11 Things You Can Do With Dryer Lint
One of life’s certainties is that the lint filter on your tumble dryer will need emptying after every use. We usually throw that lint away but did you know there are some really practical uses for dryer lint?
We live in a society now where we’re encouraged to do our bit for the environment and that means getting the most from everything we use. In this article we take a close look at dryer lint and find ingenious ways to use it.
What Is Dryer Lint?
Simply put, dryer lint is a collection of fibres shed from your clothes after they’ve been through the washer and dryer. It is caused mainly by friction, the friction of the clothes rubbing against our bodies as we move around and the friction of the clothes tumbling around the washer and dryer.
As the clothes rub together in the drum of the washer, the fibres shed and get stuck to the clothes because they’re wet. As they dry in the tumble dryer those fibres fall off the fabrics and get trapped in the lint filter.
What Can Dryer Lint Be Used For?
As the lint in the lint filter is for the most part clean and dry, it is perfect for many different uses. These include;
Use It As A Fire Starter
Let’s start with the most obvious use, why obvious you might ask, well, because dryer lint is a fire hazard. There have been numerous reports that state that laundry fires all around the world have been caused by trapped lint.
So it makes sense to save up that lint and use it whenever you need to get a fire going. Whether you enjoy barbecues or have an open fire in your home, lint makes great tinder.
Literally all you need to do is generate a few sparks and it will catch. However, synthetic fibres tend not to burn as well as cotton fibres.
Include It In Your Pet Bedding
If you have small rodents as pets, animals like;
- Guinea Pigs
Dryer lint makes a great bedding material for adding to their cages. It’s also great at absorbing liquids which is another good reason for using dryer lint as animal bedding.
However, it’s best to use lint from natural fibres like cotton or wool as synthetic fibres are not so good if your pet decides to eat them.
Give It To Worms As Food
As dryer lint is made mainly from natural fibres, it can be added to your soil, compost bin or worm farm. The worms will eat the dry cotton and other natural fibres and convert them into healthy nutrient rich soil.
You can then use that soil to grow your flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Use It As A Mulch
All you need to do to suppress weed growth is to spread a layer of dryer lint around the soil. Spread the lint all around the base of your plants to prevent weeds from growing.
As the lint is made from natural fibres, it will not prevent water from soaking into the soil, just weeds from sprouting.
Put It In Plant Pots For Moisture Retention
Adding a layer of dryer lint in the bottom of a plant pot can help to keep the plant moist for longer. The moisture from watering the plant will always run to the bottom of the pot.
This then gets absorbed by the dryer lint where it remains moist for longer than the surrounding soil. This allows your plants to remain hydrated for longer.
Put It In Your Compost Bin
This leads on from the worm food suggestion, as long as your dryer lint is made from natural fibres, they will compost down into healthy nutrient rich soil.
Any dryer lint that isn’t fully composted will also help plants to grow because it will absorb moisture making the ground retain water which is great during hot dry summers.
Use It In Your Packing
If you can collect enough dryer lint, it can be used as packing to protect delicate items. It is super soft and perfect for cushioning those fragile items that you only display occasionally.
Put It In Cracks For Insulation
If you live in a draughty home, you can use dryer lint to stuff in cracks around doors, windows or along the floors of your home during winter months.
However, keep dryer lint away from electrical cables or devices liable to produce sparks or get hot.
Use It As Stuffing For Small Toys
If you make small cuddly toys, you can use dryer lint as stuffing material. You will need to save your lint up for some time to fill even a small toy but it can be used to bolster existing stuffing.
The lint can be used in making new cuddly toys or restuffing floppy old stuffed toys.
Use It For Arts And Crafts
If you enjoy crafting with your kids, you can add dryer lint to many items. For instance you can add dryer lint to the ingredients for making paper mache.
Or you can make a clay by mixing dryer lint with;
- 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid
- ⅓ cup of PVA glue
- ⅓ cup of warm water
Gently mix the dryer lint in slowly until the mixture resembles clay. It can then be used to mould into anything you can imagine and left to dry naturally before painting.
Use It To Absorb Spills
If you accidentally spill anything wet, you can help remove it by using dryer lint. This works well for small animal cages as well but is also great for clearing oils, grease etc from carpets and other surfaces.
It’s great for cooking oil, motor oil etc and all you need to do is gently press the dryer lint onto the spillage. Once the lint has absorbed the liquid, it can be disposed of in the rubbish bin.
As we mentioned earlier there have been numerous reports of tumble dryer lint accumulation as the source of household fires. So we couldn’t finish this article without a quick word on fire safety.
You should always clean the lint filter, vent and vent hose after every use and remove all visible lint. This should greatly reduce the risk of your home joining the tumble dryer lint fire statistics.
Do You Have Any Other Uses?
So there you have it, we have listed 11 ways you can use dryer lint. Do you know any more? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dryer lint is good for the garden as long as it is predominantly lint from natural fibres. It can be used as a weed suppressant, a moisture retainer, as a dry ingredient for compost and as worm food.
Dryer lint is extremely flammable which is why it should be removed from the lint filter, vent and vent hose every time you use your tumble dryer.
People save dryer lint because it has many uses. It can be used as tinder to start a fire, as a dry compost material, to wick up spills, as small pet bedding and to suppress weed growth.