8 Ways to Use Dryer Lint in Your Backyard and Garden

When dryer lint piles up, it can become a fire hazard. But before you toss that dryer lint, consider using it for one of these purposes.

clean Clothes Dryer ventMatt Valentine/Shutterstock

Start a fire

Dryer lint is flammable, which is why we’re urged to clean out the trap after each load of laundry. Collect it in a sealed jar to use as tinder the next time you start a fire in your backyard fire pit. For a self-contained fire starter, stuff cardboard toilet paper rolls with lint.

Use as mulch

You can add dryer lint as a mulch around potted plants as long as you’re not using dryer sheets, which may leave an unwanted chemical residue.

Prevent erosion

When spread out and dampened with water, dryer lint can form a barrier to protect soil from erosion. If you don’t like the look of soggy lint, use the lint as an under-layer and cover with decorative stones.

Discourage weeds

Just like a thick layer of lint can prevent erosion, a base of dryer lint can prevent weeds as well. Use it as a substitute for landscape fabric and top with a decorative mulch.

Add to compost

Lint from natural fibres like cotton and wool is biodegradable, so you can add it to the compost pile as a source of carbon.

Oil down tools

Use a clump of dryer lint to apply linseed oil to wooden-handle tools to keep them from cracking, and to metal parts (after cleaning) to keep them from rusting. Then toss the lint in the trash.

Line garden containers

Line the bottom of a plant pot with dryer lint to keep soil from spilling out the drainage hole. The lint layer will also act as a blotter, soaking up extra moisture and making it available for the roots later. This container gardening tip is not recommended for cacti, succulents and other plants that like soil on the dry side.

Soak up spills

Keep a jar of dryer lint in the garage to use when you need to soak up oil spills.

Originally Published in The Family Handyman

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