Homesteading

11 Uses for Dryer Lint in and Around the House

If you aren’t currently in the habit of regularly cleaning the lint from your dryer lint trap, it’s never too late to start. But don’t throw that dryer lint away! Find an easy way to collect it, and save it for later use.

I keep a plastic bag right next to the dryer so I can put the lint directly in the bag every time I clean the lint trap.

inside of a dryer machine

You can use dryer lint in a whole host of different ways, some of which just might save your life during an emergency, or at the very least, help you save some $$$.

1. Firestarter

You’ve probably heard the warnings about keeping your dryer lint trap free and clear. It’s important to regularly clean the lint from the dryer trap because it is very flammable.

You can use this to your advantage if you want to be prepared for a time when you need firestarter material. Use the lint on its own to start a fire or stuff it into a toilet paper tube for a portable firestarter you can carry anywhere.

2. Insulation Material

Dryer lint is made up primarily of clothing fibers that come off your clothes as they tumble around in the dryer. The composition of dryer lint makes it a good material for insulation purposes.

If you find yourself needing to insulate a room or small area, you can stuff dryer lint into cracks and crevices between floor boards or around baseboard molding to stop any drafts that may be coming into the room.

We actually did once in an older house; you’d be surprised at how well it can stop those pesky drafts from getting in.

3. Pet Bedding

Because dryer lint is absorbent and soft, it can be used as a substitute bedding material for small pets. If you decide to go with dryer lint for pet bedding, make sure dryer sheets were not used in the dryer as they can leach chemicals which could be harmful to your pets.

It makes great absorbent bedding for hamsters, pet mice, and rats. In a pinch, you could even stuff a pillowcase or tie two blankets together, and stuff them with dryer lint to make a bed for a cat or dog.

Dryer lint beds are temporary though: washing them will compact the lint, and make them pretty much useless.

Also, contrary to popular belief, dryer lint doesn’t make great material for bird nests. It compacts when wet, something that won’t bode well for unsuspecting birds.

4. Spin into Thread

Believe it or not, with a little bit of knowledge and some practice, you can spin dryer lint into thread. It’s not something I would have even considered, and it’s probably not the most efficient method, but it can be done.

Dryer lint is simply pieces of thread and other fuzz that comes off your clothing as it dries.

Knowing how to spin dryer lint into thread could come in handy if you need to mend socks or other clothing items. But you’ve got to start saving that lint now and practice until you’ve mastered the skill so you can be prepared to do it if the need arises.

5. Plant Mulch

The properties of dryer lint make it a decent material to use as mulch in the garden.Use to insulate plants as protection against cold.

You can also spread dryer lint in areas that need special attention to help inhibit weeds.

6. Soak Up Spills

The absorbent property of dryer lint makes it a decent alternative for cleaning up spills. If you are low on paper towels and rags, throw down a layer of dryer lint and let it soak up the spill.

It works great for most liquids, especially things that might be difficult to wipe up with a rag or paper towels.

The best part is dryer lint is also biodegradable which means you can simply bury it and let it break down naturally.

7. Compost

If you’re a homesteader, you’re probably familiar with the benefits of using compost in the garden. But did you know that you can add dryer lint into your compost pile?

The lint is biodegradable, and as long as you don’t use dryer sheets, it won’t harm your plants. The lint also serves as a source of carbon and nitrogen, both of which are vital for an effective composting process.

8. Paper Mache

Chances are if you are a homesteader or enjoy doing crafts, you’ve already heard that you can use dryer lint when making paper mache projects. This is a great activity to keep kids calm and help take their mind off whatever else is going on around them.

Experienced preppers know that keeping kids calm is critical in a crisis situation and it becomes even more important during an extended emergency situation. You can also mix dryer lint with bits of paper to make a very decorative paper.

9. Worm Farm Bedding

Yes, you read that correctly: you can add dryer lint to your worm farm. The bits of lint contain cotton fibers and possibly pet hair, a combination that provides both carbon and nitrogen to the soil.

Those that have used dryer lint in their worm farm report no negative impact on the worms. Consider balancing the dryer lint with bits of cardboard to balance everything out.

10. Makeshift Pillow Stuffing

If you find yourself in an extended SHTF situation or perhaps an emergency bug out situation, including dryer lint as part of your supplies gives you the option to use it as stuffing to create a makeshift pillow.

All you need is a small garbage bag, a good sized piece of cloth and some twine, or even a small pillowcase. Try not to get your dryer lint stuffed pillow too wet because it will compact and your pillow will need restuffed.

11. Seed Starter Material

Because most of the bits of dryer lint are cotton fibers from clothing, the material is biodegradable which means as long as you don’t use dryer sheets, you can use your dryer lint as seed starter material.

It’s absorbent so it holds moisture which is just what young seedlings need. Monitor the temperature as you would any other seed starter mix, and your seedlings should soon be ready for planting.

Final Words

Have you tried any of these ways to use dryer lint? Tell us whether it worked or not. What’s your favorite way? Do you have a use for lint that we didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below.

dryer lint uses Pinterest image

Megan Stewart

About Megan Stewart

A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she's a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.
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9 thoughts on “11 Uses for Dryer Lint in and Around the House

  1. I’ve tried several of the listed uses. A bit ot dryer lint and petroleum Kelley in a tp tube is a good Firestarter.
    1, 2, 5, 6, 8 have been tried and work ok.

  2. Megan-
    I have used lint as both a fire starter and in the compost. I will try some of the other suggestions.

    I hope your book is coming along. The characters seem realistic as does the plot.

  3. Don’t use dryer lint for insulation in any appreciable quantity. It’s a fire hazard.
    Also, dryer lint will not compost unless it’s from an organic fabric. Indeed, lint from modern fabrics does a GREAT job of clogging septic tank leach fields; so much so, that I employ a filter on the drain line of my washer to keep it from getting to the tank.

  4. I had started to collect lint but like everything in my life , I quit doing it but I guess I could have a baggy full for the just in case, I’d use it for fire starter, anything else takes time and alot of lint but some interesting ideas and tips.

  5. I’m well aware of lints suitability as part of a firestarter kit for preppers…and I have set some aside for such a purpose. I do have another use to suggest for those who throw out their lint. Save it all year around and put it out in the Spring for the birds to use as nest building material. I feed the birds year around and, when I put int out in the Spring, they absolutely love it…pulling it apart and flying off to their nesting location. It makes great insulation to keep baby birds warm…and the parents must sense this because they quickly cart off all the lint, every little wisp of it.

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