Kate, upon inspecting some nice black slacks of hers that I had helpfully jammed into the washing machine with a bunch of other stuff, exclaimed, “What’s this?” She was referring to the profusion of white lint on the black slacks. It was clear that I had committed a laundry misdemeanor (laundry felonies almost always involve bleach or melting things in the dryer; or pens), and she set out to solve it. She sorted through the damp clothes until she came to her white fleece pullover.
“Here — this is what did it,” she said. “This is a lint giver. You can’t put lint givers and lint takers in the same load.”
Say again? This is someone I’ve known for more than 20 years. Thousands of baskets of dirty laundry have churned, spun, and tumbled through their cycles since we first commingled loads. We’ve used inscrutable top-loaders and mesmerizing front-loaders, both. Liquid and powder. Cold, warm and hot. Normal and delicate. A lot has come out in the wash. But this is the first I’ve heard of a guideline, rule, ordinance, statute or proposed physical law concerning “lint givers” and “lint takers.”
“Look it up online. I’m sure you’ll find something about it,” Kate said as she deployed a lint roller to defuzz the damp slacks. (She’s living right. It worked.)
Sure enough: A site called “How to Clean Stuff” features a graduate-level discourse on various lint topics, including lint givers and lint takers.
Updated July 2018.