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Fire starters and recycling — The Grow Network Community
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Fire starters and recycling

lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 365 ✭✭✭✭

So I had 2 more of my beautiful grandchildren here today so we got everyone involved in accomplishing some needed tasks! We use dryer lint we saved and egg cartons and wax I picked up at a thrift store (5 lbs for $2😀) melted the wax and poured over lint stuffed egg cartons! This works so great for camp fires or if the crap hits the fan we can still get a fire goin quick!! Sorry my pics r sideways lol



  • JensJens Posts: 386 ✭✭✭

    Great project and it makes getting a fire started even more fun for the children

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 236 ✭✭✭

    Will have to remember this for when my grandkids get to visit.sounds like a nice project for them to do with me. Like having fire starters on hand for when the grandkids want a backyard fire to make s’mores. Everyone stay safe.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 365 ✭✭✭✭

    @bcabrobin ya we save only the cardboard ones otherwise yuck toxic fumes

  • AlisonAlison Posts: 158 ✭✭✭

    Another option for free fire starters is to use old wax boxes. They are literally just cardboard dipped in wax and work a treat.

    They don't offer any form of entertainment for children however (:

  • OhiohillsLouiseOhiohillsLouise Posts: 121 ✭✭✭

    Dipping or pouring wax over pine cones works too.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 403 ✭✭✭✭

    Ok I am new to this. Why the wax? How do you light these? Do you leave some cardboard I waxed to catch fire? I would love to make my own fire starter rather than buying them.

  • KarinKarin New ZealandPosts: 269 ✭✭✭

    Can you just use wax over egg cartons without the lint? We don't use a clothes dryer - hang all our clothes to dry outside in the sun :)

  • maimovermaimover Posts: 296 ✭✭✭

    @lmrebert a friend of mine makes these as well. She also uses wood chips mixed in with the lint. @kmartin.mail you can also use human/pet hair or sawdust...

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,857 admin

    @lmrebert and @kmartin.mail This is a great use for the hair matts pulled from your hairbrush. At least from mine. I have long hair and tend to get to get a lot of it in my brush. Hair burns phenomenally well.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27

    @kmartin.mail like others said you can use pet hair animal hair... probably. Oils stuff anything that’s flammable in there... tear up newspapers or magazines 🤣

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27

    @herbantherapy the wax keeps it burning longer and we just use one of those clicker things or a match to start it they light up pretty easy .. we make a teepee of thin wood over the top of it and build from there... I like the suggestion someone made of sticking a match in it before pouring the wax and then you just strike the match.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 403 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert Thank you!

  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 137 ✭✭✭

    We use toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint for fire starters. They are easy to carry and we always take 3-4 with us on camping trips to help start our camp fires.

  • SandyMcWhoo?SandyMcWhoo? Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    OMG...Yes I have done the same for years! This is something that has worked for our camp outs many times. Got a damp fire pit....throw a few lint and wax filled egg crate pieces in the pit around your wood and BAM you have little long burning things that get it going nicely.

  • ThomasThomas Posts: 28 ✭✭✭

    I have to try this. We are way to boring - we use lighter wood. This sounds much more interesting and a great project to do with children!

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 670 admin

    @MaryRowe, this would work really well for us -- we keep chickens, so I'd have a hard time using my paper egg cartons as fire starters. But we definitely end up recycling a lot of TP tubes and, with five of us, there's always a lot of dryer lint. Question: Once the oil soaks into these, do they always stay greasy, or do they ever sort of "dry"? How do you store them? Thanks!

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 16 ✭✭✭

    I have been using the TP tubes with dryer lint to start my hardwood charcoal BBQ most of the year, it is a great resource. I saved far too many TP tubes over last winter, thinking I would need them for cutworm protection in the garden. As it turned out this garden area did not have that issue.

    There are SO MANY resources that most people do not realize they have sitting around the home.

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter How greasy the tubes stay depends on how heavily you douse them with oil. Each batch seems to come out a bit differently for me since I haven't measured, just eyeballed it. But the they can absorb quite a bit of oil and still say fairly dry to the touch. Those I've made so far range from a bit greasy feeling to dry to the touch; none have been so oily as to be messy.

    I found that the 3" tall Royal Dansk butter cookie tins are the perfect storage container ( which makes a great excuse to eat the cookies....) If you fold in the ends of the tube a bit, they will stand upright and the lid will still fit on. You can pack a good number of them in that way. I pack one of those cookie tins with the lint-filled tubes as full as I can, then pour the oil over the lot and give them a couple weeks to really soak it up. I generally have one tin I'm using tubes from, one in reserve, and one I am in the process of filling. Also made up a couple for gifts (painted those tins though, so they didn't still look like cookies....)

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    Just checked--the lid says 24oz (1.5lb) Royal Dansk Danish butter cookies--I they are pretty common. I even see them at the local feed store around Xmas. I suppose you could beg an empty tin from friends, and I've seen them at yard sales and thrift stores for a dime or a quarter, but it is more fun to eat the cookies...

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 670 admin

    This is SUCH a fantastic idea -- thank you so much! (And yes, I could probably be talked into eating the cookies.... :D )

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I have made those too :). So easy and convenient. I think you can also use the wax from candles as they melt. The first time I remember making them when in girl scouts. I also use cottonballs dipped in vicks vapor rub or any generic brand of it. They smush down well in the little tin I keep in my backpack.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I never thought of using hair but that's brilliant and convenient. By the end of the week I have enough in my brush to make a mini cousin it haha

  • SydartaSydarta Posts: 24 ✭✭✭

    Also recycling, but in a different form:

    Another name for chaga mushroom is the tinder polypore, so after the chunks are spent from making tea, I re-dry them to use as fire-starters. They are very portable, being as dry and light as cork, and seem to keep an ember a long time.

    Chaga is difficult to find and expensive to purchase, so a second use is ideal!

  • AngelAngel Posts: 45 ✭✭✭

    When I was a kid, the girl scouts started fires with gumballs (from the gum tree) dipped in wax. They worked really well. I've thought about trying them out as an adult, but haven't yet.

  • BrindyBrindy Posts: 38 ✭✭✭

    Oh my! I love this! We made these when I was a kid with the egg cartons, but like @Merin Porter said I have a hard time using my egg cartons. BUT, @MaryRowe that is an awesome alternative! I love when great ideas are shared by amazing people! Thank you all!

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    @Karin we used cotton balls or squares of cotton pads (gauze), make up remover size, and also using the rolls from TP or papertowels cut into 1" lengths.

  • norabelehcimnorabelehcim Posts: 49 ✭✭✭

    These are good posts! We used to fold everything up compactly and carry in a waterproof can (the ones with removable lids, augmented with aluminum foil to seal are good) -- lots more can be carried if compressed, and matches safely kept waterproof inside the same "kit" too. Then the starters can be fluffed up and assembled onsite, and the can can double as emergency water boiling (or other cooking) container before repurposing to carry firestarters again.

    When matches or lighters aren't available, using a magnifying glass or clear bottle and sunlight can sufficient lo heat materials to ignite. Also, in the absence of sunlight, a 9 volt battery (positive and negative charges close together, unlike AA or AAA batteries) laid on fluffed up steel wool pad can generate enough heat to ignite. Now, it seems a lot easier to waterproof/carry matches or lighters than steel wool and heavy batteries... good to know, maybe, though.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    Does anyone have any experience with starting fires from cotton balls infused with vaseline? I've read that it works well as a fire starter but I've never tried it.

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