14 Ways You Aren’t Using Your Lint Roller (But Should Be)

14 Ways You Aren’t Using Your Lint Roller (But Should Be)
Graphic: Ben Currie

I’m willing to bet you have a lint roller lying around your home. Hell, let’s make things more interesting: I’ll bet that you aren’t using said lint roller to its full capabilities. Sure, you know the lint roller is a must-have for ridding your outfit of pet hair, dander, and, well, lint off your clothes. But the lint roller has so much more to offer you and your household than simply sprucing up your slacks. And even though I can appreciate the irony of a lint roller collecting dust, it’s time to put this underutilized tool to good, crafty use.

Joining the ranks of table salt and sponges, the lint roller is a household object full of clever uses you probably haven’t tried before. Here are a few of those ideas.

Clean up broken glass

Photo: Tapati Rinchumrus, ShutterstockPhoto: Tapati Rinchumrus, Shutterstock

There’s nothing quite like the sound of glass shattering to freeze you in your tracks. Even after you pick up the large shards, the last thing you want is one of those stubborn, hard-to-see glass flecks to get stuck in your or your kids’ feet.

After you’ve swept up all the broken glass, you can use a lint roller to ensure the area is truly all clear of any remaining glass pieces. The sticky tape of the lint roller is perfect for picking up tiny shards that a broom or vacuum might leave behind. Leave it to the humble lint roller to one day save you from a nasty glass splinter.

Keep in mind that broken glass can travel much farther than the initial danger zone. Always check beyond the area where the glass broke by about 4.57 m, moving furniture around to ensure that you’ve rolled up every last piece.

Clean lampshades

Photo: Nemanja Petronje, ShutterstockPhoto: Nemanja Petronje, Shutterstock

Lampshades are easily neglected, even during the deepest of cleans. Their fabric and shape makes it easy for dust to collect and difficult to properly clean. A once-over with a classic feather duster doesn’t make a dent in the dust that builds up and burrows its way into the lampshade. Luckily, your handy lint roller is here to save the day.

Remove the lampshade from the lamp itself and use the lint roller to collect dust inside and out. The stickiness is a must-have in order to actually extract all the dust from the fabric. Once you try this method, you’ll never bother with a feather duster on your lampshades again.

Get to the bottom of your bags

Photo: Tanitka, ShutterstockPhoto: Tanitka, Shutterstock

If you’re like me, the bottom of your purse, backpack, or gym bag is a treasure trove. Coins, paper clips, and ChapSticks long out of commission. Gum wrappers that have dissolved into a fine film. Loose Advil pills that have been crushed into oblivion. Except these little messes don’t actually disappear into oblivion; they add up, until the bottom of my bags reveal me to be a much messier person than I believe myself to be.

Like with the lampshade trick, the lint roller is perfect for picking up the debris that collects at the bottom of your bags. After you remove your belongings, roll the sticky adhesive of the lint roller around to make the inside of your bags look like new. If you’re able to turn the bag inside out, this will make manoeuvring the lint roller a whole lot easier, but this hack will work either way.

Pick up plant debris

Photo: New Africa, ShutterstockPhoto: New Africa, Shutterstock

When you bring a little nature into your home, you risk a little dirt. Whether or not you knock over a whole pot (guilty), even the routine care of your houseplants can lead to dirt spillage in the surrounding area. Sometimes it’s not worth breaking out the vacuum. Other times, your vacuum isn’t strong enough to yank up all the dirt that spills into your rugs and carpet.

Your lint roller is small enough to store around your houseplant area, so that you can tidy up a little dirt here and there with no hassle. The adhesive is also great at drawing up any stubborn dirt that refuses to release itself into the dark void inside your vacuum.

Keep this tip in mind especially during the winter holidays. Pines from your Christmas tree will wreak havoc on your vacuum, but the lint roller is well equipped to pick them up.

Save your plants from pests

Photo: Permadirizki, ShutterstockPhoto: Permadirizki, Shutterstock

Shovels, spades, and…lint rollers? If you love to garden, you’ll appreciate the ways this household tool deserves a moment in the sun.

Lint rollers are a lifesaver to manually remove pests that are damaging your plants, as this Reddit post demonstrates. Of course, if you’re dealing with stubborn insects like thrips, the lint roller is a quick fix that won’t tackle the root cause of your infestation. Still, it’s a clever way to get rid of as many plant pests as possible in one fell swoop.

