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The Often Missed Photography Tool - The Lint Roller or Lint Brush

Updated on June 22, 2011

Don't Forget the Lint Roller or Lint Brush

A lint roller or lint brush is a critical tool for any portrait photographer. Before any photo shoot you should always provide your subject/model with a couple things for them to prepare themselves. These things include a mirror, a comb/brush, and a lint roller/lint brush.

If your subject is wearing a black or dark colored shirt you should also keep an eye on their shoulders throughout the photo shoot. It's not just dandruff that will end up on the shoulders. When getting their picture taken people want to look their best. Many people will put a lot of hair products in their hair before a photo shoot. When hair gel and sprays dry they will flake and fall onto the shoulders. If these specs of dried hair product are not removed it will look like dandruff in your photographs.

Got a Spot on your Backdrop?

Not only can you remove lint from your subjects clothes you can also use it to remove dust, hair and other unsightly things from your backdrops.

If you notice a spot on your backdrop you could grab a cloth and wipe the dust away, but all your doing is moving the dust around and it will quickly end up on your backdrop again. Now you could use a damp cloth to collect the dust, but then your backdrop would be discolored until it dries. So if you're in the middle of a shoot that is not a great idea. The great thing about lint rollers is that they collect the dust, so it wont come back. They also are not wet and your backdrop will look great right after you use it.

What's better than a Lint Roller? Two!

Just as you wouldn't clean your dishes with a sponge that you used to clean your bathroom, you should not use the same lint roller to clean your backdrop and your subjects clothing. Have one lint roller that is just for cleaning your backdrop and another that you use for your subjects clothes.

Lint Roller
Lint Roller

Lint Rollers Vs Lint Brushes

Lint Rollers and Lint Brushes are two different tools for removing lint.

What are the differences between a Lint Roller and Lint Brush?

Lint Rollers

A lint roller uses tape to remove lint. As you use the lint roller, the lint, hair and dust it picks up will collect on the tape and it will quickly become less sticky.When the lint roller fills up and stops picking up more lint, just tare away the top layer of tape to expose a new sticky piece of tape. Of course there are only so many pieces of tape on the roller, so once you run out of pieces you will need to buy another lint roller or a replacement roll.

Tape lint rollers are pretty cheap so you will only need to spend a couple dollars on a new one.

Lint Brush
Lint Brush

Lint Brushes

A lint brush has a velvet like fabric with small bristles that collect lint when you brush it across fabric in the right direction. Unlike lint rollers, you will not need to replace your lint brush. When the brush becomes loaded with lint just take a damp cloth and gently rub the cloth over the lint brush, then take a bit of tape to remove any remaining lint on the brush.

While lint brushes are great for removing lint from fabric they will not do very well at removing dust from other surfaces like vinyl or canvas backdrops.

In case of emergency: Use Duct Tape!
In case of emergency: Use Duct Tape!

Forgot the Lint Roller

If you forgot your lint roller, but you have a roll of tape you're in luck. It doesn't matter what type of tape, masking tape, duct tape, gaffers tape or even scotch tape. Just wrap the tape around your hand and you have your own make shift lint roller.

New Reusable Lint Rollers

There are some new lint rollers coming on the market that are not just a big roll of tape. Instead they have a sticky rubber roller that can be washed off in water.

Cost-wise I don't think these are worth it as you could buy a box of regular lint rollers for the price of one of these reusable lint rollers. However, I do have to admit that I did buy one of these lint rollers when I saw a product demonstrations. The reason I got it was because they included a giant lint roller on a telescopic pole, so you could use is like a broom.


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    • profile image

      Jesse 5 years ago


      Our factory produce washable lint roller in China. The name of factory is Ningbo JInagbei Yongji Plastic Products Factory.

      If you are interested, you can see more in our web:

      Oversea Sale Executive: Jesse Zhang

      Ningbo Jiangbei Yongji Plastic Products Factory

      Phone: +86-0574-87745087

      Telephone: +86-18358222821




      Web: www.

    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 7 years ago

      reminds me of my office days when we would wrap scotch tape around our hands and brush the messes away from sweaters and skirts! It's lots of fun to ask your lover to do it for you! haha!