We make batches of Dixie Cup firestarters a few times a year. We use them to start fires in our Chiminea and we put a few in our backpacks in case we need to start a fire while camping. Here are the tools and ingredients we use:
1. Large (12 quart?) cheap stockpot purchased from a dollar store.
2. A kitchen skimmer. I think ours was originally intended for removing food from a stir fryer. Anything that will let you skim off old candle wicks, bugs, etc., will work.
3. A tall plastic cup.
Note: these tools are permanently dedicated to this project.
1. Candle stubs. My wife loves to burn candles. When they have been burned to the point that she can no longer use them, she throws what's left of them into my stockpot which I keep in the garage when not in use.
2. Saw dust. Several years ago I walked into the wood shop of one of my local lumber yards and asked if I could have a plastic grocery bag of sawdust. They were happy to indulge me. After making over 500 firestarters, I am still using the original bag of sawdust.
3. Dixie cups. Dixie makes these in 3 oz. and 5 oz. sizes. Either will work. I prefer 3 oz., since they cost less and work just as well. However, what you see in the photos that follow are 5 oz. cups (purchased by mistake).
4. Aluminum foil (preferably the wide size).
Step 1: Arrange Cups
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on your work surface. Fold up the edges to prevent spilled wax from escaping.
Arrange the Dixie Cups on the aluminum foil in beehive honeycomb fashion (to minimize gaps between cups, which will reduce spills).