Dryer lint is one of the by-products of modern technology. The high heat and tumbling action of the dryer slowly breaks down the fibers of the clothes, and the small fibers that break away are caught in the lint trap. In essence, we pay for the convenience of the dryer by gradually wearing away our clothes! But even dryer lint is not without redemption.
For many years now, my husband has carried a small plastic bag of dryer lint with him when he goes camping because it is lightweight and extremely flammable. This makes it excellent for starting campfires, especially when there is little dry natural kindling. This said, it is important to remember this characteristic of lint when finding other uses for it.
In researching what others have been doing with their dryer lint, I came across several very useful suggestions. One use that I liked was to line the bottom of clay pots before adding the soil. This kept the soil in the pot but allowed the water to drain from the bottom. I also read that it makes a good bedding material for small pets like gerbils or hamsters. I don’t have any pets like this right now and have not tried this suggestion, but I can only imagine that it would work very well.
Depending upon the nature of the project, dryer lint can make an admirable stuffing. I once had a dryer-lint stuffed pin cushion which had belonged to my grandmother. Since it is so flammable, lint is best relegated to projects that will not be subject to high heat or open flames.
If the above purposes are not enough to use up the dryer lint in your house, it can also be added to your compost bin and be recycled that way.
While I was looking into this topic, I found some recipes for different modeling compounds made with dryer lint. I want to experiment with them in the coming weeks. I have some ideas that will hopefully give new life to dryer lint and not just a new purpose, so check back soon!