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DIY Fire Starter: The Cotton Ball



Make Your Own Fire Starters Out of Household Materials

In a survival situation, fire is one of the most important necessities. Carrying a pocket lighter, flint & steel, or matches at all times is ideal. In the event you need fire, you have it in your pocket.

Let’s say the time comes when we have no more power. That means no more heat during the winters and we cannot cook our food. However, if you know the basics of fire starting you may just survive.

In every household there are flammable materials that we overlook. These flammable materials can save our lives, if you know how to get them up in flames. Let’s start off with one of my favorite fire starting methods. The cotton ball is extremely flammable and typically only takes one strike of flint & steel to light.

DIY Fire Starter: The Cotton Ball

Take one cotton ball and dip it in Vaseline if you have some. That way the cotton ball will burn much longer.

Place the cotton ball in the area where you wish to burn it. Make sure it is in a safe place. Outside is best.

Take your flint & steel and hold it up to the cotton ball and strike. It should only take one strike. Using matches or a lighter will work too.

The cotton ball should immediately light up in flames. If you have Vaseline on the cotton ball it will burn for about a minute; if not, it will last 15 seconds.

This is one of the best fire starting methods using flint & steel. Place flammable tinder such as dry leaves or plants to build the fire up. Then use thin twigs and build your way up to a fire.

In the next article, we will use dryer lint and fabric softener to start a fire.

Do you have any favorite fire starting methods of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Check out DIY Fire Starter: The Cotton Ball at

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  11. arizona

    June 11, 2018 at 8:50 PM

    round cotton make-up removal pads dipped in melted paraffin are more compact, virtually zero mess and can be split into 1/8 pie segments that burn between 3 1/2 and 4 minutes each. square make-up removal pads dipped in the same paraffin and cut into 8 pieces will burn for almost 5 minutes per segment. cotton balls and petrolatum are outdated an inefficient in comparison.

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