12 Clever Uses for Sawdust That You Probably Didn’t Know

Sawdust is messy and annoying, but it has many beneficial uses. Before you discard that pile of sawdust in the woodshop, consider these 12 handy uses for sawdust to repurpose and recycle.

1. Animal bedding

two hamsters in a cage
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Our furry and feathery little friends deserve a soft, clean area to sleep, and that leftover sawdust makes the perfect bedding. Sawdust is absorbent, soaking up their messes, and makes a comfortable material for hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and even chickens.

2. DIY wood filler

applying wood filler
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Wood filler can be a costly addition to your woodworking projects, and it seems like you are always running out before the job is done. Take some sawdust mixed with wood glue, and you have the perfect wood filler replacement. Utilizing sawdust from the same style of wood being treated will make color-matching stains so much simpler.

3. Cleaning up spills

oil spill on garage floor
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Spills in the garage or a workshop are inevitable. Sawdust to the rescue! Sprinkle a generous layer of sawdust over the spill, and after the liquid is absorbed, sweep up the mess.

4. Cat litter

yellow tabby cat meowing
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Did you know that wood shavings make a great alternative to traditional store-bought cat litter? If you are looking for a cheap and biodegradable alternative to cat litter, sawdust is the way to go. You can even add a bit of essential oil to it for scent.

5. Mulch

sawdust as mulch in a garden
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Sawdust and wood shavings make a perfect barrier to keep those pesky weeds out of your garden. Mix some sawdust with store-bought mulch to help it go further, or use the sawdust on its own, and you have a great garden alternative for a fraction of the cost.

6. Starting a fire

woman and dog sitting in front of a campfire
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Sawdust mixed with candle wax or even cooking oil makes the perfect fire starter. Keep some handy for bonfires or camping trips, and get a roaring fire in no time.

7. Alternative ice melt

woman walking on icy sidewalk
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With winter right around the corner, you might be preparing to stock up on ice melt for those slippery snow-covered steps and sidewalks, but sawdust makes a safe alternative to rock salt. The sawdust adds traction to keep you from slipping and sliding down the driveway this winter.

8. Cleaning floors

cleaning garage floor using sawdust
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Basement and garage floors are magnets for dust and grime, and no matter how much you sweep, they never seem to get clean. Add some water to sawdust as a natural scrub and trap dirt, dust, and grime with the absorbent material.

9. Homemade potpourri

handmade potpourri
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Think of all the homemade gifts you could make with that bucket of sawdust in the workshop. Combine some cedar shavings with dried fruit peels, dried flower petals, some aromatic spices, and your favorite essential oils to create your homemade potpourri.

10. Disposing of paint

Used paint cans
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Most waste facilities will not allow you to throw out leftover paint with your garbage, and hauling those paint cans for hazardous waste cleanup can be tedious. Sawdust helps dry out that old paint so you can throw it out without the hazardous mess. Learn how to store leftover paint here.

11. Fake snow/ grass

Christmas centerpiece
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Sawdust is excellent for crafting, and its texture adds a great dimension to seasonal decor. Mix sawdust with white paint and glue to create the perfect winter wonderland fake snow, or mix with green paint and glue for a green pasture of artificial grass. 

12. Garden path

Sawdust used as garden pathway
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Walking the rows of your vegetable garden can be a muddy mess, but sawdust can solve that problem. Sawdust makes an excellent alternative for pathways in your garden and helps stop soil erosion, weed growth, and unintended companion planting.

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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"

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