I've seen different ways to make firestarters from cotton wool and Vaseline (petroleum jelly). This is the quickest way I've found and makes excellent firestarters that keep for ages and burn for about 6-7 minutes.
- Cotton wool or cotton wool balls
- Vaseline (petroleum jelly)
- Paper towel
- Paddle pop stick
Step 1: Melt some petroleum jelly
Roll up some cotton wool into balls about an inch wide. They don't need to be any bigger as they produce a good flame at this size.
Melt some petroleum jelly in a saucepan over a low heat until it’s liquid. A tablespoon of PJ will make about six firestarters.
Step 2: Dunk each cotton ball
As soon as the PJ is completely melted, take it off the heat and dunk each cotton ball in the liquid PJ unti thoroughy saturated.
Step 3: Squeeze out the excess
Give it a good squeeze until no more PJ drips out, then set it aside on a piece of paper towel to drain.
Step 4: Set aside to dry
Let them dry for a couple of hours, then store in an airtight container.