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I do a lot of laundry in my house and, as a result, I accumulate what seems like a metric ton of dryer lint each week. As I fished the latest clump of fuzz from my dryer's lint cup, I got to wondering, "Is there something useful could do with all this?" The only think I could think of was to toss it into my backyard for the birds to use when they build nests. I knew other people must surely have come up with other, more creative, ideas so I decided to find out.

What I learned may surprise you:


  • Thrifty Fun recommends using dryer lint to stuff small hand-sewn dolls or bears. Not only will they smell great, they'll be washable too. Lint bears aren't meant for children though, since dryer fuzz is highly flammable.
  • The same site also says lint makes a great addition to your compost heap or worm farm. Apparently stray sweater fibers make a good snack for the bacteria usually found in these types of soil.
  • The Dollar Stretcher suggests using lint to cushion small items for shipping. I'm guessing they mean jewelry or trinkets, not cookies.
  • There is also a recipe on the site for making non-edible lint-based clay that can also be used in place of paper-maché.
  • Essortment tells its readers to stuff excess lint into old tube socks and use them as draft stoppers. If you start saving lint now, you might have some ready in time for winter. If you do a lot of laundry, you could have a few made by Thursday.
At a time when it seems like everything from water bottles to cells phones are disposable, it's nice to see lowly dryer lint get a second chance at life. Who knew?

  • Jluna

    SAVE THE PLANET
    jeez people its on u wen u where ur clothes soooooooo y do u care nw u can save a lot of money
    firewood is expensive
    heat cost is expensive
    arts stuff is expensive
    packing peanuts/bubble wrap is expensive
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Mike Schleifstein

    firestarters

    take old cardboard egg cartons and dryer lint and wax
    a little lint in each egg space
    pout in some melted wax
    let harden
    brake into individual egg pieces
    use two per fire with start your grill (charcoal only of course)
    light the carton edge with your lighter and watch it get your dinner started

    much cheaper than standard firestarters and doesn't effect the taste of the food

    Reply
  • Brendon C.

    It can also be used to help start camp fires.

    Reply
  • Chris Wickersham

    Along the same lines as the other replies, we keep our dryer lint to use when starting the fireplace.

    Reply
  • Peter

    "cushion small items for shipping" - I cannot begin to tell you how pissed I would be if I received something packed in dryer lint!

    Reply
  • Somebody

    Are you serious??? Dryer lint???

    Reply
  • philly

    The young and lovely wife of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, made a keepsake I love you card for him. Card was made from Rodney's belly button lint.

    Reply
  • Brandy

    Just throw it away

    Reply
  • Lori

    I use mine to make the trash can get full faster, then take it to the dumpster..........dryer lint? Yuck! I wouldn't wanna use it for anything!

    Reply
  • Leslie

    Lisa,
    WOW - great ideas!
    I know it seems pretty trivial, but anything that can help reduce the landfills is just fine with me.
    I use it in spring for the birds to take for nesting material.
    However, I am going to try the firestarter idea - very cool!
    Which reminds me - egg shells - if you live in the north with wonderful acid rain, dry the egg shells, grind them up and put them out in the spring for the birds. They'll use it like grit and will make their eggs stronger - more likely to hatch.
    More birds, fewer bugs. A difficult idea to turn down.
    Leslie

    Reply
  • GiveMeMusic7477

    a friend of my mom's made pillows out of them, she gave me one before I left home....I left it there.....it was so gross and nasty!

    Reply
  • jackie

    Isn't it amazing though, that we have any clothes left at all after losing all that lint - I do 3 - 4 loads a day and the amount of lint I take out of the cup is unbelievable. I used to joke about it and say "it must be useful for something"......but give me a break......let's just dump it.

    Reply
  • Polly Esther

    I have a very rare disease that does not allow me to create my very own bellybutton lint. I use my dryer lint to supplement what I cannot produce naturally. Since doing this, I can now be a part of all the big parties and no one can tell that my lint is fake. If you have extra, I would urge you to send your spare lint to vacantbellybuttons.com so others may enjoy a naturally producing navel. Thank you and party on!

    Reply
  • Lacey

    The birds used my dogs hair to build their nests.

    Reply
  • Polly Esther

    I have a very rare disease that does not allow me to create my very
    own bellybutton lint. I use my dryer lint to supplement what I
    cannot produce naturally. Since doing this, I can now be a part of
    all the big parties and no one can tell that my lint is fake. If you
    have extra, I would urge you to send your spare lint to
    vacantbellybuttons.com so others may enjoy a naturally producing
    navel. Thank you and party on!

    Reply
  • Margaret

    Early Spring I start saving it and then put it out on my back yard shed roof. I get a kick out of all the different types of birds flying in and out
    getting the stuff for their nests. Even the small decorative ceramic bird house on my deck got used this year! A very rambunctious sparrow
    raised his brood there - it was so cute - woke up each morning to the noise of the chicks wanting to be fed - sooooo cute! If you like birds - this is a good way to recycle dryer lint.

    Reply
  • Ardis

    Hard to understand why some say this is gross. It's fiber that's just been freshly washed and dried...jeez, it's clean. If nothing more, baby birds get a nice soft nest. Why go buy bags of fiberfill at the craft store, and then throw dryer lint away? I think this is a fun article...thanks Lisa :)

    Reply
  • Jim

    Seems like the financially challanged could easily make a toupee' or hair extentions out of the excess dryer lint. The extra creative could dye it to match their head fuzz? Careful combing, some patience, a little Elmers glue and voila, a new you! Who knew?!?! (I am trying to keep a straight face here folks!) :)

    Reply
  • kim

    i used to save dryer lint for the birds . i posted this "tip" on a Homakers Discussion Board once and got BLASTED by the PETA people . according to them - dryer lint harbors chemicals that actually break down the integrity of the eggs . where as the "babies" would die before hatching . im not swearing to this as i have done NO research on the matter .... but i got totally REEMED by more than a few people over it . just a heads up . maybe their right - maybe not . i NOW save mine for homemade fire starters . i let my kids make them (under suppervision of course) for their grand parents for Christmas . follow the same wax recipe as stated in previous threads - but we add a touch of glitter to make them look extra pretty for gift baskets . :O)

    Reply
  • twinks

    Well with all the uses there seems for dryer lint I was thinking of getting a part time job but instead I will collect dryer lint from all my friends and sell it on ebay.

    Reply
  • 31 Comments / 2 Pages

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