If you use a clothes dryer, you have dryer lint. The most important thing you can do with dryer lint is remove it from your dryer after every load. This will help prevent a devastating home fire and make your dryer more efficient.
But did you know that you don't have to throw all that lint away? If you want to recycle lint, placet a container in your laundry room for saving the lint, such as a milk jug with the top cut off or a plastic grocery bag hung on a hook. Add the lint you find each... time you clean the lint trap. It will add up quickly.
You may not be as creative as Heidi Hooper, the professed "Andy Warhol of Dryer Lint", but there are some creative ways to reuse and recycle something that is usually just thrown away.
01 of 06
Create Some Fire Starters
One of the reasons we clean out dryer lint is to prevent fires because the lint is highly flammable. So, why not use it to start a fire when and where you want one?
One method for creating fire starters is to pack the lint into a small section of toilet paper or paper towel tubing. The lint will light quickly and get your kindling off to a good start. These starters are very lightweight to take along on a camping trip. Just place them in a resealable plastic bag to keep them dry.
Another method is... to make fire starters by packing lint into the cups of paper egg cartons (never use styrofoam cartons). Pour melted candle wax over the lint. Cut the egg carton apart into 12 separate fire starters. Simply light the edge of the paper egg cup and place next to your kindling to get a good blaze started.
02 of 06
Make Some Pet Bedding
If you have guinea pigs or hamsters or gerbils or rats, lint makes some great bedding. It is clean and soft and easy to replenish after it becomes soiled. (Plus it's cheaper than other bedding.)
If you plan to use dryer lint for pet bedding, skip the use of scented laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Some pets are sensitive to the chemicals and can even develop skin irritations.
03 of 06
Stuff Small Crafts
If you just need a bit of filling for a craft project, ornament or toy, use lint. Again, it is clean and free!
Dryer lint is not a good choice for any project that will later be washed. The lint will compact and the stuffed item will loose its shape.
04 of 06
Prevent Soil Erosion and Weed Growth
A thick layer of lint is not a great mulch for plants that you want to thrive, but it can prevent weed growth and erosion in areas that need extra help.
Lint from natural fibers like cotton, linen and flax can be added directly to your compost pile. Spreading the dryer lint over the top of the compost pile, dropping handfuls evenly. Moisten the lint with a sprinkler and mix it in with a rake or shovel.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
06 of 06
Use Dryer Lint to Make Clay, Paper or Papier Mache
Dryer lint can be used to make modeling clay, paper or papier mache projects. These art projects are perfect for organized groups because they are inexpensive and everyone has lint to contribute. If you need lots of lint at once, just visit a local laundromat! All it takes is some creativity and time.
Dryer Lint Paper Making Supply List
- warm water
- dryer lint
- scraps of old paper torn into small pieces to add body to mixture
- plain wooden picture frame
- window screen material large enough to staple... around frame
- staple gun or waterproof glue
- two large plastic dish pans or baby bathtubs
- clean rags
- old newspapers
- rolling pin
Make your paper drying frame by stapling window screen material around the picture frame and stapling it to the back of the wood. You may want to make several frames so that you can make more than one sheet of paper at a time.
Place water, lint and torn paper into a shallow pan a bit larger than your picture frame. Allow to soak about 30 minutes or until saturated and soft. This makes a paper pulp mixture called "slurry". Scoop out one cup of slurry, put into blender and add more water to fill blender. Blend for a few seconds until it's smooth and mushy. Pour paper mush into large tub. Repeat several times until there's about 5 inches of mushy water in the tub.
Be sure to remove any clumps that you see so your paper will be smooth. Remember, your paper will be the color you see in the slurry. If you want to add color, now is the time.
Now, immerse your frame into the paste, with the screen on the bottom. While it’s covered with the pulp, make it as level as possible, and slowly move the frame back and forth until there is an even layer of pulp covering the top of the screen. Slowly pick up the frame.Smooth out any areas that are still chunky or lumped together. Allow the screen to drip over the basin and them move to a safe place to begin drying. Repeat procedure with additional frames.
Once the paper seems to be dry, use a soft rag to press down and release any water still in the pulp. Spread out the rag and leave it on the pulp. Once the rag is dry, very gently, remove the fabric. The paper should stay attached to the fabric instead of the screen. Once the screen and the paper are separate, without removing the fabric, lay the paper on a flat surface to allow it to dry.
Do not remove the cloth until the paper is fully dry. Once it has reached full dryness, gently peel it away from the fabric. The paper is complete and ready for use.