Empty TP Roll and Dryer Lint Fire Starter

Discussion in 'Campfires and Firewood' started by skiball, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

    Messages:
    3,438
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    I've tried a lot of fire starters over the years and the one that works best for me is cotton balls dipped in wax. Also tried cotton balls dipped in vasoline but that's messy and doesn't burn as long as the wax. Did the egg carton thing with lint, wood chips and wax for a several yrs but I found it messy. Unless you drown the lint & chips in wax, they come loose. And cutting the egg carton sections off can be difficult and you still get flakes of wax all over the ground.

    A number of advantages using the waxed cotton balls in a cardboard tube (I use both toilet paper and paper towel tubes.). 1st, you can use only the number of cotton balls you need to start the fire. Typically I only need 1 (more on that later). The tubes are more for convenient storage (in a gallon size plastic bag) than as part of the fire starter. Keeping it in a tube keeps the bag flat instead of bunching up a bunch of cotton balls at the bottom of the bag. A well-soaked jumbo-sized cotton ball will burn for 7-9 min. 2nd, if I do need more than 1, it's easier/safer to cut off sections of the cardboard tube than the egg carton. Have never had the need, but I would guess an entire tube of cotton balls would supply enough fuel/heat to cook a quick meal.

    As tinder, I use slivers of cedar wood which catch fire very quickly when dry. They burn faster than pine but provide enough heat and time to start just about any dry/damp wood. Left over from a deck I torn down, 3 2"6"x12" planks will supply me a lifetime supply using 7-8" slivers cut off with an small axe. That cedar wood is the reason I only need one cotton ball. Between the fire starters and the cedar tinder, I usually have a roaring rire going in 20 min.

    Finally, just FYI, the safest way to soak the cotton balls in wax is to use a double boiler to melt the wax. I use a glass jar in a pot of boiling water. Use a tweezer to dip the cotton balls until saturated. Using the tweezers also keeps a small bit of cotton ball free from the wax which provides a good spot to light the fire starter. No wax to melt 1st.
     
  2. skiball

    skiball New Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    The best thing I ever used was not homemade. It was this fireplace log i bought at the store. I bought 3 of them when I bought a place with a fireplace. Never used them there and had it changed over to gas a few years later.
    Anyway... These logs are about 14" long and 3 1/2 to 4" high and round.
    As I said. I had 3 of them and they worked great. I have priced them since but they are $23 for a case of 6. They are expensive and I consider them cheating. However, they do start a great, hot fire even with wet wood.
     
  3. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    913
    Likes Received:
    365
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Maryland
    Here too. Best thing for getting a nice fire within minutes and no fuss.
    just us camping gals
     
  4. skiball

    skiball New Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    But it's so expensive...
     
  5. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Messages:
    7,397
    Likes Received:
    591
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    N. TX
    You don't need to use a whole one start a fire.

     
  6. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,298
    Likes Received:
    150
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego
    Ghacker,

    Thanks for all the great info, I am going to try the cottonball/wax method next time. I used to use these little paper cups filled with wood chips and wax and a wick in the middle. These worked great and I would buy them from a small market in bags of 100, very reasonably priced. As I only needed one, it took me quite a few years to go through them. Now that I am low, down to my last 2-3, I can't find them anymore. I just filled 2 cardboard egg cartons with dryer lint and am gathering up my used candles to melt. This is my weekend project since it it dreary and rainy outside. As this will give me 24 fire starters, I will then try the cottonball method. Can't wait until camping season!
     
  7. bandc12

    bandc12 New Member

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    I use Dixie bathroom cups, 1/2 full with cedar chips, with a little wax poured on top. I love these.. They smell great, can be used inside, and used to start a cooking fire. They burn for a good 10 minutes and catch the most stubborn wood, damp and all. I can make about 600 for around $25... That's about 4 cents a piece. I have several friends that request them every year!

    $6.00 for over a 300 count of cups
    $8 for 2 cubic feet of cedar bedding chips you can get in the pet department in Walmart or any pet store
    $5 or under for used candles at flea markets or garage sales... I always get the white unscented ones
     
  8. pandpcamper

    pandpcamper Lifetime camper, newer to pup

    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Those Dixie cups would be good to set the TP rolls in to pour the wax into. Great idea! NO kids at our house now and lots of old cups to get rid of.
     
  9. skiball

    skiball New Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    I finally found cardboard egg cartons at Walmart. Most are styrofoam. The only way we could get cardboard was to buy a box of eggs with 3 rows of 20 eggs stacked on top of each other. Yes, we had to buy 5 dozen eggs. I have never ate so many eggs as we did after this. Oh ya... We just bought another box. I made the fire starters after finishing the first box. I also saved some empty TP rolls but I ran out of dryer lint. Gotta keep saving it from now on.
     
  10. jdttct

    jdttct New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Ahhh! Sounds like a good use for the gross burr comb "the girls" have made in our hives (the old wax not the good pretty wax!) We will need to use a sub for the lint. .. we aren't a dryer family... can't wait to make these! Though I am more excited to use them

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
     
  11. skiball

    skiball New Member

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    As for the wax. I used some old smelly pillar candles. I melted 5 of them and the smell of the scented candles was overwelming. DW said she was having trouble breathing. I think we will have the best smelling fire in the campground.
     
  12. 66Camper

    66Camper Member

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    I buy one small bag of charcoal briquettes, the ones with no lighter fluid required.
    Throw just 3 to 4 in the base of the fire pit, add logs and lite! Never fails. Cheap,
    effective, odorless and easy to stow. Bag lasts a season or two. No saving lint,
    or melting wax. And they don't go bad. Give it a whirl.
     
  13. chefaleslie

    chefaleslie Always looking for a great MOD

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    Location:
    Sisters, OR
    So for the past two years now this is what I have been using to start my fires. My tip is to not pack you TP roll to tight with lint. This is a 100% free fire starter with stuff you were going to put into the garbage. It makes saving up for camping a year round event.
     
  14. gruss

    gruss Active Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Dryer lint works ok but I'm with UT...spray some lighter fluid on it, wait a couple minutes to soak in and light. If it doesn't take after a few minutes grab the air bed pump and give it some air.
     
  15. R00

    R00 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,286
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Doritos.

    Don't believe me? Try it...
     
  16. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,351
    Likes Received:
    1,340
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Liquid hand sanitizer....It is little more than gelled alcohol. I buy it in a half gallon jug. I keep it on the picnic table for germ free hands and fire starting.
     
  17. kennedyfamily

    kennedyfamily New Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    I do the toilet paper roll with lint. This is my go to fire starting method. I tried wrapping in newsprint but didn't have as good of luck with that. Sometimes I put a pit of Vaseline on one end if I need a little extra help. I only have trouble when I stuff it to tight or if the lint has too much pet hair in it (using the lint from the dog bed cycle is not a good idea).
     

Share This Page