How to Make Waterproof Matches





Introduction: How to Make Waterproof Matches

About: If it moves and it isn't supposed to move, Duct Tape it. If it doesn't move and its supposed to move, WD40 it. Hack with Sugru. Conor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affi...

This instructable will show you how to make waterproof matches using a candle and non-waterproof matches.

Step 1: What You Will Need

You will need:

A candle


Step 2: Light the Candle

First, light the candle and wait for some wax to melt.

Step 3: Blow the Candle Out

Now blow the candle out after there is enough molten wax to dip the match tip in.

Step 4: Dip the Candles in the Wax

Next dip the tips of the matches in the molten wax. This will create a waterproof barrier against the water.

Step 5: Let the Wax Set

Finally to make them fully waterproof let the wax set making sure they don't stick together.

Step 6: How to Use

To use scrape the wax off the match and light it like normal.



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hmm, i don't like the idea of wax. breaks very fast, and in sunlight it melts... i made matches with NAIL LACQUER. The lac endures time, temperature and pressure.

1 reply

It's not the best but is better than getting all your matches soaked

Just a heads up,step 4 said "Dip The Candles In The Wax".It should be "Dip The Matches In The Wax".

1 reply

Thanks will fix it

I wonder why you couldn't just stack them, as you dip them, into a block and let them stick together and then break them apart only as you need to use them? I wonder if that would increase the water-proofiness as well as keep them all together as a unit, so that if they were dropped say, into the lake, they would be easier to find and grab back up?

2 replies

If you broke them up after the wax dried it'd crack and peel off of the other sticks.
Especially true if combined with your other idea

BUT - maybe the wood would have absorbed enough wax already to make them water repellant anyway? I'm going to try it and see.

Good idea and good instructable!
I think I would put the entire match into the wax, stem and all. That way if they were exposed to long-term moisture, like high humidity, or even being dunked for a while, it might prevent the moisture from climbing up the stem and saturating the wood, thus ruining the top of the match from the inside.
Not very clear, but you know what I mean, the match stem might wick moisture like a candle wick.

really? I have to do it now

Old Cooper - that gave me (pleasant) memories of my time camping at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco (yes, the same place they filmed Friday the 13th....when I was 8. next year at camp there with many a sleepless nights LOL). I STILL keep a box's worth of those "firestarters" in my bag.

Got MY STRICK ANY WHERE MATCHES AT A Army Navy store. I take floss and tie 10 together, leave enough floss to dip into wax.First I dip heads let dry then the 10 together. Called fireflies. Ours burned 8-10 min. Great for camp fires.

A good old Boy Scout trick. I like the candle wax idea as it is a bit easier than melting canning paraffin like we used to do. As boy scouts, we used to make "fire starters" by dipping whole match sticks in the wax, and tying about 8 or 10 head to tail with a bit of string, maybe even dipping the whole thing back into the wax. You could light by scratching or with another match, but you could generally get a carefully planned fire going, even if some of the wood was damp. As someone said, the wax was just added fuel.

And one last "scout" trick, a few ounces of vegetable oil, even used oil, can be a big help in getting a fire started, again, even in damp conditions. Beacon grease is also good, but I have heard that bears love beacon and will come a running for dinner.

- Old Cooper

2 replies

I like all of these ideas
I might even make a instructable on it

Please do if you feel the information is worth it.

Old Cooper

As a former Boy Scout, camper and hunter, I assure you this is not nonsense. If you are ever in a survival situation, waterproof matches can save your life. I know several other ways to start a fire in a survival situation that I would trust to help survive and help rescuers find me. People die every year because they get lost or their vehicles break down in either snow country or other inhospitable place. It is a good idea to research and find all you can.

1 reply

No, you misunderstand me. 'Nonsense' is not selling those matches in the state. This wax idea is nothing short of brilliant.

+bd5 "I don't want to know any more." — The first step to ignorance.

You hide behind a three character pseudonym, yet I use my name, traceable to my Facebook account, using my real name.

If you don't want to know more, why are you seeking knowledge by reading the fine content on "Instructables"?

If you aren't aware, the government in SOME states has placed regulations on some of the most innocuous (and formerly ubiquitous) products because someone may have injured themselves, somewhere... And some crybaby said we have to protect people from themselves. Common sense was good enough for all the preceding generatiosn in my family, but they were good enough to pass on some native intelliegence and common sense, not ignorance.

When in fact, in other countries, there's no warning on the edge of a cliff, other than a chain and a danger sign. it's understood that if you go past the chain, you do so at your own risk... if you go to a professional baseball game, you do something known legally as "assuming the risk" (You might get beaned by a foul ball or a line drive.). Which is what we do when we use our brains and research and learn and experiment. We would not have AC current had Nikola Tesla not been willing to think outside the box.

Please,bd5 , stick your head in the sand, you may find there's a use for sand.