The Many Ways to Recycle Dryer Lint

While our family usually line dries clothes, during the cold winter months we use the clothes dryer rather than waiting four days for a pair of jeans to dry. The one thing that always amazes me about using a clothes dryer is the incredible pile of fluff that these clothes seem to generate. Is all that lint even reusable? The answer may surprise you!

Compost it or toss it in the yard

If the lint came from clothes that are made of cotton, wool, or linen, they can be safely disposed of in your compost bin or sprinkled in the garden. If you have birds or squirrels, set the lint in the branches of the trees so it can be used as nesting material.

Make a fire starter

For building campfires, a fire starter made of lint and candle wax is a practical way to get rid of old dryer lint. You can read the complete instructions here to learn how to make a fire starter from lint, a toilet paper tube, and old candle wax. Don’t need a full size fire starter? Instead of a toilet paper tube, make a fire “egg” from a clean paper egg carton instead. Pack the lint into the individual egg “cups” and cover each cup with a thin layer of melted candle wax. Cut the cups apart, and use one or two to get that campfire going.

Don’t make your campfire starters from lint containing polyester, rayon, nylon, or poly/cotton blends. These man-made blends smoke & stink when ignited.

For crafting

Dryer lint can also be used for a wide range of art projects. If you enjoy making handmade papers, add a handful of dryer lint to the pulp. Dryer lint of all types can add texture, colors, and fibers to those handmade paper projects. We also add dryer lint to our paper mache and plaster of paris sculptures.

As insulation

My drafty old gardening shed has lots of gaps between the windows and lap board siding. To cut down on the draftiness and keep out the winter cold, I plug the gaps with wads of dryer lint.

What dryer lint should NOT be used for

Someone once mentioned to me that they used dryer lint to stuff plush animals & cloth dolls. While this is a nice solution for display dolls and collectible teddy bears, I sure wouldn’t recommend this practice for children’s toys since lint is highly flammable.

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