Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemaker Monday: How to Make High-Quality Fire Starters Out of Trash

Welcome to the 68th weekly edition of...


Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" again goes to Tara over at Feels Like Home. She was featured last week as well, but I had to pick her again for her post on "The Best Pecan Pie EVER"! Since Thanksgiving is in four days, I knew this would be the perfect link to include. Plus, her photo is so delectable and mouth-watering...


For Tara's recipe, click HERE. Thank you so much, Tara, for faithfully participating in Homemaker Monday every week and we'll look forward to more great tips and recipes from you in the future!

MINE: I kind of have an obsession with dryer lint. I can't seem to throw it away. It's just that it's so soft and fluffy and sometimes it's vibrantly colored. Once, about ten years ago, I saved up enough to fill a gallon Ziploc bag and this I used as a decorative pillow insert. This worked very well until the Ziploc bag broke and the pillow became very dusty. After that I never really found a good use for dryer lint, except to put in a 72-hour emergency kit to use as a fire starter. That is, until now.

Way back on November 9, 2008, a woman named Carol was featured on THIS Homemaker Monday and she linked a tutorial I never forgot. However, I never got up the gumption to try it until last week, and now I will share with you what I learned.

Carol taught that one can make high quality fire starters using dryer lint, cardboard egg cartons and candle wax. Here's why this is important to me...we heat our home with FOUR wood-burning stoves. Each box of fire starters we purchase is about $10, which means $.50 each time we start a fire. This can add up quickly, so I finally decided to give these a go. Here's how it went...

Here's what you'll need...



Step 1: Place egg carton on a towel...



Step 2: Place a small wad of dryer lint into each egg receptacle...



Step 3: Melt the wax in the old candle you didn't like the smell of. I did it by sitting them atop my wood-burning stove...



...and pour this over the dryer lint...



Step 4: Let dry until hardened, then separate each egg receptacle with scissors or a serrated knife. Here is your finished product...



(I know, not too pretty, but you just wait.)

Here is the true picture of how they work.

First we stacked large logs into our wood-burning stove...



We then placed the fire starter under a couple of the logs...



The fire starter caught within seconds, which was much more awesome than the fire starters we buy at Walmart...




It burned for about fifteen minutes...




...but soon thereafter, to my shock and chagrin, began to dwindle...



...until only the bottom of the large logs were glowing...



I was so crestfallen. However, I thought that perhaps the momentum could be picked up again by inserting another fire starter in the same location. This one caught just as awesomely as the first...



...and kept burning...



and burning...



...and burning until these beautiful logs were lit and we had a full-fledged fire! Woohoo!



Conclusion: For trash, these fire starters are awesome and I won't be purchasing the fancy fire starter boxes at Walmart ever again!

OURS: Okay, let's hear what all of your awesome homemakers have for us today. Feel free to link an old post if you don't have something especially prepared for today. Thank you so much for linking up and I hope you have a wonderful Homemaker Monday!

14 comments:

inadvertent farmer said...

Those are great...we use a propane torch because my husband wants instant gratification!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Haha, a propane torch! My sons would LOVE that!

Cheryl B. said...

Jen, once this shows up via email notification in my 'inbox' I shall be sharing it with a bunch of people I know that either heat via wood stoves, and/or have fireplaces.

We currently have neither, although 'the plan' is to get a wood burner to heat the garage ( a old carriage barn). The thing is, like your sons, my sons would so enjoy using the method 'inadvertent farmer's' husband uses 8-p

If we did have either inside our home, due to my allergy triggered asthma, I would be using non-scented candle wax. And I wonder what effect the dryer lint might have? Hum mmm...

But your copied and used tip is definetly frugal and unique!!

Kara@ Creations by Kara said...

We don't have a woodburning stove, but I'll have to share this idea with my parents.
Oh, and that pecan pie looks fabulous!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, about having asthma, I have it, too, but because I have wood-burning stoves, the fires are sealed off, so nothing of the scent or dust gets into the house. Also, when I was photographing the fire starter burning, I had the stove door open and I couldn't smell the wax at all, which was kind of disappointing! Just wanted you to know!

Kristin @ Prudent and Practical said...

Great idea - I'm sending this my husband's way. We have a fire pit and he has the darnedest time getting it to stay lit. Thanks!

alessandra said...

Even though I don't have a wood burning heater, this tutorial is amazing, and a good tip to share with friends.
The pecan pie....no words, just a sound,mmmmm.....

Yaya' s Changing World said...

Oh, thank you! We just moved into a house with a wood-burning cook stove and didn't remember how much fun it can be to TRY and light it. We were NOT looking forward to heating the house this winter. This will make things SO much easier. ~ Yaya

Yaya's Changing World

Jennifer L said...

That fire starter thing is pretty cool. I'll have to try making those sometime.

Beth said...

Most impressive!!

Carla said...

Jenn this is perfect!!! Thanks for sharing the how too.

Erin said...

Awesome!! I had heard about those and meant to try them but then I just threw away my lint. I'll start saving again because that was to cool. I bet it would even work with the left over scentsy wax if you use scentsy products. I'll ahve to give it a go.

We use the walmart ones too but I just caught DH starting a fire with lighter fluid. Caught in the act! Oh well. He likes instant gratification too.

Jerri said...

What an interesting post!

Deane said...

When I was little we made fire starters out of pine cones (we lived in east TX) and old crayon wax. We just filled and cover the bottom portion of a pine cone with melted crayons and old candles. They worked fine.