This week’s assignment: Dryer Lint

Yup. Dryer lint.

If you are not aware – dryer lint is an excellent tinder to start fires. Most all households have dryers with lint screens. People every day clean off the lint screen and throw away the lint. Weeks ago I started collecting the lint and use it frequently to start my fire pit.

So – the assignment: Start saving your lint. Stuff it in a Ziploc bag and pack it away for when it may be needed.


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  1. Another great use for dryer lint is to coat it in petroleum jelly, wrap it up in a small squared off piece of tin foil; when needed, cut small slit in the tin foil and light the lint, makes a great small candle, or slower burning tinder.

  2. I have been saving my dryer lint for a while and placing it in a paper egg carton along with some wood shavings then drip a little candle wax over the top. These are great fire starters for our wood stove.

  3. Great idea Rourke! I did what you wrote except that I made small mylar bags from larger ones and then sealed the lint. I labeled the small bags with a marker – fire starter and it’s ready to be used. Keep up the good work!


  4. Also save the small cardboard roll on the inside of most toilet paper rolls. You can stuff the dryer lint inside these rolls put a wick thru them & seal with wax. They make the perfect fire starters. You can also use egg crates. See the link: There are many different ways to do it. You can add sawdust, small piece of old cloths, etc. Cost is near nothing.

  5. Rourke-

    The Cadillac of lint is from cotton. Other fibers work but I have had noxious smells, melting, burning hair smell when I use anything other than cotton. Wool lint should be avoided as it produce poisonous fumes when burned.


  6. Some people complain about lint as tinder – fluff it up to increase the surface area. Things like pet hair and fabric softener can affect the readiness of it to take a spark.

  7. Another great use for dryer lint is to coat small pieces with petroleum jelly, wrap it in small aluminum foil squares, makes great candles or slow burning tinder.

  8. Huh? moment at first , but will collect , vacuum pack and store in vehicle kit. Not too shabby. Anyone else keep bacon fat in coffee cans saved up? It doesn’t really go bad and makes great bird suet , or better even is what I call “fat packets”. Great for the survival kits or cold Winter hikes…..just in case.

  9. I save the used dryer sheets and wrap a wad of lint in them and tie a knot at the top. When I have a bunch, I dip the wads into melted paraffin or old candles, leaving a bit of the dryer sheet dry as a wick. They burn for about 7 minutes and are great firestarters. And I’m curious as to why would wool have toxic fumes?

  10. The petroleum jelly idea works great but if you put dryer lint in a pill bottle and put some denatured alcohol in it with the lint it starts so easy even a hint of a spark gets it going.

    • Ben –

      I should have put a disclaimer regarding belly button lint. From the research I have collected – there is a serious danger in using belly button lint. From what I gather – in a very low humidity environment, if the ambient temperature reaches 101.3 degrees, and there is a somewhat negative charge in the air – using a red Bic lighter to ignite the lint in questions…..and BOOM!!!!!!……………a low yield thermonuclear reaction is possible.

      Be careful!


  11. I have a couple canisters of dryer lint stashed away. But I prefer cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. Dryer lint that is mostly cotton burns well. With polyester fibers, it is hit and miss. Then again, dryer lint is free and we have to do something with it anyway!

  12. I guess that’s why Dryer Fires are not uncommon.
    I have a question about your rain barrel. Since I live in an area that freezes, how can I keep it from freezing?
    My thoughts were to build an insulated box around it and heat it with a 100w bulb.

    • Retired Geezer –

      Good question and I do not have a simple answer. A 100W light bulb would probably work. My rain barrels freeze at the top – but it does not get cold enough – long enough to freeze all the way through.

      If you go the 100 watt light bulb route – buy a bunch because soon they will not be available.


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