Ok, this issue plagues my life.

It's been months I haven't had clean clothes, it's not a joke. I'm in quarantine and work from home.

My clothes remain dusty even after:

  • Manual Shaking
  • Washing+Drying
  • Only Washing

I tried checking for turbine blockage but it's squeaky clean, not an ounce of hairs.

Here's how crazy this is:

  • Say I put a while towel and a white bathrobe (towel-like bathrobe).
  • It'll come out and even when wet, I can see dust and lint fall out.
  • I'll leave it to dry, then I'll go outside to shake it for 5 minutes like a mad mad.
  • It'll still be dusty.
  • I'll wait out and go shake it again, still dusty.

So basically, all my clothes are dirty all the time and I have no idea what to do anymore.

My washes are done with hot water, to kill the dust mites. I also tried with a vacuum. At this point I think I'll just make a fire and burn 10 grand of clothing. I'm literally going crazy.

Every time anything cotton moves, I see dust particles flying.

  • What kind of machine are you washing your clothes in? I've had trouble with an automatic washer-drier where lint seems to collect from drying and then gets into subsequent washes (running the self-cleaning cycle after drying anything fuzzy does help somewhat, or if there's no self-cleaning cycle, run a hot wash with no load). Also, any clue what the dust is? Is it lint and fabric dust, washing powder, or something that was on the clothes when they went in?
    – Stuart F
    May 4, 2021 at 10:18
  • top load. Old maytag. There's 0 blockages, I'm certain. The water pressure may not be optimal. I think the issue is an amalgam of problems. Including the less-than-cutting-edge appliances I'm using, either my own or the building's laudromat. Both gave the same result.
    – Gary Oak
    Jun 3, 2021 at 16:32

4 Answers 4


First you should activate the "thorough rinsing" option on your machine (if it has one). Modern washing machines seem to be manufactured mostly for the ads and less for the actual washing they're supposed to do. "Saving water" sounds good in ads, but if a washing machine rinses your clothes in too little water, there'll be residue of detergent or lint left in your clothes. Most machines give you an option to either use more water during the rinsing step or to insert an additional rinsing into the cycle.

Then you should read the service manual of your machine and do all the maintenance steps it describes. Those usually include cleaning lint filters. Be sure to have some old or dirty towels at hand because there might be some leaking water.

If that's done, let the machine run a cycle empty to clean the insides of it. Since you usually wash at hot temperatures, bacteria are not a concern and a short cycle should be sufficient to rinse dirt out.

And lastly you should check that you're not accidently intoducing the lint or dust by:

  • Using powdered detergent. Try liquid detergent for a change and see if the problem improves.
  • The favorite shirt or bath robe that is decades old and threadbare. Cotton fibers crumble after a lot of use, which would explain your lint problem. Conciously leave all old and much used clothes out and see if the problem is as bad as with those items.
  • Using too much detergent for the amount of laundry. Please read the recommendations on the packaging and your local water providers data concerning mineral content (water hardness). Most detergents do contain water softeners, but if your water is very hard, you should add a little extra water softener instead of adding more detergent. Too much detergent can damage the fibers, which in turn leads to more lint.
  • Yes, clean the lint filter on the washer. If you've never cleaned it you might have to clean it multiple times, and/or remove blockage. Oct 30, 2021 at 4:13
  • It is possible that water in your locality is hard and hard water can cause problems to your clothes. So check whether the water is hard and if it is so, try using suitable detergents or water softeners.

  • Also dust your rooms and closets often, as dust may get settled from here on the clothes.

  • Consider using Garment bags to protect them from dust.


the most likely answer is your dryer air duct outlet is closed or blocked off. I had this problem in a house I once lived in and got so frustrated that I searched for and found the dryer duct vent on the outside of the house. It had been blocked closed when the house was painted years earlier and never opened back up again.

Some dryer ducts are supposed to close themselves by gravity when the dryer is not running, to prevent cold air from getting inside the house through the dryer ducts. All it takes is a small amount of dirt & lint to jam the flap hinge shut, and then the dryer won't vent and the lint & dust stays on your clothes.

A blocked vent will also mean your clothes will take an unusually long time to dry.

  • Is OP using a dryer?  The question mentions removing clothes while still wet, and leaving them to dry; I interpret that as meaning that OP has only a washing machine — ‘top load. Old maytag’ in a comment — not a separate dryer or washer-dryer.  (It does mention ‘Washing+Drying’, but I took that to mean washing in the machine, and then removing and leaving them to dry.)
    – gidds
    Aug 14, 2021 at 11:09

I think its to do with ventilation in your house and also I thought mine started when I washed tissue paper in the kids clothes(trouser pockets) a few times actually and maybe some of the tissues is clogged up inside the machine. But hanging your washing on the line will help too.

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