Hot Fuzz: A Second Life for Dryer Lint: Recycle This!

Using a clothes dryer isn’t the greenest way to dry your laundry, but they haven’t been phased out yet, and even with increased usage of clotheslines and drying racks, dryers are not going anywhere anytime soon. So when you do use your dryer, and remove a fuzzy layer of lint from the catcher, can anything be done with this lint instead of throwing it away? The answer is yes, and not too surprisingly, many suggestions can be found on the Internet.

Some lint from natural fibers can be composted. But like dryers, synthetic fabrics aren’t going to be phased out anytime soon. What to do with those? As is often the case on the world wide interweb, some of the suggestions are dubious. Dryer lint is highly flammable, so one site recommends using it as a fire-starter for home fireplaces, charcoal grills, and campfires. However, burning bits of synthetic materials doesn’t sound very friendly to the environment, so let’s pass on that one. It’s good to know that the lint is so flammable, though, so don’t you crafty types go using it as stuffing for home-crafted toys, or batting for quilts!

Our clothes and our rugs are part of our lives, and life becomes art. You can donate one wash load’s worth of lint to Pittsburgh artist Cheryl Capezzuti, including what you washed and what it means to you, and your donation will be transformed into a little figurine that will be sent back to you.

Studio Capezzuti
1509 Termon Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Just don’t expect it very soon. From the website: “Someday, you may receive your lint sculpture. This usually happens after you’ve forgotten that you’ve even participated. Just so you know, Art takes time.”

For crafty folks who prefer the do it yourself approach, lint can also be used in making clay, paper, and papier mache. Directions are here.