November 6, 2008

Green Living: Uses for Dryer Lint

As much as I try to hang out my laundry on a clothes line, sometimes I have to use the dryer when the weather doesn't permit sun drying my clothes. So what the heck do you do with dryer lint, other than throw it away? I tend to toss mine into the yard for birds to use in their nests, since I wash my clothes with biodegradable detergents, but there are some other things you can use it for.

A homemade fire starter, by packing a toilet paper tube with it and using it to start a fire in your fireplace or even on your barbecue. Lint is highly flammable, as you probably know, which is why it's important to keep your dryer vent clean.

Indoor mulch for your houseplants

Make dryer lint "clay" by shredding 3 cups of lint into a cooking pot. Cover with 2 cups of water and stir in a cup of flour. Add a half teaspoon of vegetable oil and stir continuously over low heat until the mixture binds together and is of a smooth consistency. Pour onto a sheet of wax paper to cool and use it like playdough.

Make faux Paper Mache by shredding up 3 cups of lint and adding 2 cups of water in a pot. Stire in 2/3 cup of flour and mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes together. Cool on a sheet of waxed paper and use as you would paper mache. You can cover a balloon, a bowl, or wire form with it, letting it air dry for a week to harden. If not using right away, store it in a sealable container for a few days.

Add a bit of it to handmade paper pulp for making paper. (papermaking tutorial here.)

You can make art out of it. The National Lint Project turns it into art. See for yourself here.


  1. What an incredibly clever post! I had no idea that you could make so much out of your dryer lint. Since I've been experimenting with homemade play dough lately, I just might have to dry your dryer lint version. Thanks so much for sharing another innovative Thrifty Green Thursday contribution!

  2. I never know what to do with the stuff. Drying outside is not an option because we live in military housing and it rains most of the year, anyway, so we always have piles of this stuff. I'm so gonna make some play dough with dryer lint! Thanks for the tips.

  3. these are some of the WEIRDEST/most creative ideas!

  4. What great ideas! You always amaze me, ms kathleen! We need to talk about Thanksgiving plans too. :)

  5. Wow, I wish I could make sculptures out of my lint! That's awesome!

  6. Being the nerd that I am, I excitedly told my husband about all the interesting things in this post.

    And being the ultimate nerd that he is...he replied with "yeah, we started all of our fires with lint in boy scouts." Phooey, I thought he'd be all excited.

    LOL oh well, at least I thought it was cool!

  7. There is a Margaret Atwood novel featuring a dryer lint artist! Lint is compostable, so I've tossed it in the compost bin before. What was I thinking?! I could have done so many cooler things with it, including transforming it into museum pieces.

    Thanks for this fascinating contribution to Thrifty Green Thursday!

  8. Three cups of lint! Mama pajama!
    How could I ever collect that much??

  9. I've always thrown my lint away--now I won't! Great post!

  10. I have always kept mine, but had yet to find the why.....I knew SOMETHING could be done with it! I will read into more of these suggestions. Thanks.


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