This is a rather weird question, but as I have been washing and drying little hand towels from my son’s first grade classroom I can’t help but wonder where does dryer lint come from?
That is, if you look at how much lint is collected after a single run of the dryer with socks, towels, etc., it can be rather impressive. Run those clothes through the dryer a couple of dozen times and it seems to me that the sum weight and bulk of the dryer lint should be the equal to – or greater than – the bulk of the items themselves.
But that doesn’t make sense, does it? So where the heck does this lint come from?
I mean, my first thought was “ah, it must just be accumulated environmental dust and pollens, all bound together by the slightest of stray fibers from the clothing itself.” That doesn’t work either though because then dryer lint would be more uniform than it is and whether you’re drying purple socks or a green towel, your lint should be more or less identical. And it’s not.
Then maybe it’s because as the dryer tumbles the clothes it actually breaks down the fibers and as they break down they shed tiny microfibers, which collect together and become dryer lint? Maybe, but what kind of fabric wouldn’t be able to handle being tumbled for twenty minutes without damage?
The only logical conclusion is that a clothes dryer is a hyperspace vortex connecting our homes to an alien world where they have thick floating clouds of fabric dust that are somehow sucked into our own dimension each time you run a dryer for more than five minutes. Maybe that’s where all the mis-matched socks end up too?
Seriously, though, what the $#@$#$ is dryer lint? 🙂