Make a Candle From Cheese





Introduction: Make a Candle From Cheese

So I found myself with a bit of spare time. Had a snack and figured I'd make an instructable.

Step 1: Get Some Cheese

Purchase some popular snackable cheese,

Step 2: Remove Handy Cheese Opening Mechanism

Locate and pull gently on one of the two tabs that are easily located on the cheese.

Continue until the cheese opening mechanism has been fully removed.

Step 3: Remove Cheese From Protective Casing

Pull gently on one half of the protective casing until it is free of the cheese.

Pull gently on the cheese until it is free of the remaining half of the protective casing.

Discard the cheese opening mechanism and consume the cheese (yum)

Step 4: Separate Both Halves of the Protective Casing

Separate both halves of the casing by gently pulling apart at the short umbilical.

Place both halves on a single sheet of toilet paper.

Step 5: Cut and Roll the Sheet of Toilet Paper

Cut the sheet of toilet paper in half.

Roll, then twist slightly, one half of the toilet paper so that it's length is made up from its shortest side.

(Slightly confused? Come on, I know you can figure it out. Besides, I felt that the whole process needed an edge of challenge)

Discard the unrolled half of toilet paper.

Step 6: Insert the Toilet Paper

Place the toilet paper into one half of the protective casing.

Insert the other half of the protective casing into the half with the toilet paper in it. Creating a sandwich.

Step 7: Mould the Protective Casing

Flatten both protective casings.

Mould the casings so that it resembles a traditional candle.

Step 8: Stand and Light the Candle

Place the candle in an upright position, with the toilet paper upper most.

Using a recognised method of lighting candles, set fire to the toilet paper.

Well done you have successfully constructed and lit an emergency candle.

Step 9: Testing the Candle

I lit the candle to see how long it would last.

It burned for approximately seven minutes. Whilst burning, it gave off a lot of black sooty smoke.

It may be possible to reduce the sooty smoke by using less toilet paper.

Step 10: Conclusion

Is the candle a viable emergency means of light?

In all honesty there is no reason why anyone would seriously use this method for making emergency candles.

For the same price of a packet of the cheese, you could buy purpose built candles that would last longer and give off less sooty smoke.

Is there any point to this candle?

Yes, I think there is. The candle though completely impractical, is a great way to introduce people into basic survival skills. It shows that it is possible to make something practical from ordinary household items. Possibly bringing those people into thinking laterally about stuff and possible 'other uses' for things.

It's a fun and simple way teach a basic skill which may trigger interest to explore further and increase or improve current knowledge about basic survival.

It's also quite a neat party trick.

Finally, if you do happen to purchase this particular type of cheese on a regular basis, keep the wax. When you have a sufficient amount, melt it down and use it to add a protective casing around your favourite real cheese. If stored correctly it should last quite a while.

(If you choose to undertake the above mentioned suggestion, please seek guidance from a trained cheese waxer. So as to avoid the disappointment of ruining your favourite cheese)

Many thanks =¢)



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34 Discussions

This reminds me of the old story about someone who was presented with a report and said "you could've said this in way fewer words" to which the author said "yeah, but I didn't have the time". It's clever and funny - mostly - but not *THAT* clever and funny. Aperition: TAKE THE TIME. Less is more. And more funnier. And useful-er :-)

Your candle would make a great campfire starter. Make your fire lay with tinder, dry pine needles, small twigs, and such. Stick your candle into the middle of the fire lay and light it. Once it is lit, it should last long enough to start your campfire. It would be great even if the wood were wet. Once the fire is going, just add more sticks and wood.

If you eat a lot of this cheese, put the wax into a cardboard egg carton. Cut the egg cups into pairs. When you are ready to start your fire, just light off the cardboard. You might want to try packing some dryer lint in and around the wax. A set of 4 egg cups could easily start a charcoal grill. I can smell the chicken cooking as we speak.

2 replies

I have used these as campfire starters on many occasions, and they work great. You don't even need to make the candle. The "handy cheese opening mechanism" works well enough to get the wax melting on on the tinder, where the tinder now starts to get coated and acts like a wick. I've always taken them with me when camping. Despite what the package says, in my experience, the wax wrapped cheese stays just fine for at least 5 days at moderate pacific northwest temperatures. Maybe not so much at higher temps but check out the comment from INSAYN regarding his babybel longevity experiments at:

Specifically: "BabyBel Cheese Round Singles in wax coating (An assortment of flavors) I tested one of these by placing in the window sill facing South for nearly 3 weeks. House is usually 67º-70ºF and the window sill saw upwards of 85ºF. After sitting there all that time, I tried it and found no issue with the flavor, texture, or usefulness in eating or cooking with."

Not all that surprising. Cheese was made as a way of storing milk before refrigeration. And this use really is a very practical survival technique as being able to start fires in survival situations can be critical.

I had not considered that, a fire starter would make a better use for the wax. I have considered making a fire starter instructable using among other things the egg carton method, but it seemed a waste to melt a perfectly useable candle. Thanks for the tip, I'll defiantly be using it.


2 years ago

*sigh* I had a long comment typed out about using all of them and the bottom of a 12 oz soda can to make a larger, longer lasting version of this, but apparently I wasn't logged in and when I went to log in, it erased my comment -.- This is a good idea and a way to reuse something that would otherwise just be waste.

I had the same thought. I used a bit of cotton wicking. Worked rickety-boo.

I like it. question. will the waxed paper insert used to open the cheese double as the wick? No added materials needed then, just snack and light.

2 replies

I did initially try the waxed paper, no joy getting it to light. I suspect it may be flame retardant. A fire safety issue perhaps.

Blast. Oh well, still a fun way to reuse something that would otherwise be trash.

as do I, I just didn't like constantly wasting the wax.

It does give you a different perspective of things, I will always think twice before throwing anything away. (Of course you have to throw some things away.)

if only it was as easy as only throwing some things away. These days it's more about throwing most things away. I try to reuse what I can but reusability is not a factor of design, regardless of our ingenuity. I always wonder where it came from and when I put it in the trash, where does it go?

That's great, thanks for sharing!!

your i'ble inspired me to make this! ...(sorry can't hyperlink it...:)

1 reply

that is a super easy wick technique, thanks for sharing. I'm going to try rubbing the cheese wax into the string. The wax is easy to warm up with warm water and finger heat.


2 years ago

i used this for a worked! great idea!

1 reply

thanks, I'm happy it worked for your project,

for a better wick, you can melt wax and put the string in it, then remove and the wick should last for longer.

I tried this and it worked well! Two cheese cases gave me roughly 5+ minutes.