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11 Smart Uses for Sawdust – Recycling & Reusing Ideas

sawdust from chopped wood

sawdust from chopped wood

If you are a woodworker or know someone who is, you know sawdust is one of the things we create the most. Most people sweep it up and consider it a byproduct of the project, but it seems quite wasteful. If you want to know ways to recycle and reuse sawdust in your shop, you’ve come to the right place. We’re about the list several smart uses for sawdust that will help you cut down the waste in your shop.

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The 11 Smart Uses for Sawdust

1. Kindling

One of the reasons we work so hard to remove sawdust from our workshop is that it presents a significant fire hazard. Sawdust catches fire quickly, and sparks from other machines can easily ignite it. However, this trait also makes it quite useful as kindling for starting fires. Keeping a supply of sawdust on hand during camping trips and other outings where you might need to light a fire can make the task of lighting it significantly easier.

sawdust used in camp fire
Image By: Paul Schafer, Unsplash

2. Traction

Keeping a supply of sawdust in your vehicle can provide you with an easy way to gain traction on a slippery surface. Since the sawdust is lightweight, it’s easy to carry a large amount, and you can cover a wide area to get your car out of a parking spot or ditch.

3. Mulch

It might not be as attractive as the standard kind, but sawdust makes a great mulch, and it’s an effective way to protect soil from sunlight and moisture. In fact, it’s more absorbent than standard mulch.

4. Soil Additive

As we mentioned earlier, sawdust can make a great soil additive because it absorbs and holds moisture well, which can help the soil maintain a more consistent humidity that can be beneficial to some plants.

sawdust in the soil
Image Credit: Life-Of-Pix, Pixabay

5. Absorbing Spills

Since sawdust is so absorbent, it does a great job of picking up accidental spills. You can use sawdust to absorb oil, chemicals, and other messes that would otherwise be difficult to clean up. Pour the sawdust over the mess, let it sit for a few minutes, and use a push broom to push the mess into a large dustpan.

6. Cat Litter

Sawdust can make a fantastic low-cost cat litter. It’s highly absorbent, so it quickly absorbs urine, trapping in odor. It’s soft on the cat’s paws, so many prefer it to ordinary clay litter, but it doesn’t clump, so you will need to stir it frequently to distribute the urine, so it’s better absorbed evenly.

7. Cleaning

It may seem strange but putting a little sawdust on your hardwood floors as you sweep can help get them cleaner. The sawdust is slightly abrasive and will help break up caked-on dirt without scratching the surface below, and it’s easy to see, so you will have no trouble sweeping it back up.

8. Cleaning Concrete

Another thing that sawdust is good at cleaning is concrete. You can make sodas with water to create a paste that gets down into the concrete to help clean it. It’s extremely effective and requires no chemicals, so it’s a perfect way to clean when you have a dog or cat.

9.  Insulation

Sawdust can make excellent insulation to help keep out the cold weather when placed between two walls in a doghouse, shed, workshop, or hunting cabin. It’s a fantastic low-cost solution that will also help dampen the noise.

10.  Hole Filler

Sawdust makes an excellent filler when you need to replace accidental holes in wood and other surfaces. You can pack it in tight, so it’s firm, and apply putty on top to seal it and prepare it for paint.

11.  Weed Killer

Walnut and many other types of wood are effective weed killers. Placing sawdust from these woods in an area where invasive plants grow can significantly reduce the number of plants due to a natural chemical in the sawdust called Juglone which is toxic to many weeds.

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As you can see, there are quite a few things you can use sawdust for, and you may be able to use several of these ideas in your home at once. We like to use it as a soil additive and have noticed our plants growing better, we also keep some in the trunk in case we get stuck on ice.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list and found a few things you’d like to try. If we have helped you make something out of nothing, please share this guide to smart uses for sawdust on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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