What can we do with sawdust and wood shaving

Sawdust and wood shaving are usually considered as the waste. After planing wood, people usually throw away the dust and wood shaving. Don’t do this! These things have various uses that may surprise you.

For pets and cattle

saw dust and wood shaving

The stable or cages to keep animals are normally built with plane floor. For farmer breeding animals and cattle, keeping the floor dry and clean is very important. Wood shaving is the best layer to spread on the floor. It is even better than straw because it not only can absorb liquid but also clean and anti-bacteria.

It is also soft and can avoid hurting animals (straw sometimes causes injuries for animal because of its sharpness). The wood processing industry nowadays is very advanced. Sawdust made by band saw is really soft and smooth.

Both sawdust and shaving are great ‘bed’ for pets and animals. Its softness is great for big and short-hair animals such as cows, horses to lie down. For small pets like hamsters, cats or dogs, a product made from shaving called ‘woodchip’ is manufactured. This product is widely used in European market such as Germany and France.

For gardening and farming

wood shaving for gardening

If wood shaving and sawdust is composted with other rich-nitrogen materials such as coffee ground, it is a great fertilizer for soil. Wood shaving and sawing contain high amount of carbon which can absorbing a lot of nitrogen in plants.

Therefore, to avoid the bad effect of wood waste, you should keep them decomposited or make a compound of wood dust and other high-nitrogen materials. The best way is putting necessary ingredients into a composter and let them blended and decomposed.

In addition, sawdust blending with straw is the substratum of growing different kinds of mushroom. Through the production (blending mixture, sterilization, inoculating with mycelium, pressure cooking, etc.), the low valued sawdust will transfer into high nutritious food for mushroom, especially shiitake.

On the other hand, some wood waste such as walnut contains the chemical toxic in pesticide which may harm plants. However, this can be used as a weed killer.

For your house

Mixing sawdust into mortar and it can have the same function as cement. Of course, it only can reduce the amount of cement and help you save little money. Also, it can erect cord-wood walls in order to help bonding the logs together.
With amazing ability of absorbing water, wood shaving and sawdust can be used to dry wet floor and make it clean.

Especially, when you incidentally spill oil or paint on the floor, you just need to put some sawdust on top of them, it will be much easier to clean. Also, spread a bit moisture sawdust on the concrete floor or wall and brush them with a groom, it can easily sweep fine dust and grime.

Put some sawdust or wood-chip into a small bag and store it in your closet. It can absorb excess moisture and keep your clothes dry and clean.

For areas having snow, using wood shaving on sidewalks to help you avoid flipping or falling on the ice. Some people spread sawdust on their truck paths to provide traction and enhance compacted snow while protecting the ground beneath.

For burning and cooking

wood shaving for cooking

Wood shaving is a fast inflammable material. It can be used to start to burn up the fire. You can make a mixture by melting candle wax with sawdust, woodchip and cool them in a tin can. It is an effective fire starter.

You can also make fire brick by mixing sawdust with biodiesel byproduct. You can then shape it into cubic bricks and use them as fuel.

Sawdust from some woods is great fuel to smoke food (smoking food is a traditional way to dry and preserve food). Some sawdust such as oak, beech, maple, jupiter can add good flavors into the food and make them taste better.

Sawdust can also be used in the process of fermentation of red wine. Adding sawdust can improve the taste and the aroma of the wine.


There are a lot of great uses of wood waste like sawdust and wood shaving. Today, making use of natural waste like wood is no longer weird. People are trying to be friendly with the environment by not to throw away any natural remains. Moreover, with plenty of advantages of wood waste, people are investing more to collect sawdust and wood shaving by using technological machines such as dust collector.

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