Recycle Egg Cartons Into Fire Starter

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Introduction: Recycle Egg Cartons Into Fire Starter

About: I am a hobist with lots of hobies from carpentry to mechanics. There is hardly any thing that i am not interested in.

I have lots of egg cartons properly stacked up in my storage. I regularly use some of them as a seed starter. But I can not use them all up. This is the work around I came up with about how to use the cartons faster.

Step 1: Materials

We need egg cartons that you desperately want to throw away.

Step 2: Shred and Soak

Shred the egg cartons with hand and soak them up. Soaking them properly takes around overnight.

Step 3: Blend

Drain the excess water and blend then in a home grinder. Add water if the grinder seems to jam.

Take out the pulp and make small brickets by hand. I did it by hand. You can use some shaper that make them look good.

Make sure NOT to squeeze hard as the residual water makes space for air when it dries up.

Air dry the brickets. Total drying takes around 3 days in an Indian summer.

Step 4: Done

After total drying you can use them to start a fire. They catch fire easily and a single bricket burns for around 15 minutes, much time to start a good fire.

The image shows output from 3 egg cartons.

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58 Comments

egg cartoons are made of polystyrene if burned produce carcinogens including benzene and dioxin...do not continue with this practice for health sake

2 replies

Not the petro based plastic type, the recycled cardboard ones. Shredded and mixed with melted wax, they'll burn long enough to actually cook on as well as start your fires.

nope, this type of egg cartoon is made of cardbox.

nice idea I like it

I dont' have pics but worked out really well, went a step further with old candles covered in wax so they are waterproof. Skol!

Perfect use for the leftover egg crates. Thank you! The kids will love this project.

Great idea! I will be doing the same from now on. Thank you.

Great Instructable! People will probably cringe, but if you mix these with newspaper, water, and mash up really good then dry you can use it as kitty litter too. Obviously non-clumping, but it is fairly biodegradable (better than actual K-litter) so if you live in the country you can shallow bury when used up. Like I said cringe, and please if you do not agree, that's fine w/me, I'm just making a further suggestion for egg cartons instead of the trash.

1 reply

i have to say, that's a rather top notch idea.

Great inst. Thanks!

Be aware that potassium nitrate will colect moisture and will degrade. Store in a plastic bag or other air tight container. But I loved the idea!!

What a nice weekend it is going to be!!!:D

Best regards!

7 replies

It takes a long time to absorb the water. It is an issue to be sure, but not that bad, keep them individually wrapped . It will absorb moisture, but , ammonium nitrate would be much much worse. After fully drying out drop them in melted wax to coat well and complete. now you crack it open to use it with spark source magnifying lens or match or add a piece of cotton string/wick to the ball before drying and using with matches or lighter. I would add several wicks.

You do bring up a valid point EVEN with out the KN03. A hot wax dip is really nice.

Now kiddies if you resort to hot wax please google here and in other places how to do it safely and outdoors and in an old pot or can , or incur the rather of the people who you live with. Fire is dangerous, and does kill, my dad, a NYC fireman of many years has described fire deaths...trust me, it is not play, and follow the safety rules. It is not a fun way to die. And yeas,,,i have lotsa scars....hence spark master.

wow mate, it's wax...not a toxic chemical or nitro or blasting powder. all you have to do is adjust your burner at the melting temperature of the wax and preferably in a double boiler. a little common sense goes a long way.

The safety warnings are there for 2 reasons, 1) people aren't as smart as you, (not a dig, reality, you are obviously not an idiot, you understand simple safety) 2) people here in the US like to sue.

I found out the following at Williamsburg Va. many years ago. In this country, lawsuits against the government (British Crown) were tiny in number, perhaps 10 a year. The crown simply did not admit any culpability in 99.9999% of any missteps.....Once the Crown was out and in our constitution was in and people could sue the government, the rate went sky high well over 700 lawsuits in the first year. I swear people sue because they can. It ids a tool used by police party and big corporations. You just sue them to death.

Hence the sometimes silly safety warnings... like when you walk into a King Kullen food store and it has a nice sized warning that says WARNING CUT FRESH FLOWER ARE SOLD HERE.

Apparently someone sued a store over it and either won or cause huge financial outlay and this was the response. (I guess they ran out of Zyrtec )

i don't feel like repeating myself, so just read what i wrote to bettina-sisr.

Firefighters are all VERY fire safety conscious, so just let 'em be, and hey there are people that will not use common sense and do need to be told these things. Just in case it's my neighbor, I'm glad some are generous with their safety comments:-) I know though, it seems like a no-brainer!

Hi there.
No time on weekend for try this out.
The wax dip is a good solution for isolating. I use it in smoke bombs, those do really colect moisture.

I should point out what spark master said!
Please be carefull with what you do! Fire is dangerous, and adding oxidizing chemicals to combustible materials is even more dangerous.
Be safe!
Live long and prosper!! ehehheh

I lived in NYC as a kid. we had humidity high enough to make bedbugs and dust mites very happy, every house has dust mites, we never had bedbugs (thankfully). We made lotsa black powder over the years, never had an issue unless it was stored open for a year or more. Sugar absorbs moisture much much much faster, but make BP wi the classic ingredients, KNO3, S, C and you have a very stable mixture, water wise. Add any version of sugar to it, as the reducer, you get issues.

But you idea has great merit, and waxing them is a doable thing. Additionally if you use sisal twine (cheap smelly stuff) you weave through when wet paper ball, wax the thing try not to wax the twine. And walllla thwill stand water if allowed to dry off, and remember you can always crack them open for a nice dry surface.

Nooooo! Styrofoam reacts badly when comes in contact with fire. Poisonous fumes!