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Great uses for old dryer lint

Updated on October 28, 2015
You don't have to work this hard to get dryer lint out.
You don't have to work this hard to get dryer lint out.

Don't just throw your old dryer lint away into the trash can anymore, because it has some very valuable uses. Recycling has come a long way these days. Paper, glass bottles, and aluminum cans aren't the only hot commodity being sought after in the aftermarket recycling programs. Going green has even found daily uses for old dryer lint, which also helps reduce levels in our crowded land fills as well. Every little bit helps, and recycling dryer lint is no different, and is just one more step helping all of us going green.

Don't you just hate it when this happens.
Don't you just hate it when this happens.

Now you might just for a second just think that I'm pulling your leg with the suggestion of reusing old dryer lint, but this is the real deal and is really on the up and up. Once again I heard some D.J.'s talking about this hot new idea for old dryer lint on a morning radio show while driving to work. They were doing such a good job of selling these great uses for your old dryer lint, that I thought I would go ahead and write a hub on all of the ways that you can put that old dryer lint to good use. Now none of these ideas really look like they are going to save you all that much money, but they might just make you feel a little bit better inside because of your small contribution of helping out the environment.

Lint ready for retrival
Lint ready for retrival

The first idea for giving new life to old dryer lint is to use it as a quick fire starter. Any Maytag dryer repairman will be glad to tell you all about the fire hazards associated with old dryer lint getting stuck in your dryer's duct work and vents. (This might be a good time for you to take a short break and check to see if you have any lint build up in your dryer system.) So after somebody gave this idea some thought, they came up with the bright idea of using dryer lint as a fire starter. They work good for starting fires in your fireplace, potbelly stove, outdoor grills, and especially camp fires on those cold rainy days. Just keep some dryer lint in a waterproof zip lock bag the next time you go on a camping trip, and you can spend less time trying to get your campfire started & more time enjoying the outdoors.

The mother load of used dryer lint.
The mother load of used dryer lint.

The next time you scoop a hand full of that old warm dryer lint from the screen inside of your dryer, try saving it for the birds instead of tossing it into the trash can. Both domesticated birds in cages and wild birds outside like to incorporated and weave dryer lint into their nest. Who could blame them for wanting their young, as well as themselves, to be as comfortable as possible in their little nest, and dryer lint most likely feels like a very soft pillow to them.

Another great use for old dryer lint is for your small household pets. Hamsters, mice, and guinea pigs all enjoy having some dryer lint in their cages. They all especially enjoy nesting on the soft fibers of the dryer lint, which gives them a welcome bit of change from those hard cedar wood chips which are normally scattered everywhere throughout their little cages. These little guys really don't even care if it's new warm dryer lint or old cold dryer lint, as long as it's soft and fluffy.

Retrieving that old dryer lint is as easy as one, two, three.
Retrieving that old dryer lint is as easy as one, two, three.
One magic piece of dryer lint.
One magic piece of dryer lint.

Just when you think that you've heard it all, some genius comes up with the idea of using old dryer lint as a mulch. It's a perfect blend to conserve moisture, and improve the fertility and health of the soil for your plants while helping to reduce weed growth. The morning show D.J.'s went out of their way to especially note that a co-worker of theirs collects everyone's dryer lint at work and carries it home in little bags to use for mulch around their house. I wonder if this co-worker of theirs was listening to the program at the time. This may be a little on the extreme side, but I guess it floats this particular person's boat.

Last but not least another inventor had the great idea of using their bold dryer lint for making paper and stationary. This is an easy, but rather time consuming process. Anyone can make their own paper, and I've actually done it and tried this process before by using clean unused toilet paper as my paper base. (I figured that I might need to emphasize that the toilet paper was clean and unused to everyone.) I would also like to add that by using dryer lint in the paper making process definitely adds a rainbow of beautiful colors to the paper, as it would also for all of the other uses that are listed in this hub.

I also discussed the business end of using old dryer lint with a co-worker who also repairs dryers and washing machines for a living on the side. We both decided in the end that there was no way that a business of collecting and selling new or old dryer lint could ever possibly be a profitable business venture. After all why would people buy dryer lint when just about everybody in the world has access to dryer lint. Some people can even pick lint out of their own belly buttons. This might not be The-Hole-Story on all of the uses for old dryer lint, but it certainly should be most of the story. If you can think of anymore uses for old dryer lint, then please don't hesitate to include them in the comment section below. Thank you for stopping by!

Do you now plan on reusing any of your old dryer lint after reading this hub?

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If so, what do you plan on reusing your old dryer lint for?

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...........................But you all come back now...................................

4.9 out of 5 stars from 7 ratings of The notion of reusing old dryer lint


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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I've made paper before with dryer lint and it does add a softness and rainbow of colors, as you say. The mulch is what got me. I never thought of that one. But you are right, we all have an almost unlimited supply of our own lint to dispose of. I do like the idea of not throwing everything away. Now if you can think of ways to use or re-use all those plastic and cardboard packaging that gets thrown away daily....

