Ways to Reuse Dryer Lint: Strange Ways to Save Money

If you have a dryer at home, you know that dryer lint is never in short supply. It seems like one of those things that should just always go into the trash, but there are ways to use it that might save you a little money (after you save money using your dryer), or at least be better than simply tossing it.

I keep a small bucket in the laundry room just for lint. When I get enough of it, I use it for various projects around the house. If you want to do more with your lint than just throw it away, here are some ideas.

Stuff small dolls/bears/pillows/quilts: For any project that requires stuffing, lint can be a good alternative. It is flammable, though, so you might not want to use it for kids’ toys or anything that will be used in a room with a fireplace.

Put it out for the birds to use as nesting material: This one won’t save you money, but it’s a nice thing to do for your wildlife. Break your lint into small pieces and scatter it about your yard. The birds will line their nests with it.

Use it for nesting materials for hamsters, gerbils, and the like: If you have rodents for pets or in the classroom, lint can be used for their bedding as a substitute for, or in addition to, commercial shavings.

Add it to the compost heap: If your lint is made of all organic fibers (cotton, for example) you can add it to your compost heap. Don’t do this with lint containing nylon, rayon or other synthetic materials because it won’t degrade properly.

Line the bottoms of plant pots to help with drainage: Put the lint in the bottom of the pot, then fill with soil and add your plant. The lint will help keep the plant damp longer, but it still permits drainage of excess water.

Use it for packing material: Instead of foam peanuts or Styrofoam, you can use lint. Wrap it in excess fabric or put it in baggies to help it keep its shape and to keep it from leaving fibers all over everything.

Stuff a tube of fabric to make a draft stopper: Stuff old tube socks or tubes you sew out of old fabric with lint. Then lay it against the bottom of a door to keep out drafts.

Use it to make paper: You can make decorative paper out of lint that is good for art projects or special letters. The color of your paper will reflect the color of your lint. (So if you want pinkish papers, do several loads of red clothes. There are many methods, but here’s one way to do it.

Use it as a fire starter: There are several ways to do this, but I like to fill old toilet paper or paper towel tubes with lint, then fold or roll the ends so that they stay sealed. These make great fire starter logs that we use when camping.

Use it for insulation: You can place lint inside walls as insulation. Because of its flammability, make certain you don’t use it near anything electrical. (see comments)

Use it for kids’ craft projects: Sheep, clouds and other things sometimes need to be fluffy in kids’ craft projects. Instead of using cotton balls, try lint balls.

Use it to make clay: You can make modeling clay from lint.

Dryer lint has its uses, but remember that it is very flammable (which is why it makes great fire starter logs), so don’t use it anywhere where open flame or electrical wiring is present. If, however, you do use your lint for something besides trash, you can save a few pennies here and there. Of course, if lint is a bog problem, you could install a clothesline which eliminates lint and saves you a lot of money on your electrical bill.

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7 Responses to Ways to Reuse Dryer Lint: Strange Ways to Save Money

  1. patientsaver says:

    “Use it for insulation: You can place lint inside walls as insulation. Because of its flammability, make certain you don’t use it near anything electrical.”

    NO NO NO. REALLY BAD IDEA if you ever have an accidental fire and want to get out of the house alive.

    There’s a reason why commercially sold insulation materials meet certain standards in regards to flammability.

    While cellulose is inherently flammable, for instance, flame-retardant chemicals are added to reduce flammability to acceptable levels.

    Please, folks, don’t create a tinderbox just to avoid throwing away dryer lint!

  2. Max says:

    Interesting uses, but patientsaver up here is right.
    For the rest, nice useful infos guys!

  3. Gail says:

    I have read that dryer lint can be used in making art quilts depending on the color of the lint it can look like rocks, moss, water, etc.

    My dryer doesn’t produce lint as I hang most of my stuff and the dryer itself is a single washer/dryer combo that dries clothes by dehumidifying them. I don’t even use fabric softner sheets and the washer cycle uses loads less water. It was an expensive machine but well worth it in the long run. I do miss the lint when I see a project that calls for it though!

  4. C.A. Burns says:

    Uses for lint… *I* choose to use homemade laundry detergent, and there is NO lint from the dryer. That “lint” is actually parts of your clothes being extracted from the harsh chemicals in the soap powder or liquide laundry detergent. I was amazed how, after a few loads, NO MORE LINT. But this isn’t an article about what to do w/no lint, so when I did have lint, I would put it out in the yard for the birds to make their nests.
    Anyone interested in making your own laundry detergent, go to Tipnut.com and search homemade laundry detergent. PLUS you’ll probably find plenty of uses for lint. 🙂

  5. Cindy says:

    The lint is tiny bits of your clothing that is being rubbed off by the tumbling of your dryer. Save your clothes from wear and save energy by hanging your clothes to dry.

  6. TC says:

    I have seen many sites advise against distribution of dryer lint for birds and squirrels due to a) perfumes and chemicals and b) once wet, it gets stiff and cardboard-like. Something to keep in mind for the domestic pet rodent, too.

  7. Tyler Westover says:

    Actually the perfumes would deter ticks/parasites from thriving in a bird nest hence why birds use the material. And lint does not get rock hard after getting wet. What?

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