Tuesday, April 27, 2010

10 Way To Reuse It: Dryer Lint


Ok. This week was kind of fun. I seriously never thought dryer lint had even one use, I mean come on, it's LINT for crying out loud. But I was standing in the shower wracking my brain this week for something that most people don't even think twice about, something I have an abundance of, something I could save from it's garbage can grave. And now I give you 10 ideas that, even if you don't use them, may open your eyes to the possibilities in our trash cans.

  1. Make Clay! Put 1 1/2 C of dryer lint in a sauce pan. Add 1 C water. Add 1/2 C of flour and stir until smooth. Add 2 drops of vegetable oil. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until it forms peaks and has a solid consistency. Place on newspaper to cool. You may use it for molding as you would any clay then allow to dry for 3 days.
  2. Compost It! Yes, even dryer lint can break down into nutrients for your garden.
  3. Nesting. You know that expensive nesting material you can get at pet stores for you rodents? Try your lint instead. It's warm, clean and cozy and looks just like the real thing.
  4. Mulch It. Use dryer lint in your houseplants. Put a layer on top of the soil. The water will soak through and the lint will keep the top layer of soil from drying out which means you don't have to water as much.
  5. Make A Fire starter. Lint catches on fire quickly. If you're camping in the wind or rain take a homemade fire starter to get yourself warm and toasty. Stuff lint into an old egg carton, pour wax over the lint and then pop out your twelve homemade fire starters. You can use these at home too.
  6. Give It To The Birds. Sprinkle it in your yard and watch the birds haul it away for their nests.
  7. Make Papier Mache. Kids need to make a project for school? Make the most frugal papier mache ever! Go HERE for directions.
  8. Homemade Paper. Not only is it a great experiment for the kids but think of how much money they charge for that fancy shmancy rugged homemade paper?
  9. Spin It. Ok, so it's not wool but did you know that lint can be made into yarn? Yep. If you're a fiber artist, give it a try.
  10. Get Artistic. Here's a link to some amazing art that was created from dryer lint. Like, on-display, art-show kind of art. Seriously!
For more great WFMW ideas, go here.

23 comments:

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Very interesting! I had no idea you could do all that! I love that firestarter idea!

Morgan said...

One of our biggest money-saving strategies is to line dry all our laundry, year-round, so I can't share in this tip.
I do enjoy your menu planning, though, so keep up the good work there!!

April said...

My goodness! Who would of thought you could do all that with lint?! I especially like the tip for making a fire starter, that would be so useful on camping trips.

Lynn said...

The fire starters are awesome! I've made them lots of times. In the event that you have cardboard egg cartons, you can just cut the 12 sections apart after the wax hardens and light the whole thing to start your fire.

Sherry said...

WOW! Who would have thought?! Cool!

Candi said...

I'm going to do the clay one! I think the kids would love it!

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I like! Thanks!

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Love this post -- how creative!! I love the clay one!! Thanks!!

Eden said...

9 new ideas for me! I already use the dryer lint as a fire starter in our fireplace. And it works wonderfully! The beauty is it takes no time - just a little bit of space to save it. I just gather it each time I use the dryer (which isn't much in the spring/summer because I use the clothesline) and put it in a container to use when we build a fire. Now to check out the rest of your blog.

Alicen said...

If you make your egg carton dryer lint fire starters in cardboard egg cartons you can just rip them apart and burn the cardboard as well. We make these at home and they make starting the fire in our stove SO MUCH EASIER!

Sarah said...

So creative! I really like the fire starter idea. We are big campers and living in a wet climate, fires aren't always easy to start.

Tiffany said...

I love this feature on your blog, so I hate to say this, but dryer lint does not make great nesting material for birds. I know I've seen it recommended on the Internet and that birds will use it. But I work at a bird sanctuary and we don't recommend it for a couple of reasons. 1) If it gets wet/rained on it doesn't stay soft, it shrinks and gets hard (think paper mache) and 2) It can contain perfumes, soap residues or synthetic fibers, which could be harmful if ingested.

The Fifth Street Mama said...

We stuff it into TP rolls for fire starters. We also put it into our worm compost. Lint who knew :)

Annikke said...

These are great ideas!!

karen said...

You left out pillows! I know many preschool teachers who use dryer lint as stuffing for homemade pillows for their classrooms.

Tracy said...

You are kidding me!? I think I have NOW heard it all on how to save money and be frugal. This is GREAT! What a fun post. Thanks Gayle!

'Becca said...

I would think it would compost only if your laundry is all natural fibers. Have you tried composting lint over a long period?

Here's something I'd love to know how to reuse: coffee packages, the metallized plastic type.

Anonymous said...

Bird lovers say do NOT use the lint to put out for wild birds nests. It gets wet and can harm or kill the baby birds they say. Just wanted to add this I have seen it listed other places also to be used for wild birds to build their nests and I have heard over and over it is not good actually. thanks for all your reuse articles,...good information!! Sarah

Anonymous said...

Becca,

On the coffee containers I take mine to our local preschool they use them for storage of small items and for craft projects.

Janet said...

Becca,

Regarding the coffee containers. I take mine to our local preschool they use them for storage of small items. They also use them for craft projects. Most schools like them for various reasons. Placed on tables with a slit in front for collecting cash or ticket stubs.

Samantha said...

I have recently decided to make pillows out of my dryer lint.. i don't have a trash can near my dryer, but I do have a drawer which I use for nothing, so I keep filling the drawer with the intent to throw it away, but the stuf isn't really dirty, why not reuse it.. I could have some pretty throw pillows for my couch.. no one needs to know that it came from my clothing lint!

Anonymous said...

Here's something I'd love to know how to reuse: coffee packages, the metallized plastic type.

Becca,

I have been trying to figure something out on this. The only thing I have come up with, is take a ton of them and stich them together like material back them with flannel and put them in our emergency package as a thermal blanket.

maddy said...

if you make clay from the lint, can you store it in a container and keep it longer or will it still dry up?