How to Make a Fire Starter Out of Dryer Lint

There is nothing more useless than old toilet paper tubes, the end of a burnt down candle, and dryer lint. Combined however, these three useless components can be turned into a kindling log or fire starter. This homemade fire starter is easy to make, very portable, and ideal for any time you need to build a campfire or light the fireplace at home. Best of all, it uses materials that ordinarily would find their way into the rubbish can.

Materials needed

Handfuls of dryer lint. While any kind of dryer lint will work, lint from polyester or nylon blends do smell and produce excess smoke. It’s best to use lint collected from cotton, wool, or linen fabrics. I prefer using lint collected from our towels and wool blankets.

Toilet paper tubes

Candle wax ~ we use the bits and ends from the bottom of our votive candle holders, and the wax that drips onto the candle holders. Canning paraffin will also work.

A glass jar or clean tin can for melting the wax.

Old glass bowl to use as a tray.

A saucepan with boiling water.


1. Pack the toilet paper tube with as much lint as can possibly fit. It you don’t have enough, soiled paper napkins or paper towels can be added to the tube as well. Once the toilet paper tube has been completely filled, stand it up in the bowl and set aside for the moment.

2. Place the candle wax in the glass jar. Set in the saucing pan of boiling water, until melted.

3. When the candle wax has melted, gently pour a tablespoon of the melted wax on one end of the toilet paper tube. Be sure to completely cover all the exposed lint (see picture #2).

4. When the wax has hardened (2-3 minutes) flip the tube over. Press the lint firmly into the tube once more, then pour in another tablespoon of wax.

5. Remove the fire starter from the bowl, and let completely harden for a couple of hours.

That’s all there’s to it! Do store your fire starters in an airtight and waterproof container, such as a coffee can, Ziploc bag or plastic peanut butter jar to prevent the wax from ruining your camping gear.

How to use your fire starter

Use your fire starter as you would kindling, by placing it beneath a pile of dried wood, then lighting from either end. Once lit, the flame will burn for almost 20 minutes which is more than enough time to build up that roaring fire.

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