Ways to Recycle Sawdust

Woodworking projects and home repairs top the to-do lists of many homesteaders, but they generate a copious amount of a largely unwanted byproduct: sawdust. Before dumping your next shovelful of sawdust into the trash, take a look at this list of creative ways to make good use of it:



  • Use for traction when you’re stuck in the snow. Sawdust is traditionally used by logging truck drivers to prevent slipping and getting stuck in harsh winter road conditions. Keep a sealed bag or two of it in your trunk to spread around your tires for extra traction if you get stuck.
  • Keep on hand as a spill kit must-have. Sawdust is a very absorbent material and can quickly contain any spills such as oil or paint. Once the spill is soaked up, the sawdust sweeps up easily and with minimal dust.
  • Decorate with fake snow. Mix with white paint (acrylic or whatever is on hand) and glue to use for seasonal arts and crafts.
  • DIY firestarter bricks. Melt candle wax in a nonstick pot, add sawdust to achieve a thick consistency, pour into an ice cube tray or egg carton, and cool, and store with your camping gear or fireplace items. Use just like storebought firestarters.
  • Keep weeds under control. Walnut sawdust has natural weed-killing properties. Sweep into the cracks of your driveway or walkway to prevent weed growth.
  • Use as a cement additive. Sawdust mixed into mortar aids in bonding building materials together. It also makes for a good recipe for casting moisture-loving planters.
  • Create a decorative garden path. Spread and tamp sawdust into a dirt walkway to curb erosion and create a soft, fragrant path through your garden or wooded lot.
  • Compost and fertilizer. Mix a little bit of sawdust with manure or a nitrogen source like blood meal. This both fertilizes plants and aids in water retention.
  • Mix with wood glue to fill cracks and holes. Mixed into a putty consistency with wood glue, very fine sawdust is often used by flooring professionals as a cheap, stainable wood filler.
  • Clean concrete floors. Lightly wet a small pile of sawdust with water and use a push broom to spread it around the concrete floor of any work space. The wet sawdust will bind and absorb grime and hazardous fine dust.


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