MYO FireStarters With Egg Cartons, Old Wax & Dryer Lint

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

How do we easily start a fire in our fireplace? I’m sharing step by step instructions to make easy FIRE STARTERS using cardboard egg cartons, natural fiber dryer lint or scraps & melted wax.

Check out these easy FIRE STARTERS I made in just a few minutes using dryer lint & melted wax. I show everything step by step. #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

Homemade Fire Starters To More Easily Start A Fire

I’ve seen these homemade fire starters before, it’s not a new concept. But we’ve never really needed them so I’ve never made them before.

Then at a recent family outing my SIL brought out a couple of these she’d made for starting their campfire.

It made me wonder if I should try to make these for use in our fireplace.

Antique Franklin-style fireplace to keep us warm in the winter. #TexasHomesteader

Simple Materials For Homemade Fire Starters

Making these easy fire starters requires only 3 simple items:

Cardboard such as egg cartons, toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls.

Dryer lint or small cotton scraps (see note below regarding dryer lint)

Melted wax such as old used candles.

Let me show you how easy these fire starters are to make…

Drier Lint For Fire Starters – Only Natural Fabrics

When making fire starters from dryer lint you need to make sure the content is natural fiber since some synthetic fabric fibers like polyester or microfiber fleece don’t burn well. 

We don’t use our dryer often, but RancherMan had used it to dry his clean denim blue jeans. When cleaning out the dryer’s lint trap I was reminded why I hate to use the dryer. All that lint pulled from the lint trap is actually our clothing being beat up and broken down by the dryer.

But at least I could use this material for my fire starters. This lint is from 100% cotton denim jeans. Let’s DO THIS! 

Using Fabric Scraps For Fire Starters

Instead of dryer lint you can use small scraps of natural-fiber material for your homemade fire starters. I often use small scraps cut from RancherMan’s torn jeans to line those egg cups.

I’m forever making things out of his old worn jeans like my favorite no-sew pocket coasters or rustic denim gift bags. So I’ve always got small scraps of denim left.

I use denim scraps for fire starters when I make baskets made from repurposed denim blue jeans. #TexasHomesteader

Remember what I always say: Use whatcha GOT!” Just make sure to use natural fibers for best results.

Assembling My Homemade Fire Starters

It’s easy to assemble your homemade fire starters:

Tuck natural fiber dryer lint or fabric scraps into cardboard.

Melt Wax

Pour onto natural fibers, evenly coating the top.

Cool overnight

If using egg cartons, pull apart individual fire starters

You’re done!

Safely Melt Wax Using Homemade Double Boiler

Wax is obviously flammable. So it’s safer to use a double-boiler system to melt it.

But whatever you use to hold your melted wax will be near impossible to clean again. So here’s how I made my double boiler:

I took the largest tin can I could find. Using a pair of pliers I fashioned a small pour spout.

For the wax it’s cheapest to just use old candle wax from candles that no longer burn. Colored or scented, it doesn’t matter, but pillars that aren’t contained in a glass container were easiest to work with.

I chipped up the wax and placed it inside the can, placed the can in a pan of water and turned on the stove burner.

As the water slowly heated up, the wax melted beautifully.

Check out these easy FIRE STARTERS I made in just a few minutes using dryer lint & melted wax. I show everything step by step. #TexasHomesteader

How To Safely Pour Hot Melted Wax

Now comes the scary part – dealing with a hot can filled with hot melted wax and trying to transfer said wax from tin can to little egg cups.

To assure I was protected from the hot metal. I used my *hot jar gripper to grip the hot metal can.

Then I used a pair of pliers to firmly hold the can & help me pour slowly and steadily.

Check out these easy FIRE STARTERS I made in just a few minutes using dryer lint & melted wax. I show everything step by step. #TexasHomesteader

Hot wax can burn badly. But by going slowly and staying careful and focused I was able to easily pour this hot melted wax into each of the egg cups.

(For safety: no kids, pets or distractions in the kitchen until after the hot stuff is done!)

Tips For Containing Leaked Wax

I had placed my egg carton on a piece of newspaper in case the hot melted wax oozed out of the cardboard. (Spoiler Alert: It DID!)

I also placed the paper/egg carton on an old cookie sheet to contain any melted wax.

The wax did slightly melt through the cardboard egg carton and onto the newspaper beneath it. So it was a good thing I took these preemptive steps.

You might keep those issues in mind if you decide to give it a try.

Homemade FireStarters. DONE!

After I broke apart each of the cups I placed my homemade fire starters in a chunky metal pitcher we keep near the fireplace.

Check out these easy FIRE STARTERS I made in just a few minutes using dryer lint & melted wax. I show everything step by step. #TexasHomesteader

Starting A Fire In The Fireplace Without Gas Log Starter

There’s nothing quite like staying toasty-warm in the blustery winter months with the help of a roaring fire.

(remember: Fire Safety First – read my recent post about the importance of regular chimney cleaning)

Chimney cleaning is important since coating of creosote is flammable and can cause dangerous chimney fires. #TexasHomesteader

When we lived in the city we had a built-in fireplace that included a handy-dandy gas log lighter. It sure made starting a fire an easy endeavor.

