lint removers typically run on one of three power sources: AC adapter, replaceable batteries, or internal battery.

  • AC adapter: This lint remover must be plugged into an outlet, which limits where you can use it. It also has a cord, which can sometimes get in the way. These devices are usually the most powerful, offering the most efficient lint removal.

  • Replaceable batteries: This lint remover is cordless, so you can use it anywhere. It doesn’t work quite as quickly as models with AC adapters, and you must remember to have working batteries handy.

  • Rechargeable batteries: This lint remover is also cordless and very portable. However, you must remember to charge the battery regularly.

Some battery-operated models can also be connected to an AC adapter, so the device is always ready when you need it.

"Most lint removers that run on replaceable batteries require AA batteries."


A lint remover is a fairly small, compact device. It's important to choose a lint remover that is comfortable in the hand and weighs between three and six ounces.


You want the lint remover to be as comfortable to hold as possible. Look for a model with an ergonomically designed handle. U-shaped handles are usually the most comfortable.


Most lint removers feature a series of blades, usually three, to remove the lint fully and effectively. You can also find lint removers with as many as six blades for the closest, most thorough lint removal.

"To keep lint remover blades in top shape, periodically apply a drop or two of lubricating oil."

Motor power

A lint remover doesn’t require a very powerful motor to be effective. However, you want to be sure that the model you select has enough juice to get the job done.

For the best results, choose an option with at least a three- to five-watt motor.

Waste bin

A lint remover collects lint and fuzz in a waste bin, which must be emptied regularly if the device is to operate properly.

Look for a device with a clear bin. It allows you to see how much lint has been collected and if it’s time to empty it.

"You’ll know that it’s time to empty the waste bin when the lint remover starts to slow down."

Cutting depth

To protect your clothing, choose a lint remover that allows you to adjust how close the blades come to the fabric. This lets you successfully remove lint from both tightly woven and loosely woven materials.

Look for a model that offers two or three cutting depth options.

Shaving surface

The size of the shaving surface on a lint remover can vary from approximately one inch to two-and-a-half inches. The smaller the shaving surface, the longer it will take you to remove the lint from your clothing.

Choose a model with a shaving surface of at least 1.8 inches. For the quickest lint removal, opt for an even larger shaving surface.

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Lint remover prices

Lint removers vary in price based on their motor power, number of blades, and other features.

  • $10 to $15

These have a 2- to 3-watt motor and three blades.

  • $15 to $25

These have a three- to 4-watt motor and three blades.

  • $25 to $40

These have a 4- to 5-watt motor and three or more blades.


  • Lay clothing on a smooth surface. Make sure it’s completely flat and not bunched.

  • Tuck in any exposed or pulled threads before running the lint remover. Otherwise, the device could create a hole in the fabric.

  • Test the lint remover on a hidden area first. This helps you determine how well the fabric responds to the lint remover.

  • Don’t press too hard. You could cause tears or holes in the fabric.

  • Empty the waste bin. If a clothing item is covered with lots of lint or pills, you might need to stop and empty the bin one or more times before you’re done.

  • Wipe off the shaving surface when you’re finished. Cleaning the lint remover after you’ve used it prevents it from transferring any lint or fuzz to another item.

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A lint remover isn’t just for removing lint and pills from clothing. You can also use it on upholstered furniture.


Q. Could a lint remover damage fabric?

A. Because it uses blades, a lint remover can create holes, tears, and rips in fabric if it’s not used properly. Use gentle pressure when you run the device, and adjust the cutting depth to account for the tightness of the fabric weave.

Q. Can you use a lint remover on cashmere?

A. While you have to treat cashmere carefully, it is usually tightly woven, so it works well with a lint remover. As with any fabric, though, you should run the tool over the cashmere very gently to avoid creating rips or tears.

Q. How do you clean a lint remover?

A. Use a damp cloth to clean the body and handle of the lint remover. You can also use the cloth to gently clean the shaving surface and blades. Some devices include a small detail brush that allows you to carefully remove any lint, fuzz, and pills trapped in those areas. It’s important not to get water or other liquids inside the lint remover.

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