Tuesday, August 3, 2010

C'mon Baby, Light My Fire!!

What to do? What to do? Every other day I have a stand off with the lovely, hairy, appetizing lint that comes from my dryer. It says,

"Throw me away. We both know where this is headed."

And I say,

"But I don't want to. You're mine. You're part of my clothes, my dogs, my dirt. I made you for goodness' sake! Can't I use and abuse you in some fashion?!?"

Yes. Yes I can. And so I will.

Dryer lint, sewing scraps, shredded paper for the love!! You can use it all to make your own firestarters!! It's a wonderful idea I tell you, and the ones we just made burned. They burned hot, and for a very, very long time. Excellent.

So here are the steps:

You will need:

Some form of flammable something (dryer lint, bellybutton lint - gross - or sewing scraps - best to use something that will catch easily and burn hot. Flannel seems to work really well)

Egg cartons (We used the kind with a flip top, but if you have the large, open-top flats, they'll work juuuuuust fine)

Paraffin (Paraffin is kerosene in it's solid form - it's the most common type of wax used for candles, lamps, etc. You can buy it online, or at places like Glory Bee Foods -
they have a retail location in Eugene and if you've never been there, the trip is a must. Also, if you've got old crayons laying around the house, they're made of paraffin. Use them! Melt those bad boys down and make them work for you!)

Step #1: Gather your material -

Our material came from two places...

The dryer vent... (made up of yummy hair from the girls, and particles from our clothes)

And the wipes project I just finished...

Step #2: Place your material into egg cartons

Step #3: Melt the paraffin - Use crayons or commercial wax (a Number 10 can IN A DOUBLE BOILER on the stove works great for this! Be careful to sink the No. 10 can in water to melt the wax because if you put it on the stove directly it can catch fire. Not good.

Step #4: Pour the melted paraffin onto the material in each hole of the egg carton.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: Put parchment paper or some other leak-proof paper under your cartons. They will leak. Oh and don't pour so fast that the paraffin sloshes out of the container and onto your stove and floor. You'll be scraping paraffin for years. Just ask my mom.)

Step #5: Let them dry and voila! It's a fire starter!


When you need to start a fire, you break a little section off (this is another reason to use egg cartons) and light it on fire! Mom said when she put a match to one after it had dried, it went up beautifully, burned really hot, and stayed burning for over 5 minutes. That's pretty dang good.


  1. My parents used to make the dryer lint fire starters ALL the time.... they really do work well!!

  2. Now you know why you need to have your dryer vent professionally cleaned.

  3. Is it just me or does that look like a bunch of dead mice on the egg cartons? Maybe its just the dog hair.

  4. I've been doing these for years....they're especially awesome for those with wood burning stoves...starts your fire on the first match. You can use old candles that (if you're anything like me) your mother has lying around or that you got for wedding gifts. I've never had to buy my own wax.