DIY Dryer Lint Fire Starters

By Finn Clark

Finn's DIY Fire Starters

We live in the Northwest where the winters are long and wet. Like most 9-year-olds, I’m interested in (and learning about) fire and what my parents call “combustibles.”

I like to forage for wood with my wood-cutting tools.

Our home is heated almost entirely by wood and since we forage for our own wood in our forest, it’s often pretty wet. I decided it was time to make some fire starters for cold wet nights when nothing wants to burn. These things will definitely help start your wet wood burning, especially if you use 2-3 of them. Here’s how:

The things you'll need: Lint, egg cartons, wax scraps, string, shredded paper, matches.

Gather together:


Egg Cartons

Wax Scraps (we melt ours into pie tins for easy re-melting)

Wick String or Just Plain String,

Shredded Paper, Paper Scraps, and/or Sawdust


Melt your wax and dip the wick string in it to make a true wick.

Next, you’ll need to melt down your wax scraps. I place our previously-melted wax scraps in a pie tin with another pie tin underneath and place the double-layer pie tins over our pilot light on the stove. That’s enough to melt the wax in the tins and it’s safe for little hands like mine that could get burned by the wax. Dip your string in the melting wax to make a true candle wick. They burn more slowly and readily with the wax infusion.

Mix your lint and shredded paper (and saw dust if you have it) together in a big bowl.

While your wick is drying, mix all your lint with shredded paper and you can add sawdust and small wood chips if you have them.

Really really mix it well.

I think I like the mixing part the best.

Cut your wicking into little wicks.

Now that your wick is dry, you can cut it into small 2-3 inch wicks for each fire starter.

Stuff your dry ingredients (wick in the middle) into each egg carton cup.

Now you can stuff your lint mixture into the egg carton cups. We take a small handful, wrap it around a wick, and then jam it (with the wick standing up in the middle like a candle wick) into each cup.

Pour your melted wax over the whole mess. Lots of it.

We then pour our melted wax over the top of the paper/lint/wick-filled egg carton. I let my mom do it because even though we have 2 pie tins under the wax, it could spill and hurt me.

Another angle of Mom doing the pouring. It was cold in our house so she's wearing a down vest. That's why we needed fire starters -- to get the fire started.

Do you see little matches standing up in the back row there? That’s my secret ingredient. I like to use matches dipped in wax as my wicks. They’re actually home-made water-proof matches but that’s another post for a later time. They work really really well as wicks, too.

These are my fire starters.

When your wax has solidified and cooled, the fire starters are ready to be used. Simply rip off a single cup at a time and light your wick when you’ve placed your fire starter where you want it in your well-laid fire.

Lighting our fire starter is the best best part.

Now we get to enjoy a warm winter wet wood fire.

Our warm winter fire by home-made fire starters brings smiles.

One thought on “DIY Dryer Lint Fire Starters

  1. Pingback: 50 Things To Never Buy | Pioneering The Simple Life

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