Spruce up stuffed animals

Photo: TAITAI T, ShutterstockPhoto: TAITAI T, Shutterstock

Stuffed animals get a lot of love, but this can lead to them looking a little worse for the wear. Unfortunately, tossing a beloved stuffed animal in the washing machine is risky business. An aggressive spin cycle could be the last straw for a stuffed animal’s loose limbs, and hot water could dissolve the last of the glue keeping the eyeballs in a beloved teddy bear’s head.

So, to safely clean a precious companion, use a lint roller to pick up any loose lint, furs, and dust causing the stuffed animal to look shabby.

Collect hair in the bathroom

Photo: New Africa, ShutterstockPhoto: New Africa, Shutterstock

I’ll keep this one brief, since I’m already making myself sick thinking about how much hair I shed in my bathroom every day. A lint roller is perfect for collecting loose hairs, especially in hard-to-reach places (a trip behind the toilet, anyone?).

Get rid of pesky sparkles

Photo: Brian Barney, ShutterstockPhoto: Brian Barney, Shutterstock

If you want to get revenge on someone and leave a lasting mark, glitter is your best friend. If you want to rid yourself of sparkles, glitter is your greatest enemy.

Cleaning up anything that sparkles in famously challenging. Unless you have a balloon on hand, the noble lint roller is one of your best bets to actually defeat the glitter on your clothes and in your home.

Clean inside your car

Photo: Andrey_Popov, ShutterstockPhoto: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

If you’ve ever given your furry pet a ride to the vet, you know the mess that fur can create on your car seats. Luckily, a lint roller is a lot easier and cheaper to use than dragging a vacuum through your car interior. Keep a lint roller tucked away in your car — your next passengers will thank you.

Tidy up your drawers

Photo: New Africa, ShutterstockPhoto: New Africa, Shutterstock

Whether or not you’ve designated a drawer specifically for junk, dust and debris certainly builds up in there. While I’m quick to run a Lysol wipe on finished countertops, I’m more hesitant to drag one along the inside of an unfinished wood drawer. If you, too, err on the side of caution with your furniture, a lint roller is a gentle option to pick up dust lurking beneath your belongings.

Spot clean furniture

Photo: ozalpvahid, ShutterstockPhoto: ozalpvahid, Shutterstock

It may not be practical or even possible for you to remove cloth covers on your furniture every time they need a quick clean. When all you need to do is get rid of a thin layer of dust and hair on your couch, well, your lint roller is your best friend. Ready to save the day. Yet again. Noticing a theme here?

Dispose of dead bugs

Photo: BonNontawat, ShutterstockPhoto: BonNontawat, Shutterstock

I’m no wimp, but given the chance to limit my contact with bugs, I’ll happily take it. We’ve all cleaned up a dead bug with a paper towel, but that involves the sickening sensation of feeling the poor guy’s crunchy legs and exoskeleton just beneath our finger tips. Depending on the size of the bug in question, an extra sticky lint roller allows you to pick up it up without having to get up close and personal. You’ll waste a whole adhesive sheet throwing the bug away, but for many of us, that’s more than a fair price to pay for bug disposal.

Wipe down your phone screen

Photo: PRESSLAB, ShutterstockPhoto: PRESSLAB, Shutterstock

The concentration with which I apply a screen protector is second only to surgeons performing open heart surgery. To be extra certain you’re not trapping any tiny flecks of dust beneath the plastic protector, be sure to give your phone screen a once-over with a lint roller. Otherwise, that tiny pocket of dust will haunt you every time you use your phone — in other words, constantly.

Clean up sunburned skin

Photo: New Africa, ShutterstockPhoto: New Africa, Shutterstock

This one is a little gross, but strangely effective. If you’ve ever experienced a nasty sunburn, you know the urge to pick at and dispose of peeling skin. The sticky tape of al int roller works like a charm on all the excess flaking. In fact, it’s surprisingly gentle, even with the little hairs around the damaged area. After you lint-roll your troubles away, soothe your sunburn with cool baths and aloe. And don’t forget to wear sunscreen in the first place.

To recap: Always wear sunscreen, and embrace the ability to lint-roll all your troubles away.

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