Washing Machine Lint Traps DIY




I was tired of paying $1.00 or more for one small, sad-looking, short-lived, ineffective washing machine lint trap.

I decided to make my own custom-made lint traps for a fraction of the cost.

Step 1: Trial and Error Results in Success

After a few attempts to make my own lint traps, I discovered what I think in the most economical, effective, and long-lasting DIY traps - better than anything I can buy.

Step 2: Assemble the Materials

I discovered that the inexpensive "slip stop" type shelf liners found in the Dollar Stores works the best.

You will need a closet pole, liquid wrench, hot glue gun and glue, marker, straight edge, scissors or box cutter, and aluminum foil.

Step 3: Wrap Your Pole in Aluminum Then Spray

Cover the closet pole with foil. You can carefully cut the foil in half lengthwise. Wrap the pole with each half. Spray the aluminum-covered, closet pole with silicone spray. The foil and the spray are used to keep the hot glue from sticking to the wooden pole.

Step 4: Cut the Shelf Liner

Cut the shelf liner in half lengthwise using the marker, straight edge, and cutting tool.

Step 5: Wrap the Liner Around the Pole

Wrap the shelf liner around the pole. I use an optional vice and clamp to hold the pole and the liner as I begin wrapping the pole. Note: You may want to partially wrap the pole then glue - wrap a little more - then glue, etc.

(see next step)

Step 6: Glue the Edges of the Shelf Liner

Carefully glue the edges of the shelf liner to itself around the pole. I like to use a stick to roll over the edges as I glue. This provides for a better seal.

Step 7: Remove the Liner and Aluminum From the Pole

Allow the hot glue to throughly dry.

Carefully remove both the aluminum and glued shelf liner from the closet pole.

Step 8: Measure and Cut the Resulting Aluminum/Liner Tube

After the liner / aluminum tubes has been removed from the pole, I then measure the 60 inch tube. Using a marker, I like to measure 12 inch sections. I then cut the "tube" into five equal sections.

I prefer the 12 inch long lint traps - you may want to make six 10 inch long traps. The 12 inch traps take longer to fill with lint. Thus, changing the trap becomes less frequent.

Step 9: Remove the Aluminum

After the liner / aluminum "tubes" are removed and cut, then the tricky part begins. Now I remove the aluminum foil FROM the shelf liner. Although I used the silicone spray, the aluminum and liner will still have a tendency to stick together. Here is your chance to be creative. I pull on the aluminum from the shelf liner with my fingers, long-nosed pliers, a file or anything else that I think will enable me to remove it. This will be the most challenging part. YOU DO NOT NEED TO REMOVE EVERY TINY BIT OF ALUMINUM. The small amount of aluminum that may remain WILL NOT effect the overall performance of the lint trap.

Step 10: Glue the Bottom of Each Section

With the aluminum foil removed, you now have 5 or 6 sections from one-half of your 60 inch long section of "slip-stop" shelf liner. Draw a line approximately 1 inch from one end of each section. Apply a stripe of hot glue across the tube. Fold the end into the glue. Use a stick to roll the end to get a good seal on the end. Let glue throughly dry.

Step 11: Install Your New and Improved Washing Machine Lint Trap

Your lint trap is ready to install on the washing machine drain hose. One end is closed and the other end is open.

The open end can be installed with a nylon tie, wire, or hose clamp. I prefer a hose clamp because it is easy to install and can be reused.

I prefer to use the 12 inch lint trap. It takes longer to fill with lint and needs less frequent replacements.

Step 12: Final Thought

The one dollar roll of "slip stop" shelf liner is enough to make 10 - 12 lint traps. Depending on use, this may last up to a year. Using 2 - 3 rolls of shelf liner, I make the lint traps in bulk. I have enough lint traps for 2 - 3 years. They are cheaper, longer, and offer better filtration than store bought brands.



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    10 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Please, feel free to call me stupid if you wish. I know pretty much next to nothing of washing machines and dryers but I thought dryers were the only ones with lint issues. What problems, if any, does lint out of the drain hose cause?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 months ago

    Washing machines DO dishcharge lint along with the soapy water. The lint should be collected if the owner's home has a septic system. For those homeowners who are hooked to a city sewer system, it isn't an issue.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Well there are also washer/dryer combos. And the lint comes out the water hose.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    although lint traps are simple things, I find the ones on the market are junk. i have been very pleased with the homemade version. Two or three hours of work for 2-3 years of inexpensive, better-performing traps is well worth it.


    Reply 2 years ago

    try the flea market in your area i got them for $6.00 dz.


    2 years ago

    Nice project. For years I've been using the cut-off foot of one of my wife's damaged pairs of panty hose. Free, since it would be thrown away if not re-purposed. Cut it to the length you prefer. The nylon is much finer mesh so it fills up a bit quicker. But replacements are free. Attach with a twist tie, radiator clamp, nylon tie even a rubber band. Very cheap, very quick.


    3 years ago

    I just use a 2 x 2 foot piece of nylon mesh, put it in the discharge tube, put the discharge hose in, and that's it. Can use it over and over again. Need to clean it each time. Cost: 25 cents. Time to make: 10 seconds.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! I just ordered my washing machine and before it gets here I'm going to make these! Thanks for the instructable...very good instructions!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction


    The junky metal traps just went up in price at Loews in my area. A few years ago they were $/pair, then $$/pair, now they are $3.98 per pair. Again, mine are better!