Introduction: Mini Project #12: Cotton Pad, PJ & Wax Fire Starters

About: Hi I'm Alex and I love to make stuff! I mainly work with different metals but I also love to explore new (to me) materials and dabble in woodworking, jewelry, knife making, design and many more.

Hi Instructables Community,

this week we will make some of the probably easiest fire starters in this series (so far). This time I decided to make a video Instructable and spent some considerable effort on the editing which is why have only prepared an overview of the steps on the second page. I would appreciate if you could check the video and let me know what you think since I tried a new editing style.

Time:10 - 20 Minutes
Safety Concerns:Hot liquids, open flames & fumes - Use appropriate safety equipment
Primary Use:Easy to use fire starter

If you like this Instructable please vote, fav, share, subscribe & comment. You can also check my YouTube, Facebook, Blog and Twitter for current and upcoming projects.

I would also love to see pictures of the fire starters you made and hear about your experiences with them.

Take care, stay safe and

Merry Christmas

Cheers Alex

Step 1: The Steps at a Glance

  1. Candle wax (Paraffin wax, stearin or bees wax) - You can reuse old wax for this - You should use enough wax to allow the pads to be completely submerged.

  2. Cotton Pads (These are used to remove make-up; ask your wife/girl friend if you don't know them) - I would consider these to be leftovers

  3. Petroleum Jelly (a.k.a. Vaseline, PJ) - Just a little dab per fire starter
  1. Melting pot
  2. Adjustable Heat source
  3. Tweezers
  4. Wooden stirring stick
Step 1:Separate a cotton pad and apply some petroleum jelly to one half. Put the halves back together and gently massage the PJ to ensure a good saturation.
Step 2:

Add the paraffin wax to your melting pot.

Step 3:

Get your heat source going and preheat it to medium heat.

Step 4:

Melt the wax while ensuring it doesn't get too hot. If you see smoke rising take the melting pot from the heat source.

Step 5:

Drop a prepped cotton pad into the molten wax for a few seconds. Use your tweezers to remove it and wait until excess wax stops dripping from the cotton pad.

Step 6:

Place the pads on a non-stick surface and let them cool down for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 7:

Once they have cooled down you can put them in a plastic ziploc bag until you want to use them. As far as I can tell these fire starters have a very long shelf life if kept away from UV light and heat.


Once you get to the point where you want to use them remove one pad from your bag. Gently break the wax and try to separate the two halves. Each of them is a separate fire starter (if you want) but you could cut the pads into smaller pieces.

You can ignite the fire starter with a single strike from your ferro rod but also use matches or a lighter.

Leftovers Challenge

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Leftovers Challenge

Brave the Elements Contest

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Brave the Elements Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

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Homemade Gifts Contest 2015