Instructables

Fire Starter From Used Coffee Grounds

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Nothing’s a bigger bummer on a camping trip than to run out of kindling and still have no fire. Let’s face it, if you’re camping anywhere they’ll let you have a fire, chances are the wood you’ll find is so wet you’ll need magic fire starting skills, gasoline, or a little help from ingenuity to get things going. Fire skills take a long time to learn and aren’t particularly reliable. Gasoline is dangerous. Let’s focus on ingenuity.

This fire starter uses old egg cartons, used coffee grounds, used coffee filters, matches, and paraffin wax to make some long burning, energy dense fire starters sure to get any fire going without the fear of singing eyebrows. I suppose any sort of biomass would work in place of the coffee grounds so long as it's flammable. Dryer lint is a great option. I suppose one could try old tea leaves or even old tea bags, but I can't imagine those would smell as good on fire as coffee grounds.

When you want to use these, you just cut off as many as you think you'll need, light them up under your wood pile, and you'll be well upon your way to roasting marshmallows. 

These burn for about 15 minutes. Below is a video I took of one burning, but I cut it down to about 2 minutes for the sake of sanity.


 
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rosewood5134 months ago
I would never have thought coffee grounds would burn so well..
CobyHoff2 years ago
What is the approximate burn time of one coffee-egg-cup? Have you ever observed the burn time or apparent heat of one of these in comparison to, say, a lint-based fire starter? I love the idea of using old coffee grounds, I'm just curious if it offers any other advantages/disadvantages.
josefski (author)  CobyHoff2 years ago
15 Minutes. I have not compared these to a lint based fire starter. You have a dryer; perhaps you could compare for me? I did just post a video, though.
Stay away from Dryer Lint.  It is mixed with Nylon, Polyester & other man-made materials.  That's NOT what you want to inhale.  For around a dollar, you can buy a huge bag of Cotton Balls.  The coffee grounds is an interesting material.  Keep Thinking and Experimenting.
josefski (author)  Survivor Jack2 years ago
I hadn't thought about that. Good thinking. As much as I like breathing carcinogenic chemicals deep into my lungs, I think I'll stick with coffee grounds and other organic materials.
PACW josefski2 years ago
I tend not to worry about the man made materials in Dryer Lint. When you wash a load of cotton towels or denim jeans you get a lint trap full of lint. When you wash a load of nylon or polyester clothes you get very little to no lint. Which makes a bit of sense. . . one of the benefits of man made fibers is that they last longer - they're not always shedding fibers like cotton and linen and wool.
josefski (author)  PACW1 year ago
That's a good point too. I suppose if you were really concerned, you could use only dryer lint from 100 percent cotton garments.
I need to buy some wax, and finish my carton of eggs, but I do have plenty of lint. It would be more accurate, I suppose, if I gave the lint to you, and you made it as closely as possible to the coffee one. Let me know if you want me to get the lint to you.
I just use candle stubs and broken crayons
autocthon2 years ago
What a wonderful recycling idea
u need a video, of these in action
josefski (author)  HeWantsRevenge2 years ago
Video Posted!
josefski (author)  HeWantsRevenge2 years ago
You're right. I do! Coming soon!
PS1182 years ago
When you use them, do they smell coffee-ee? or like burnt coffee? or like nothing?
josefski (author)  PS1182 years ago
They mostly just smell like candle wax until the wax runs out and they smolder. The smoldering grounds, sadly, don't smell like coffee at all!
PS118 josefski2 years ago
Too bad. But at least you get your fire lit, to make coffee on... so still pretty cool. :)
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