Don’t throw them away! 6 interesting uses for dryer lint

By WeDoLaundry

You probably haven’t thought much about dryer lint except when you remember to clean this compartment of your clothes dryer every now and then. We don’t blame you. These fluffy little particles don’t seem too interesting. However, did you know that the humble lint causes approximately 2,900 house fires in the US each year, costing house owners millions of dollars in damages? Not to mention the emotional trauma.

Don’t forget to empty your lint tray (doing this will prevent fires!)

As long as you have a clothes dryer, you can’t escape from lint. With every cycle, lint accumulates and builds up in the lint trap. There are many reasons why you should practice the habit of cleaning your dryer lint trap as much as possible such as:

  • The most crucial reason to clean your lint tray is to prevent fires. Lint is highly combustible. According to the US Fire Administration, lint causes a significant number of dryer vent fires in the US each year.
  • If your lint tray becomes overloaded with lint, additional lint will deposit themselves into your machine’s vents and ductwork. In the long run, this reduces drying efficiency as it reduces airflow. Not only is this bad for energy efficiency, but your machine will also fail to properly dry your clothes.
  • An overbuild-up of lint increases humidity levels around the vents. In the long run, mildew and mold will begin to grow between the walls and insulation which can be a threat to you and your family’s health.

Ways to reuse dryer lint

Fire starters: We’ve already learned that lint is highly combustible, thus, it is perfect for starting a fire for your chimney, smoker, or a barbeque. Just pack the lint neatly so that it will catch fire once it’s lit and kindle off to a good start. They’re also lightweight and perfect to take on camping trips!

Make beds for your pets: If you have hamsters, guinea pigs, mice or any of these pets at home, using dryer lint as bedding for them can save you some money. Just make sure that if you plan to reuse your lint as pet bedding, skip fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and scented laundry detergents because they might harm your pets.

DIY paper: The next time your kids have a playdate, it’s time to break out the dryer lint because they can be a fun arts and crafts project to make paper or papier mache. Just ensure that an adult is always there to guide and supervise them along the way. If you need more dryer lint that you’ve collected, visit any laundromat in the vicinity and they’d be happy to give it away.

Stuffing: Got a craft project that needs some stuffing? Why not use lint? Lint is great stuffing for stuffed toys. But remember not to wash them because it will change the shape of the lint and also your stuffed toy.

Use it in your garden: A light layer of lint around plants can help to prevent erosion as well as inhibit weed growth. Basically, you can also use them in place of mulch. However, you must ensure that you do not use dryer sheets because they may leave a harmful chemical residue.

Add it to your compost: If your clothes are made of cotton, linen, and flax, then it probably means your lint is too and they’d be a great addition to your compost pile. Place it at the top, add some water, and blend the mixture.

How to properly empty your lint trap

To empty the lint trap, first remove it from the screen and scrape off the lint. Use a brush or a cloth to wide the surrounding edges too. If ever the screen gets clogged, simply submerge it in hot water and use a brush to gently remove all the build-up. Once it’s clean, replace the lint trap and run your dryer with the air only setting to blow any lint residue out of the vent.

You should remove the lint on the lint tray after each cycle. Every now and then, conduct some deep cleaning to ensure optimal dryer efficiency and to prevent harmful dangers.

Now that you know the dangers of dryer lint build up, ensure that you make it a habit at home to always clean it out because it could protect yourself and your family. Plus, now you have 6 ways of reusing them that you never even knew before!

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