How to Make a Cotton Ball Fire Starter




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Intro: How to Make a Cotton Ball Fire Starter

This is a very useful fire starter that you can use on camping trips, in your fire at home, or anywhere you choose!  They will burn from 2-3 minutes depending how much Vaseline you put on and the size of your cotton ball.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need:
1 cotton ball (per fire starter)
Some Vaseline
A small zip lock bag (to hold finished ones)
A paper towel (to clean up)

Step 2: Soak Cotton Ball

Get a good amount of Vaseline on your fingertip and spread in though out the cotton ball.  Do this until there is only a small portion of it that is not covered (the part you are holding).  Do not put the cotton ball directly in the container because it will come apart.

Step 3: Enclose in Plastic Bag

Now make as many as you want!  Put them in a plastic bag.  It is a good idea that when you use them you spread a little more vaseline on them because some of it will stick in the bag.



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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I've used this system for several years with only two modifications. Once I've completed Steps 1 & 2, I roll the cotton ball in a mixture of coarse wood chips and magnesium (available on-line). The wood chips add an instant fuel source while the magnesium makes your fire hot enough to use slightly wet wood to start your fire.


    6 years ago on Step 3

    I guess vaseline could leak through the plastic bag in a few time. I suggest a thicker mix of wax and vaseline

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Pomade is much thicker than Vaseline/petroleum jelly, but usually costs a bit more. Pomade usually burns a bit longer too.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    We use this with fire steels, first strike even in the rain.... With woodland survival I always tell the kids it is my lifetime collection of belly button fluff :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    These are awesome! We teach our kids in outdoor living skills at camp to use these. Well done!