9 Practical Uses for Sawdust

A close-up of sawdust shavings for our article 9 practical uses for sawdust

Sawdust…a pesky byproduct of a woodworking, carpentry, or just general construction projects. It gets in your eyes, your noise – I bet you can smell it just by thinking about it. Sawdust may seem like waste, but it can actually be reused by you or someone else. We gathered up some new and practical uses for sawdust to turn this biproduct into something helpful.


How to Collect & Source Sawdust

Real quick, before we dive into all the uses for sawdust let’s tackle how you can collect and source sawdust. 

  • Collect: Eric recommends keeping a 5-gallon bucket near you while working on a project that generates a lot of sawdust, like furniture making. As time goes on just gather sawdust into the container to save for later use or disposal.
  • Source: First of all, you want untreated wood for almost all uses. You can buy sawdust at your local hardware store. However, look for it on digital marketplaces such as Facebook marketplace, community pages, woodworking pages, or just build a relationship with a local woodworker if you want sawdust regularly.

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Create the Best Natural Wood Filler with Sawdust

Eric’s favorite way to use sawdust is as the best natural wood filler for woodworking projects. 

Remember that bucket we said Eric keeps by him while woodworking? Well you’ll need it to use sawdust as a natural wood filler! 

After gluing two pieces of wood together there is often a gap. Now conventional wood fillers are great, but they’re also a guessing game when it comes to color matching. Instead, while the glue is fresh take some of your sawdust and spread it on the joints. The sawdust sticks to the glue, fills the gap, AND the sawdust is the perfect color match because it’s from the wood you’re using for your project. It will also take on stain evenly for the same reason.

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Reuse Sawdust as Natural Mulch or Compost

By far the easiest way to reuse your untreated sawdust is to just throw it in your compost bin. Since sawdust is already broken up it will decompose quickly and is easily mixed up with the rest of your compost.

More uses for sawdust in the garden include using it as a natural mulch. It will retain moisture, it blocks weeds from the sun. This also makes it great for creating garden paths and walkways.

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Provide Natural Snow Traction on Driveways with Sawdust

Sawdust can provide natural snow traction on icy driveways and walkways in winter. Sawdust can be a great natural alternative to deicer, or just a great backup when you haven’t restocked yet.

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Use Sawdust to Clean Up Spills

If you work with sawdust you know it’s dry and it soaks up every bit of moisture in your skin. This is why cleaning up spills and messes is one of the best uses for sawdust.

Sawdust doesn’t just clean up water. It’s also great at soaking up things like oil. Also, I think all of us remember the janitor coming in with a pack of sawdust after one of our classmates ralphed – oh, just me? Never mind.

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DIY Firestarter Kit with Leftover Sawdust

Do you like to camp or have bonfires but struggle to get the fire going? Just mix sawdust and wax together and you have all you need for your DIY Firestarter!

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Use Walnut Shavings as Natural Weed Killer

Walnut is one of these most desirable woodworking woods. Walnut also releases the chemical juglone which is toxic to many plants. So, a walnut tree is not good for your garden, but walnut sawdust can be a powerful weed killer against those pesky weeds that pop-up in the cracks of walkways and patios.

Just sprinkle walnut sawdust in these areas and watch the weeds die and refuse to come back.

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Fill Animal Bedding with Sawdust Stuffing

You may not want to lay your head down on a pillow full of sawdust – but your dog might! One of the best uses for sawdust when you have A LOT of leftover sawdust is animal bedding! Obviously, the bigger the bed the more sawdust you’ll need.

If you have a hamster, guinea pig, rabbit or similar pet you can actually line the bottom of their cage with leftover sawdust instead of buying it from the pet store. I believe it can also be used as a natural kitty litter for cats, but I’m not a cat person so don’t quote me on that one.

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Use Sawdust to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Did you know sawdust can provide the perfect growing environment for certain types of mushrooms? 

Want to learn more? Read this article by GroCycle to learn how to grow your own mushrooms with sawdust.

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Post “Sawdust for Sale” Online & Make Money

Last but not least, another one of the great uses of sawdust is to sell it.

Hey, it might not be the biggest money maker. But if you have a bunch of untreated sawdust lying around, have more coming in, and can compete with store prices or live in an isolated area selling sawdust can be a decent side hustle.

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MORE Uses for Sawdust

Did we miss anything? Have you ever reused sawdust in a unique way? Let us know in the comments how you reuse sawdust.


  1. Great uses for the saw dust. I hear a lot of wacky uses such as for traction, as you stated above. What some people think of. I think the three you listed are the best uses.

  2. I guess it depends upon what is “sawdust” or “shavings”, etc based upon size. I have saved whatever it is I get from my planer and joiner when I work Eastern cedar. If I put it in a fine canvas sack with a more durable outer cover, it makes a fine flea proof bed for my shop cats and dogs.

    I sprinkle the finer cedar dust from table and band saws around the perimeter of the building. Between that and the chrysanthemums planted in flower beds, no bugs seem interested in getting inside.

    Either can go into small “Bull durham” type sacks to put in dresser drawers and closets.

  3. Wow, thats a good idea for making beds for my dogs. I will have to do a little research and see if I can use any shavings or if they have to be Eastern cedar. I love the smell of saw dust, so maybe I will do the same things for my sock drawer lol, I am going to do it for all the drawers because I love the smell


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