Uses for an Old Clothes Dryer

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You can reuse or repurpose your old and inefficient dryer to make fantastic and ecologically sound items. With a little humor and creative thinking it’s easy to dream up new purposes for old appliances so they don’t wind up in landfills. Some of these ideas require partial disassembly of your dryer or moving it to a new location, so make sure you’ve got assistance on hand. Others are pure fun, but the suggestions get you thinking about what you might create.

The Whole Thing

One repurposing genre will keep your old dryer intact, though with some of these ideas removing the door for safety is a good plan. You can use your old dryer as an outdoor drink cooler by filling it with ice and stocking it with your favorite beverages. The holes in the tumbler will drain the water into the grass as the ice melts.

Setting up a game room or planning a carnival picnic? You can turn your former dryer into a giant catcher’s basket. Have kids (or adults) take turns pitching footballs, basketballs or other objects into the dryer bin. Use this as a fund-raiser by charging per throw for your organization or community center. Similarly, at home or in the garage, this could become a large toy or ball storage unit, either as one piece with a door or by removing the tumbler for an open bin.

Parts and Starts

Using parts of the dryer can be an effective recycling plan. The most profitable section to reuse is the drum or basket, which you can remove after taking off the front panels of the dryer. When you take the drum out, you have a large metal cylinder that can become a clothes sorter or a toy bin in your basement. It could hold yard tools like rakes and brooms or sports equipment like baseball bats that sit loose in the garage.

In a humorous attempt to promote appliance repurposing, UniMac suggests making a firepit by surrounding the drum with a landscape stone base wall and adding firewood for a tall marshmallow and hot dog roasting fire. Air will flow in through the holes, allowing the fire to keep going as you warm yourselves on a cool evening.

As another great indoor storage function, consider moving the drum to your family TV room and fill it with the extra blankets and pillows that end up all over the sofa when it's time to snuggle in for a movie on a cold evening.

When you exhaust the uses of your old dryer, contact your public works department or recycling center to check on ways metal and large household appliances can be recycled. Scrap metal from dryers might be the most recyclable part.

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