Fire Starter From Dryer Lint

November 5, 2012

Fire, Self Sufficiency, Video

Doing laundry

As parents of many, we do a lot of laundry each day. A lot.

As much as we strive to live off the grid and in a sustainable way, there are some areas of our lives where modern conveniences are simply too practical and prudent to ignore.

A washer and dryer fall into that category. Try as we might, we simply produce too many dirty clothes for handwashing and a clothes line to be an options.

Our kids help with chores around the homestead, and get their clothes dirty. They play outside rather than sitting in front of the television, and get their clothes dirty. They go camping and ride horses, and get their clothes dirty. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lint: A Useful Byproduct

Despite using a washer and dryer, we don’t check our prepping mindset at the laundry room door. Instead we look for ways to make the best use of the modern conveniences. One way we have done this is to turn the byproduct of drying clothes into a new resource for us. Dryer lint.

As recommended, Laura cleans the dryer’s lint trap before each use. This helps the dryer to operate more efficiently, shortens the drying time, and prolongs the life of the heating element. So, it’s good for the dryer.

Rather than simply throwing the lint away, we repurpose it. Each time she cleans the lint trap, she saves the lint for use as a fire starter.

Turning Lint into a Fire Starter

Making fire starters out of dryer lint takes less than one minute. Here’s are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1. Place the lint in a used dryer sheet.

Turning dryer lint into a fire starter, step 1

Step 2. Roll the dryer sheet.

Turning dryer lint into a fire starter, step 2

Step 3. Tie an overhand knot with the two ends of the roll.

Turning dryer lint into a fire starter, step 3

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a short 1-minute video clip is worth a lot more.

Turning a disposable item like dryer lint takes almost no time and is a great way to save money on fire starters. The lint balls are easily portable and can be used in your fireplace or on camping trips.

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21 Comments on “Fire Starter From Dryer Lint”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    Could you substitute vinegar for this expensive, dangerous, throwaway item–dryer cloths? I have not ever bought dryer cloths.My mother raised five children who got very dirty, and at times she never owned a washing machine. At one point, she used a wringer dryer and a clothesline. At age 50, she finally got a dryer.

    I wear my work-outside clothes more than once. Maybe you and your children could try this to save electricity/energy. Not using dryer sheets would be great practice for when yo may not have electricity to dry clothing.

    I was taking clothes from the line when I was 8 and hanging them out by 10. Your children can do the same. My contribution helped my mother lots.


  2. dextrollc88 Says:

    Fantastic! I like the recycle-dryer-lint idea. Very useful tip. Thanks.


  3. John Says:

    Another great tip is to take old cardboard egg cartons and place the dryer lint in them then pour a small amount of wax on them. It will resist wind and you can tear off a piece for each fire you use and it gives you about 2-5 minutes of burn time.


  4. Paul Leach Says:

    I have a glass bottle that is filled with dryer lint mixed with lamp oil. A pinch is enough to burn for about 2 to 3 minutes and ignited with just a spark. Even on a wet surface it will light and burn just fine.


  5. Ursula Haigh Says:

    I save dryer lint as well, but dont use dryer sheets. I stuff the lint into the cardboard tubes i save from toilet paper and the occaisional paper towel tube.


  6. Howard Says:

    I mix vaseline with the lint and store it in old 35mm film cans in my pack


  7. Joe Says:

    I pack lint into empty TP rolls(cut in half) and cap each end with wax. Works wonders.


  8. Lydia Says:

    I don’t have a wood stove or fireplace yet, but this is a great idea! I love doing anything we can to reduce waste. I’m going to start making these and giving them to my sister for her wood stove…


  9. Steve Says:

    I tried this once with a HUGE clump – it must’ve been collecting for a month of five-people-laundry!
    I was almost giddy with excitement – but nothing. No flame!

    Perhaps it would work better as the innards of a new quilt or pillow?
    The dryer sheets could even be another layer to help keep them inside, and give a tiny hint of fresh scent.


    • Joe Says:

      I wonder if you compressed it too much. The lint will need lots of oxygen along with the surface area. Just a thought.

      Of course, I guess it’d make good insulation as well.



  10. Leon Pantenburg Says:

    I did extensive testing of dryer lint and don’t recommend it be relied on. Here’s the results;


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  1. Homemade Fire Starters | Little Homestead on the Prairie - July 21, 2013

    […] Lint and Dryer Sheet Fire Starter […]

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