My wife and I have two small boys, so it seems like our washer and dryer are running constantly. What used to be a weekend chore has now become a full-time job.
With all the laundry that we process, we produce a lot of lint. Dryer lint, to be more specific. Throwing away all this dryer lint sure seems like a huge waste. There has to be a better option, right?
In this article, you’ll find out whether or not you can recycle dryer lint. I’m also going to go over some other things to do with it, instead of simply throwing it away.
What Is Dryer Lint?
Before we can answer the question of whether or not dryer lint is recyclable, it’s important to first understand what it’s made of. After all, if the components of dryer lint can’t be recycled, the lint won’t be recyclable either.
Dryer lint is mostly made up of tiny fragments of the fiber on your clothing, as well as any dust, hair, or other goodies that might have been on your clothes during the wash cycle.
When your clothes are washed, these items find their way to the surface of your clothing. When dried, they become loose and find their way to the vent trap.
Can You Recycle Dryer Lint?
No, dryer lint cannot be recycled. As mentioned in the section above, dryer lint is mostly made of short, natural fibers from your clothing, in addition to a number of other non-recyclable items, like hair and dust.
Therefore, recycling centers do not accept dryer lint.
What to Do with Dryer Lint?
Although dryer lint is not recyclable, you don’t have to simply throw it in the trash. There are plenty of ways to use dryer lint, which I’ll cover next.
1 – Compost It
Because dryer lint is mostly composed of natural elements, such as cotton and wool fibers, it can be composted. However, if you dry a lot of synthetic materials, such as polyester, you might want to use your lint for something else, as a small amount of plastic might find its way into your lint trap.
2 – Prevent Weeds from Growing
Another way to use dryer lint in your garden is to stunt the growth of weeds. Simply add a layer of lint around your plants, underneath the soil. This basically creates a natural, protective barrier around your plants.
Again, just keep in mind that you only want to use lint from dryer loads for mostly natural clothing.
3 – Start a Fire
Dryer lint is considered a fire hazard. With that being said, if your intention is to start a fire, using a little dryer lint might help. Because it catches fire so easily though, make sure to store it safely, away from any heat sources.
4 – Use It as Stuffing
One of the best uses for dryer lint is to use it as stuffing. This could be for your child’s stuffed animals or even a dog bed. Dryer lint typically has a spongy consistency to it, which makes it ideal to use as stuffing.
5 – Use It as Packaging
Another great use for dryer lint is to use it as packaging for small, valuable items. While it would take a lot of dryer lint to fill a box, you can use small amounts to wrap around small items, then use other packaging materials to fill the box.
As nice as it would be to be able to recycle your dryer lint, unfortunately, it’s not an option. However, that doesn’t mean you have to resort to throwing it in the trash. There are plenty of things you can do with dryer lint that will help to extend its life and keep it out of the garbage bin.
So, put a jar or container next to your dryer, and start collecting the lint. Once you’ve accumulated enough, try one of the ideas mentioned above.