One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. That’s the best way I can describe dryer lint, which shows up after you’ve done laundry and is composed of tiny bits of fabric accumulated from your clothes.
If you want to know more, I’ll leave you with the definition on Wikipedia but today I want to talk to you about all the various ways in which you can use dryer lint which is pretty much free.
As a Fire Starter / Tinder
I’ll start with this one since it’s the most relevant for survival. Dryer lint is flammable so, as long as you can generate a few sparks and you have kindling ready. Of course, I should mention that not all dryer lint is the same as a high concentration of cotton will burn better than wool or synthetic fibers.
Starting a fire with dryer lint is fairly straightforward but let’s see a video demonstration:
Plus, if you stuff it inside toilet paper rolls, you can even make some nice fire starting logs.
Caveat: since it’s highly flammable, you should store it in Ziploc bags until you’re ready to use it. Official stats show that over 2,900 dryer firers occur each year in the United States (link).
Are there better options out there? Of course. There’re a lot more options there for tinder, such as:
- cotton balls
- steel wool
Careful, here. You don’t want too many synthetic fibers. If you wear a lot of polyester clothes, you don’t want to do this too often. Surprisingly, dryer lint actually helps the plants grow because of its carbon and fiber content.
You Can Make Dryer Lint Paper
Although I can’t imagine an SHTF situation where you have electricity to use your dryer but no way to get some paper, it’s nice to know you can turn one into the other. I’ll leave you with the instructions right here.
To conserve moisture for your plants
Spread it on top of the earth inside the pot. Water your plants as usual.
As Cushion For Your Boxes
Since certain natural disasters can cause your boxes full of preps to fall from the shelves, you can use dryer lint as cushion for your most fragile items.
We couldn’t have ended this article without talking about good practices and prevention. We already said a huge number of fires are caused by driers and drier lints so let’s see how we can prevent them.
Clean out your dryer’s vent, screen and trap before or after each use. Some people recommend using the Lint Lizzard but others say it’s useless. An alternative would be to use clear plastic tubing which you can tape to your vacuum.