I’ve known forever, that egg cartons, dryer lint and candle wax were the basic ingredients to creating ones own fire starters to take camping. I attempted once to melt the wax in the microwave inside the egg carton – note – don’t do that. After last summer of enjoying quite a bit of camping and using the walmart brand fire starters that turn your fingers colors and probably contain more chemicals than i want to know about I decided it was time to do our own thing.
So i started saving dryer lint, and candle remnants, and toilet paper rolls (not sure why except that are quite flammable and it’s kind of like recycling…) and egg cartons…
This Saturday it was snowing and i knew we weren’t going anywhere – so it was time – to create magic!
I looked on line and found a couple options of how to do it – the regular in the carton, the neat kind where you dip the whole thing in wax (too messy for me), one that was just toilet paper rolls, lint and paper and matches, and even one using used coffee grounds (that’s the next project!)
Prep the area. Setup an drip catcher for when you spill wax or your wax seeps through your egg carton, and for where you cut up your wax. In theory you should have 1 spot to cut up your wax to equivalent type chunks so they melt at the same speed.
Note: Remove the front and back off the egg carton. And cut all the wax into similar sized pieces. Also – just to be safe, wear some safety glasses or if you are lazy like me, slap on your own glasses, just gotta protect those eye balls!
Prep your egg carton
I decided to use my toilet paper rolls by cutting them in half and rolling them till they fit in the middle of each egg location, then stuffing the lint around and in them.
I”ve seen options of just doing a pine cone, just the lint, or the one on deck for next time is coffee grounds and some filter!
Melt the wax. I didn’t realize was could be so deadly, and had bought a “disposable” pan at the goodwill during the summer for this experiment for $2! But as i read the others that had gone before me, i saw the error of my ways and obtained a glass jar to place in the middle of said disposable pan! I would probably go for the metal can instead of the glass (i also decided as it was bubbling and moving around the pan, safety glasses – a good plan!)
Having all the pieces of was the same size makes the melting go better. And once you think it is all melted, guaranteed, it isn’t, let it sit and melt longer!
And melting wax take a long time, well longer than i thought it would… here is my time lapse of the melt!
Note: you might have to refill the water occasionally while the boiling is taking place!
P.S: really glad i cleaned my stove earlier so these pictures look ok!
Pour wax over the prepped egg carton!
Using your ove-glove pick up your bottle/can from the pan. (shut off the burner)
Carefully pour the amount of wax needed to cover the lint and cardboard and create a “hard” element that will be used as your fire starter later. As other have mentioned, the more wax your use, the more time it will take to burn… Some of the lint and egg carton will be your “wick” to get the fire going in your starter!
Repeat the wax meting and pouring till all your egg carton cups are filled. Took me 3 melts. But i had a small bottle and small pan
You can either store the whole thing or cut each cup from the main. Depends how many you like to or want to use to start your fire. They certainly look gross, but i’m very confident they will work fabulously! (We’ll try burning one soon and give you and update!)
Items of Note:
- Ove-glove – was vital to being able to pour the molten wax
- Safety glasses – just made me feel much safer
- Wax – its takes alot, alot
- Time – it took much longer than the hour i thought it would.
- Location – make sure you have paper or something down to pick up the wax etc that might drip.