We have bought a few different kinds of cloth napkins for our dinner table and they seem to always come out of the dryer covered in tiny fine hairs. hairs

How do I get rid of these? I wash them with our kitchen towels and dry them on high with a dryer sheet.

  • 1
    What else is in the dryer?
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 7:18
  • Just other kitchen towels @CaiusJard
    – JacobIRR
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 12:29
  • Think I'd use some fuzz remover (cigarette lighter can work, but something that works more like a man's shaver would be better) and then wash them on their own delicate cycle and air dry them tbh..Not quite a lifehacks question
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:48

3 Answers 3


Welcome to electrostatics:

enter image description here


If you use a dryer, clothes become dry; yet the typical dryer basically is a rotating drum containing the clothes where clothes rub against each other. This creates both fine particles and «hairs» swirling around, and separates electric charges. Some of the particles end in the filter of the dryer, others remain with the clothes which -- because they are not metallic, and not good electric conductors -- do not discharge well with the metallic drum of the dryer. And this renders clothes like magnets for the small hairs and fibers (or, lint); synthetic clothes tend to be more prone to this, than cotton.

This where -- if you intend to use an electric dryer -- fabric softeners come into play, or the dryer sheet you mention to reduce the effect.

If you do not need the table clothes this quickly and have the space outside, or in a well ventilated space (e.g., below the roof, laundry room, basement), consider drying the clothes on a clothes line or rack prior to iron them / folding for the closet / drawer.


Fabric and method of washing usually the reason why as certain fabrics are prone to pilling especially synthetics.

Washing with like fabrics on gentle cycle and allowing to air dry might help. Check the fabric instructions. Depending on what material(s) they are made of heat drying with heat could be your problem.

Also, in terms of washing, what type of washing machine and how full your loads and what you wash them with can all play a big part too. Top loading washing machine tend yo be harder on fabrics then front loading machines.

As to removing the pilling a razor works great to remove the little pill fluffs.

  • 1
    Kate, welcome! When I saw the question I first thought about pilling, which is quite obvious in the photo, but if you look closely you will notice that there are also fibers (look at the dark fold left of the center) and think that’s what the asker is talking about, not the pilling.
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 14:11
  • What kind of razor?
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 31, 2020 at 8:04

Perhaps just let them air dry.

  • 2
    OP already uses a dryer sheet
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Oct 31, 2020 at 8:04
  • @CaiusJard The suggest to air dry instead indeed is a point to consider. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are tools to reduce the symptom (occurrence of lint), yet the cause for the lint is the rotation of drying clothes rubbing against each other. More than 2000 years ago Greeks already knew you could create electricity by friction of amber (literally ἤλεκτρον (elektron)).
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 21:59

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