How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Five Strange Ways To Use Dryer Lint

Have you ever wondered if you could find a use for all the lint you take out of your clothes dryer filter? Yes, it can have a second life–it can be recycled several practical ways. Who’d have thought that dryer lint could become a useful “free” addition to our prepping supplies?

You can make some of these items now and stockpile them, or store the materials for later use. If you’re familiar with dryer safety, you know that lint is highly flammable. So store it carefully and safely away from heat sources, preferably in a non-flammable container.

Lint fire starters

These starters will come in handy if you run out of newspaper or other materials to start fires. They are safe for indoor or outdoor fireplaces—light with a spark or flame as you would paper. Lint from natural fibers works best for these.

Materials: Dryer lint, cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels

  1. Fill tubes with dryer lint.
  2. It’s that simple!

Candy poppers

Materials: Dryer lint, newspaper or kraft paper, cotton string or yarn (Do not use giftwrap for indoor starters, as it can emit toxic fumes when burned. Yarn fibers other than cotton may smell bad when burning.)

  1. Lay out paper (any size as long as it is not wider than your fireplace firebox).
  2. Lay a band of lint across the paper, stopping short of the paper ends.
  3. Roll the paper around the lint to make a tube.
  4. Twist the ends and tie with string or yarn.

Lint candles

These are like small “tealight” candles. They don’t burn long, but one or more can be useful for a bit of light for a quick task in the kitchen or bathroom. They can be used as outdoor fire starters, but wax is not recommended for indoor fireplaces.

Materials: Dryer lint; cardboard egg carton; paraffin, old crayons, or candle wax
Equipment: Double boiler or a pan within a pan for safe melting of wax*

  1. Fill egg carton with dryer lint, packing lint into each egg cup. If you don’t have cardboard egg cartons, paper cupcake liners in a muffin pan will also work.
  2. Burn a candle down to a pool of wax in a firesafe container, or melt wax in a double boiler.* Pour melted wax into egg carton, saturating the lint. The carton can become soaked as well.
  3. Cool. Cut cups apart to make individual candles. Light with a flame and burn in firesafe holder.

Lint clay

Yes, you can entertain the kids with lint!

Materials: Dryer lint in small chunks, water, flour, vegetable oil, newspaper.
Equipment: Saucepan, stirring spoon.

  1. Put 3 cups of lint in saucepan.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of water, then stir in 1 cup of flour, then stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
  3. Continue to stir over low heat till smooth.
  4. Pour out on a sheet of newspaper.
  5. When cool enough to handle, create away or store clay in airtight container for later use.
  6. Air dry for several days before painting or decorating.

Lint paper maché

This is similar to the lint clay but thinner. It should be applied over a form of some kind.

Materials: Dryer lint in small chunks, water, flour, newspaper, simple mold: balloon, bowl, box, etc.
Equipment: Saucepan, stirring spoon.

  1. Put 3 cups of lint in saucepan.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of water, then stir in 2/3 cups of flour.
  3. Continue to stir over medium heat till you can create peaks with a spoon.
  4. Pour out on a sheet of newspaper.
  5. When cool enough to handle, spread over mold or store material in airtight container for later use.
  6. Air dry for several days before painting or decorating.

Do you have any other creative uses for dryer lint? Let us all know in the comments below!

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7 Responses to Five Strange Ways To Use Dryer Lint

  1. ‘m not into the crafty stuff but I always save my dryer lint, stuff toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes and use for the woodstove. Lately, nothing goes to waste in my house. Reuse, refurbish and recycle.

  2. I’ve been saving this stuff for the past 6 months. My wife thinks I’m nuts. But dryer lint makes an awesome fire starter for fire pits. It is a lot safer than the neighbor with “gas” when we do our gather round the pit nights. I’ve started to store the excess lint in used Advil bottles. I take off the medical instructions of the empty bottles and write “lint fire” with permanent marker. Then store them in the GhO (get home bag) or in the Vault. Sure beats having to spend cash for something so useful. Great article and keep em coming!

  3. Modern art. Best if you allow the lint to build up and put in a last load of bright colors. Remove it carefully and put it in a glass covered frame with a white cardboard backing. Go ahead, laugh! But it is often better then what the artists have created.

  4. Spinny Balls from the Sweet Gum tree packed in a large tuna fish type can and covered with liquid canning wax or candle wax make a great little stove. It will light easily, burn a long time and can be used for emergency heat, fire starter or hand warmer. It burns with very little smoke and only a slight wax smell. The lid can be used to extinquish the flame and the little stove can be relit easily. In a covert situation you could warm hands or small area without attracting the attention a camp fire would.

  5. I use dryer lint to repair the wicks on the “permanent” Peace Candles I make. I fashion the wicks out of pipe cleaners in cat food cans, using store-bought canning wax, old candles, or crayons; and I instruct users not to touch the wicks, because the black carbon build-up “wicks” and doesn’t burn, and as long as you keep feeding ’em wax, they’ll last forever. Well, accidents happen, and sometimes all that’s left for a wick is a piece of bent wire. Just shape a little piece of dryer lint around the wire, drip some wax on it to seal, and you’re back in business with a brand-new wick.

    Might want to put a baggie full in your everyday bag or car for quick firestarting tinder, too. Weighs nothing! Thanks.

  6. Another use: I read recently about using dryer lint as nesting material for your hens. (However, after reading your tips, I’m thinking it would be more valuable to use for fire starters.)