There are a surprising number of ways to use dryer lint

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Hopefully, we’ve convinced you to clear out that little lint trap on your dryer with our recent blog post. Making sure it’s emptied regularly is essential to reduce the risk of a dryer-related fire, since lint is highly flammable and causes thousands of preventable fires each year. It’s also important because it helps keep your dryer running efficiently, which means it’ll take less time, use less energy, and ultimately last longer.

But now that you’ve found yourself collecting gobs of dryer lint, what can you do with it? Surprisingly, there are a lot of recommended uses for these little piles of fluff. If your dryer lint bin is overflowing and you’re wondering what to use it for, here are a few interesting ideas to try:

Start a fire.

We keep harping on how important it is to clean out your dryer lint in order to prevent a fire, but the same properties that make lint a safety risk inside your vents and ducts also makes it an excellent fire starter! This soft, dry dust is highly flammable, so it’s an excellent way to ignite your campfire. Just tuck it into a toilet paper roll or stuff it between two egg carton cups and your dryer lint is instantly repurposed as a fire starter.

Make a bed out of it.

You won’t want to use it for your own bedding – that’ll just invite more dust mites to bunk with you. But small animals love this stuff! If you have gerbils, hamsters, rats, or guinea pigs, dryer lint is a cheap and easy way to replenish their supply of soft bedding material.

Use it in crafting.

Dryer lint accumulates from clean laundry, so it’s actually a good source of clean stuffing to use for crafts. If you’re making small toys, ornaments, or other creations that require filling, repurpose your dryer lint instead of buying supplies.

Replace your paper towels.

Dryer lint is very absorptive, which is what makes it a mold risk if it starts building up in your vents and ducts. Once it’s exposed to the humidity and warmth coming from your dryer, you can end up with serious problems.

But this also makes it a good stand-in for paper towels! Use a handful of dryer lint to soak up spills, especially ones that are greasy like motor oil on your driveway.

Enjoy the sensory experience.

Lots of people find the soft texture of dryer lint very pleasing. Playing with it can be a fun sensory experience that doesn’t cost you any money. You can even make your own clay out of it by blending it with one part warm water, one part white glue, and a tiny bit of dish soap!

Garden with it.

Since it’s compostable, dryer lint can be used in various gardening applications. Make your own compost with, or use it to prevent weed growth or erosion in areas that need some extra attention.

Depending on how you want to use your dryer lint, you might want to pay special attention to what’s going into your dryer. Lint from all-natural clothing that’s dried with wool dryer balls will give you a cleaner supply of dryer lint. Keep in mind that the fibers are collected from the clothing in your dryer, so if your textiles aren’t natural ones or if you add chemical dryer sheets or cleaning products to your loads, you’ll be left with those residues in your lint. 

And hey, don’t feel bad if you’re not repurposing your dryer lint. The real issue is making sure it’s not clogging up your dryer vent and ductwork, so even if you just toss it in the compost or trash, it’s still important that you keep removing it after every load.