DIY Firestarter




Introduction: DIY Firestarter

About: I am a Port Engineer for the Navy in Mayport, FL. I graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2006 with a degree in Marine Engineering.

I don't know about you, but I've got an abundance of dryer lint, saw dust, left over un-burned candlewax and egg cartons. Now, if I could only find a use for these materials...

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Step 1: A Little Background

I use my charcoal grill several times a week, all year long. I have a chimney starter, to initially help get the coals going. I started off using balled up news paper pages to be the heat/ignition source for the coals, then I found out that Weber sells paraffin wax cubes. I've been using them for years, and they aren't very expensive, around $3.50 per box of 24, but I wanted to find another way using materials I already had at home.

More than 10,000 household fires a year are caused by clogged dryer vents. When not properly cleaned, the dryer vent may become obstructed by built up lint over time and can cause a potential hazard, often times fire. Depending on the length of ducting required for your dryer to exhaust to the atmosphere, will determine if you can clean it yourself. If you have a long run of ducting, I would recommend calling a professional to come clean out your system. Emptying the lint screen alone will not prevent a casualty, the exhaust ducting must be cleaned as well.

I started collecting the lint from the dryer lint screen a couple weeks ago for a first attempt firestarter project. I happen to also have left over sawdust from a project I finished last month. I found a couple of old half burnt candles my wife had in one of our seasonal décor boxes in the garage. And finally I made a couple scrambled eggs for breakfast which finished off the carton.

So I had:

Dryer Lint

Saw Dust

Leftover candle wax

Empty Egg Carton

Step 2: Construction

I put a mixture of both saw dust and dryer lint in each of the 12 holes in the egg carton. Then I grabbed the candle and a BBQ lighter and melted the candle dripping the wax into each of the 12 pods until each was coated with wax. This acts as a binding agent and helps it burn.

Step 3: Use

When ready to use, simply rip off one of the pods, place it under the chimney starter (filled with charcoal) or under the wood for a fire pit if you are out camping or enjoying a night out on the deck, and light it with your choice of ignition source. As you can see, it worked quite well getting my charcoal going for grilling out. Enjoy!

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    5 Discussions


    2 months ago

    I would not recommend using lint as a fuel to light your barbeque. It will contain odours, chemicals and non-natural materials (such as polyester) that may taint your food. It may also results in a lot of excess ash. This would be fine for just lighting a fire, however.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I now have a reason to use up all of these jars that have a bit of candle still left at the bottom but no wick! I also have 14 empty cartons laying around that I've been saving up for my mother (she raises laying chickens). I'm going to have to make some of these up for the upcoming camping season.

    Just an idea:

    Rather than using a lighter to melt and drip the wax, if you have a leftover jar candle, you can put all the candle remnants into it, put the jar into a sauce pan with water reaching up a quarter of the jar, and boil until the wax melts. You can then use a pair of thick gloves to pick up the jar of molten wax and pour it into your cartons.


    Reply 5 years ago

    I like the idea of using a pot of water to melt the wax. That will save me a few of those lighters.


    5 years ago

    cool idea...... I have been stuffing a tissue box with dryer lint and have a shop vac full of saw dust..... time to snag a candle. Possible fire starting log maybe? Thanks for sharing!