Having a small child and trying to be frugal leads a person to look at things differently. That being said, here are some of the uses I have found for dryer lint. We seem to produce an enormous amount of lint in the winter time and it seems silly to throw it out when it can be used. Remember that it is very flammable and you do not want to have it near fire or electrical equipment.
Dryer Lint Clay (2 versions)
3 cups lint
2 cups water
1 cup flour
3 drops vegetable oil
scented oil if you choose
Tear 3 cups of lint into small pieces and place in a saucepan. Cover with about 2 cups of water and slowly stir in 1 cup of flour. Add a few drops of vegetable oil,and scented oil. Stir constantly, over low heat, until mixture is smooth and binds together. Pour onto sheets of newspaper, parchment or waxed paper to cool. Use to sculpt models, cover forms, or pack into small molds such as candy molds. Allow your creation to dry fully, which can take anywhere from 3 to 7 days, depending on the size. Paint and decorate to finish.
HOMEMADE Lint Clay
2 cups firmly packed dryer lint
1/3 cup warm water
6 tablespoons white glue
1 tablespoon clear dish washing liquid
Put lint into a mixing bowl.
Add the other ingredients.
Mix thoroughly. When you can no longer mix, knead with hands until of a uniform texture.
Shape and model, or fill molds with it.
Dryer Lint Faux Paper Mache
2 cups water
3 cups lint
2/3 cup flour
Combine 2 cups of water with 3 cups of dryer lint in a large saucepan. Stir in 2/3 cup of flour until well mixed. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until pulp holds together enough to form peaks. Pour onto newspaper, parchment or waxed paper to cool. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container; pulp will keep for about 3 days. Spread mixture over the object that you are using as the paper mache mold - a bowl, box, bottle or balloon, for instance. Allow to air dry, which may take up to a week. Sand rough edges and decorate as desired.
Dryer lint paper
scraps of old paper torn into small pieces
dryer lint (add to paper mix- do not use alone)
a plain wooden picture frame (8"x10")
a piece of window screen material (12"x14" or larger)
a staple gun or waterproof glue
two large plastic dish pans or baby bathtubs
clean rags (at least 15"x15" square)
a rolling pin
metal shears to cut the screen
Optional: spray starch, iron
Place torn scraps of paper , some dryer lint and warm water into a large pan to soak until
saturated and soft (the resulting paper pulp mixture is called "slurry").
Scoop out one cup of slurry, put into blender and add water to fill
blender. (If you want pure white paper, add 1/4 cup chlorine bleach at this
point.) Blend for a few seconds until it's smooth and mushy. Pour paper mush
into large tub. Repeat several times until there's about 5 inches of mushy
water in the tub.
You can also add food coloring to tint your paper or add other organic materials such as dried flowers and leaves to give your paper more texture.
Line plant pots with dryer lint, then add potting soil and plants. The lint keeps the soil in, but lets the water out.
Use dryer lint as a kind of indoor mulch to help conserve moisture for your indoor tropical plants. Just spread the dryer lint on the surface of the plant soil; water the plant as usual.
Conserve moisture in outdoor container plants, or around the base of small specimen plants, by mulching with dryer lint.
Build a better bird's nest or guinea pig's bed. Leave some lint on a wall and birds may grab it and use it for a nest. Throw some lint in with the guinea pig's shavings for good snuggling.
Hang a mesh bag like (the ones onions come in) from a tree in your yard or on your porch. Stuff lint into the bag. The birds and squirrels will love using it for bedding and nesting material.
Add it to a pet cage with shredded paper as litter. We use it in our rabbit cage and it really helps absorb smells.
Take enough lint to stuff a small pillow and add a couple of tbs. or so of catnip (depending on potency of the kitty weed). Be sure to sew up the pillow tightly, as Fluffy is going to go crazy! Stimulate the catnip by rubbing the pillow vigorously between your palms. Toss it to kitty and watch the fun.
You can use dryer lint to insulate door cracks by making a door sock and filling it with dryer lint.
If you are really crafty you can spin it into new yarn and make sweaters, socks, or a scarf if you like. It is clean fabric after all :)
You can also use it as a fire starter for your grill, fire place or campfires. You can either stuff it into empty toilet paper rolls or pack it into cardboard egg cartons and cover with a little melted wax. After it hardens you can break it apart and use it to start you fire with.
We compost and dryer lint is a great addition to the compost tumblers I made.(That is another post) Just add grass clippings, a little dirt, veggie skins, coffee grounds, fruit peels, dryer lint, shredded paper- whatever you have available. It makes great dirt!
Hope you enjoyed reading. Even if you never reuse dryer lint, it is interesting to know how many ways you can reuse it.