Can Vacuum Dust Be Composted?

Vacuum dust can be composted if there are no non-compostable items such as plastic or glass in the vacuum bag. Dust from your vacuum cleaner has a surprising amount of nutrients that can be beneficial to your compost pile. 

The remainder of this article will discuss how to compost vacuum cleaner dust. It will also discuss which commonly vacuumed items are compostable and which items you must remove before tossing your lint in the compost pile so you can have a ‘once and for all’ answer, can vacuum dust be composted?

Can you compost vacuum cleaner dust?

If all items inside the vacuum are compostable, you can add the components of your vacuum to your compost bin. Many of the hairs, dirt and other fragments found in vacuum dust are beneficial to your compost. 

When adding vacuum cleaner dust to your compost bin, you must remove non-biodegradable items. Non-biodegradable items will prevent your compost from breaking down, inevitably ruining your compost bin.

Remain on high alert for non-compostable items that you may accidentally vacuum up. Even if you do not visibly see these items on your floor, you may still vacuum them up without noticing them.

Observe your floor carefully and sift through your vacuum cleaner dust before composting it for the best results.

Common items that are not compostable include:

  • Plastic items
  • Metal items
  • Nylon pieces

Small plastic items and nylon can be problematic when added to your compost bin. Before adding dust to your compost bin, remove any potentially be hazardous items that could ruin your compost.

Can lint be composted?

You can compost vacuum lint if you have removed all non-compostable items have from the lint before placing them in the compost bin. Vacuums that use lint traps are often easier to sift through because large, non-biodegradable items are easy to see.

Vacuums are not the only type of lint that you can put into your compost pile. Composters may also put dryer lint in their compost bins. Each time you use your dryer, you should remove the lint from the lint tray. 

According to HGTV, dryer lint is an excellent source of carbon. By collecting your dryer lint every time you remove it from its tray, you can add a significant amount of carbon to your compost pile.

Since you are already removing lint from your dryer, the only thing you will need to invest in is a jar to keep it in. Many savvy composters recommend re-using an old sauce jar or paper bag.


Dryer lint and vacuum cleaner lint are both composted the same way as vacuum cleaner dust. Add it to the top of your compost pile and give a gentle churn.

Can dust be used as fertilizer?

Vacuum cleaner dust can be used as an immediate fertilizer after sifting through the dust and removing all non-biodegradable items. Pour the vacuum cleaner dust directly on your plants or yard.

Using dust as a fertilizer provides your plant with an additional source of carbon and many other nutrients as well. The type of nutrients that it provides your plants depends on the components inside the vacuum.

In addition to vacuum cleaner dust, everyday household dust gathered from atop ceiling fans and other household items can be added to compost bins and be used as a fertilizer.

Most of the components in fertilizers are decomposing. Decomposing dust such as the dust gathered from above TVs and ceiling fans is great for fertilizing and compost bins.

On the other hand, sawdust cannot be used as a fertilizer because it is not decaying. When choosing which dust to use as a fertilizer in your flower bed, be cautious that it will help your plants and not kill them.

How to compost vacuum cleaner dust

You can compost vacuum cleaner dust by adding it to your compost bin regularly. Before doing this, you must remove all non-compostable items from the dust. This way, you will not compromise the integrity of your compost bin.

First, clean the dust from your vacuum cleaner into a disposable or designated reusable container. Carefully sort through the dust and remove any non-compostable items.

Frequent non-compostables include:

  • Buttons
  • Beads
  • Plastic pieces
  • Aglets
  • Zip ties
  • Hairbands
  • Paperclips
  • Dental floss
  • Pieces of faux fur or nylon hair
  • Glass

Dispose of all non-biodegradable items appropriately. You may also choose to forage these items and re-use them, if appropriate. For instance, beads or missing buttons can be gathered and placed in a jar for later identification.

You may put the remainders in your compost bin after removing any non-compostable items from your vacuum cleaner.

Add vacuum cleaner dust to your compost bin like you add other items. Pour the vacuum cleaner dust into your compost bin close to the top of the compost so you do not lose any.

After you have poured it into your compost bin, feel free to mix your vacuum cleaner dust it up. Vacuum cleaner dust can also be poured directly into your flower beds as fertilizer if desired.


You can add vacuum cleaner dust to your compost pile after removing all plastic and other non-compostable items. Remove these items by carefully sifting through the dust and salvaging any found items, then properly dispose of trash. Add the dust to your compost pile in the same way you add other items.

Remain cautious of any non-compostable items as you add vacuum cleaner dust to your compost pile. 

Forgetting to remove plastic pieces and other non-biodegradable items is dangerous to your whole compost pile. Non-biodegradable objects like hair ties and buttons sacrifice the purity of the composted mulch. Furthermore, as non-biodegradable items, this compost will not break down. Overall, your compost will be bad for the environment.

Many of the things that get sucked up into your vacuum can be added to your compost pile for an additional boost of valuable nutrients. Human hair, dirt, and food scraps are only a few examples of items that are found in vacuum cleaner bags after vacuuming. Despite their microscopic size, all these materials add significant value to your compost bin.

Can Vacuum Dust Be Composted?

Most vacuum cleaner waste can be composted and spread around flower bed top soil and vegetation too, it will have no negative effect and only contribute to your soils nourishment over time but do make sure to pick out the larger non bio-degradable items before tipping the contents of your vacuum cleaner onto your plants!