Cleaning your dryer’s lint trap after every load is a must if you want to keep the machine running efficiently and safely. Scraping out that pile of bluish-grayish-pinkish fluff is probably something you do without thinking, but before you toss it into the trash as per usual, stop. What if you didn’t throw the lint away?
That mishmash of fabric remnants isn’t necessarily trash—you can actually put it to good use. Here are a few reasons to start saving your old lint, and screw the haters who call you a hoarder for it.
Create a dryer lint fire starter
The main reason you have to get the lint out of your dryer is because it is so very flammable. In the machine, that’s a hazard. Out in the real world, though, that’s a bonus. Lint makes a great fire starter.
The next time you’re packing for a camping trip, add a few homemade fire starters to your kit. Grab a toilet paper or paper towel tube, some wax paper, and some of your dryer lint. Loosely fill the tube with lint, keeping things a little fluffy in there so oxygen can still get feed the fire. Roll the whole thing in wax paper and twist the ends closed like a piece of candy. After you’ve built your fire, toss the tube onto your kindling, light one of the twisted-up ends, and watch as it easily catches fire and spreads it around to the wood.
Pack little valuables
We’re always looking for efficient ways to pack and preserve small, delicate items, like plates or china. From Swiffer pads to paper towels, we’ll try anything that will keep our items unscratched, unharmed, and unbroken. So why not dryer lint?
If you have to pack a mug or another breakable for shipping, add dryer lint to the box for a little extra cushioning in transit. Combine it with bubble wrap, newspaper, or whatever else you plan to use, but keep the lint close to the delicate item so the softest material is touching it, which will help ward off scratches.
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Soak up messes
This great tip from The Spruce will come in handy if you don’t have your usual mess-soaking materials—like kitty litter or cornstarch—around. You can use dryer lint to sop up wet spills, from oil in your driveway to a spilled bottle of oil on the kitchen floor. Toss a big wad down on the spill while you prepare your other cleaning materials and let the absorbent bits that were formerly part of your clothing do most of the work. It’s a reasonable way to cut down on your paper towel consumption and put your dryer’s waste to work instead of dirtying a towel you’d then need to launder. The best part is, you can just throw the lint in the trash afterward.