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Some great ideas for that old dryer lint - who knew!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 3 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      I wonder how dryer lint would work for making paper mache clay. Using dryer lint instead of tp.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 3 years ago from Vermont

      I put dryer lint into my compost pile. I've read about using it to make paper - maybe I'll try that with the grandkids on Earth Day.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      I do leave the old dryer lint from the outside vent on the ground for the birds to use. I might add some of the lint from inside the dryer to the garden area. Thanks for the ideas, and for the Squidoo welcome. : )

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 3 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      I too am a reduce/reuse/recycle/precycle type of person and I loved this page !

      I do many of these.

    • Pico Triano profile image

      John 3 years ago from New Brunswick, Canada

      We've been using it as a firestarter and can't seem to get enough of it. Weather permitting we use a clothesline so our best production is during the winter when our woodstove needs it the most.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      This is amazing HoleStory but I am not totally surprised with everything else these days. I may use it for other things but the first which came to mind is the birds nest.


    • Kathy Carr profile image

      Kathy Carr 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Great Hub. Good ideas here. Will keep in mind next time I wash. Thanks.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Interesting ideas for old dryer lint. Also LOL on the Yotsuba& Box Robots pic.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Oh, Silva, I never thought of thought! They would probably not like the smell. Good thought!

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Haha, what an interesting concept; weaving the hair of your enemy into your nest! I don't know . . .

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Oh wow, Silva - I wonder if that would work with cat hair? lol

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      This comment isn't about lint, but since several of you are interested in helping out the birdies, I wanted to mention this here. My two granddaughters have long beautiful hair and when we clean out their hairbrushes, we do it out on the back porch and let the wind take it away; the birds love to weave it into their nests.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

      Great hub! I love the idea of reusing it and especially for the birdies! With all the cats I have, I have a lot of lint, so I'm glad to know all these ideas for it.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I put a bunch out last year for the birds to make nests out of, but it got wet when it rained. I noticed, though, that a lot of it disappeared, so the birds must have gotten at least some of it. I hadn't ever thought of mulch, so that's going to be my next use for it! Thanks for sharing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Well, who knew? If the birds can use it, it's worth a try.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      So interesting , useful, voted up and shared.


    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      I like to recycle as much as possible so this is good information to know. We end up with so much lint in our dryer every week so I may try some of these ideas. Useful and pinning. :)

    • eugbug profile image

      Eugene Brennan 4 years ago from Ireland

      Drier lint always reminds me of the shredded fiber stuff made from waste cloth they used to use as insulation in anoraks years ago. Drier lint is really very fluffy and I reckon it would be great as insulation. I wonder would it be too dusty though for pets with asthma? (Do pets get asthma?)

      Voted up and useful!

      Making paper sounds interesting. It's been on my list of crafty things to do for along time. Do you have to add any glue to the mix when making it, or does everything stick together naturally?

    • prestonandkate profile image

      Preston and Kate 4 years ago from the Midwest

      Very interesting. I enjoyed the reading the comments and found some great uses. BubblegumJones...glad you mentioned the pillow stuffing. That's really a great idea for me! I may have to try it. -Kate

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 4 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Very cool! I have chickens and I think I will put the used dryer lint in their nesting boxes! They would LOVE that softness and fresh smell! Great Hub....voted up and awesome!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      5:30 in the morning and I'm reading a hub on lint. Great article! I never even thought of lint for starting fires...even though everyone says to clean out your lint or it will... start a fire. Bird nests, too. Voted up, interesting and useful.

    • Bubblegum Jones profile image

      Bubblegum Jones 4 years ago from the house right next door to Honey Boo Boo (AKA: Honey Boo Boo's next door neighbor)

      Super cool hub. If you have enough dryer lint other great uses for it can include using it for pillow stuffing or even using it for batting inside of a quilt.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Good job! I already collect our dryer lint; I immediately roll it between my palms into a ball and stash it along with previous dryer lint balls in a Ziplock bag. When the bag is full, I store it in my "bug out bag" for when the zombie apocalypse occurs and we need fire starters.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Aww, how nice. I knew about the mulch idea, but the bird nest use is so sweet. I love finding empty bird nests and seeing how they incorporate yarn, hair and other things they find to line their nest with. Cool Hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The Mulch Idea is great -- it makes sense. As to the toilet paper. As gross as it sounds (hey we put pig and cow manure in our yard and garden) this should be included in the mulch also, just saying.

    • THarman7 profile image

      Terry Harman 4 years ago from Lacey Washington

      Wonderful way to recycle thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 4 years ago

      Well who would of thunk it, mot of us just swipe the lint and immediately toss it into the wastebasket but your thoughts and ideas are great.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Ha ha thanks for clarifying that your toilet paper was new and unused! I really like the idea of the birds recycling for their nests. Very interesting, voted up.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I could not imagine anyone could come up with this many ideas. Congrats! I would also assume you could use dryer lint and nail polish remover to remove nail polish. Why bother with cotton balls? Just a thought.