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.