Pulling a big handful of lint from your dryer isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite household chore. But, regularly removing lint keeps your dryer vent clean and reduces the risk of a fire. It’s a quick and necessary cleaning practice. But, what do you do with your lint once you’ve removed it?
If you typically throw it away, you’re missing out on some great dryer lint hacks that can be used in and around your home. When you realize how useful it is, you might not see it as such an unsightly mess anymore.
If you’re an avid camper or you throw a lot of backyard bonfires, one of the best uses for leftover lint is to fuel your fires. Dryer lint is a great fire starter because it contains plenty of flammable materials, like cotton.
You can simply choose to store your dryer lint in a resealable bag and take it with you on your next camping trip, or you can create convenient and compact “fire starters” with a few other supplies you likely have sitting around the house.
As shown in the video above, by mixing the lint with wax and using an old egg carton as a mold, you can create little fire starter “pucks” that will make your next camping trip much easier.
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Consider keeping a resealable bag or jar of dryer lint in your garage or shed. It’s highly absorbent and great for soaking up motor oil spills quickly.
The faster you sop up spills, the less likely they are to stain your garage floor. Some people use kitty litter to absorb oil, but if you don’t have a cat, you’re probably not going to keep litter around just for that purpose. Everyone has lint—and usually plenty to spare.
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Whether you’re a master gardener, a houseplant aficionado, or you just want an insurance policy to keep your landscaping looking great this year, dryer lint can come to the rescue in more ways than one.
First, it can be used to discourage weeds around your yard. You can lay a thick layer of dryer lint around your plants instead of landscape fabric, and it’ll have the same effect. Cover it with mulch like you normally would, and you’ve saved yourself some time and money!
Additionally, you can use lint as mulch around potted plants to save even more money. If you go this route, make sure you’re not using dryer sheets or too much softener in your laundry. A chemical residue might end up harming your plants.
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If you’re looking for a more creative way to use up your dryer lint, consider making your own paper. Homemade paper looks great in scrapbooks, greeting cards, or any other projects you might want to tackle.
All you need to make your own paper from leftover lint is a wooden frame, a stapler, a roller, a window screen, paint, a pan, glue, hairspray or starch, cardboard, and water. You can check out the process in the Classy Cheapskate video above. Even if you’re not crafty, it’s easier than you might think!
Once you’ve mastered creating sheets of paper with lint, you can move on to even more ambitious crafting projects—like paper mache!
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When it comes time to travel, you might suddenly remember that your jewelry, glass perfume bottles, and even skin care containers are fragile. If you’re planning to check your bag, it can go through a lot during your hours on a flight. Dryer lint can help ensure it stays safe.
If you don’t have any bubble wrap on hand—and really, who does—you can take your leftover dryer lint and create a buffer in between items. Because it’s soft and lightweight, it’ll do the job of cushioning your items without making your bag markedly heavier. Sure, it might be a little odd to pack some dryer lint in between your earrings, but it’s better than a broken piece of jewelry.
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These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creatively repurposing dryer lint, so don’t be afraid to come up with your own hacks, too. It’s a great way to reduce waste.
For now, though, try some of these suggestions out for yourself instead of throwing away your lint. Giving your dryer lint a “purpose” can motivate you to clean out your lint trap more frequently. Not only will that keep your dryer running more efficiently, but you’re less likely to trigger one of the over 15,000 dryer fires that occur in the U.S. each year.