But now that we live on the Homestead we have a beautiful freestanding antique Franklin-style cast iron fireplace.


I absolutely love it. But how to get that fire started without that propane assistance?

Must we utilize those wilderness tactics of using flint sparks & dead leaves that RancherMan learned in the Boy Scouts? Hummm…

Yes there’s an easier way. And man-oh-man are you gonna love this!

Using Homemade Fire Starters In Our Fireplace

To use our homemade fire starters RancherMan places one of the cups directly onto one of the logs in the fireplace to fully utilize the ignition power of these little gems and then he lit the fire starter.

It started easily and the flames reached up through the other logs and started our fire without any other assistance from us.

Antique cast iron Franklin stove. Check out these easy FIRE STARTERS I made in just a few minutes using dryer lint & melted wax. I show everything step by step. #TexasHomesteader

RancherMan’s words to me were “Wow, that was easy.  Can you make me a bunch of these??” 

I’d say that was successful!

Use Your Best Judgement

Again please remember that I’m sharing a procedure that works well at our homestead. This project worked beautifully for us. We’ve never experienced any wax buildup in our fireplace nor any negative results at all.

But there are lots of variables. Starting a fire in your fireplace should always be done with the utmost fire safety in mind.

So if you decide to give it a try you’ll be doing so at your own risk. Please do your research & make sure it’s the best thing for your home too.

But I’ll for sure keep making these fire starters at our homestead!


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21 thoughts on “MYO FireStarters With Egg Cartons, Old Wax & Dryer Lint

  1. Brenda

    I replied, but doesn’t look like it got thru, Tammy. I built a solar wax melter, just lay the towers in there to catch the slum gum. But I did a little more research; bear with me, it addresses cleaning your wax, but does get back to used paper towels for fire starter….
    So here’s what I found out:
    I think you could use paint strainer bags to filter wax. (I use them to strain my honey, juice for jelly, and a whole lot more.) Around 3 or 4 bucks at Home Depot for 3, elastic at top, and fit a 5 gal bucket. Here’s my reasoning:

    Water boils at 212 deg, depending on altitude.
    Wax melts at 144 deg
    Nylon melts at around 450 deg.

    A lot of home brewers use these to boil the hops into wort to make beer.

    Now, as to the waxy paper towel, you’d still have this, if you used it to wipe out your wax pot after cleaning wax, or after making those beeswax bowl covers you so graciously gave us instructions for!

    Hope this helps! (Seems to me it would be less messy than paper towel.

  2. Brenda

    Great idea! I also save the paper towels I render my beeswax thru-I hate to waste any of that wax! You’ve got a good idea about the denim, it’s molders for a long time. The. Rare times I use my bee smoker, I fuel it with denim seams and a piece of was coated paper towel. Burns for a long time.

  3. Pili

    Can you believe I was thinking some weeks about making my own fire starters? In our new house we have a fireplace and we love to be all together around it, now I need to find a cheap dryer for the lints. I remember I hate cleaning them at our old apartment… If I had only knew…

  4. Katy SkipTheBag

    I’m just jealous that your egg cartons are actually cardboard! We’ve got a styrofoam of sorts here.

  5. Greg Hill

    I really like your re-purpose ~TxH~.
    I ask my wife to save the dryer lint in in a empty paper towel tube , long before you posted this post. ( Which is a good post . ) She gave me a funny look and said ” What ? ” And I have been saving empty egg cartons for a year. for another project I want to do . But Now that you have posted this I’m going to use some of that lint and some old candles and WA LA fire starters. Thanks for the Idea

  6. Heidi Villegas

    I love homemade fire starters! I actually do use the lint from the dryer, but I put mine inside paper towel rolls. I haven’t tried wax, and that’s a great idea! I just use some type of oil. I keep them stored in a bag. I’m going to give the wax a try! I save all my extra candle wax! Great tip!

  7. Jessica

    This sounds like the kind of thing that my husband would really appreciate me making. Thanks for sharing

  8. kate steeper

    my dad used a similar idea but he used waste cooking fat instead of wax

  9. Cynthia L.

    I wish I would have known about these a few years ago. I was buying fire starters and they were so expensive!

  10. Gentle Joy

    Good idea… we have made similar ones for camping. 🙂

  11. Margy

    I would worry about the wax in a woodstove melting onto the bricks. I use crumpled newspaper and cardboard I cut up with a little dry driftwood to start my fires. I warm the flue with a twisted sheet of newspaper then light the paper and kindling. That works well unless a light breeze is blowing and rotating chimney cap hasn’t turned yet to help with the draw. – Margy

  12. Lisa from Iroquois

    I have been experimenting with toilet paper rolls: stuff with dryer lint, drizzle melted wax into the tube , add a little more dryer lint at each end, and then just before I use them I roll each on into a single sheet of newspaper. I use two underneath the kindling and build up from there. Don’t use the dryer much but love having this use for the lint.

  13. Jayne

    We hardly ever use firestarters but when we we just use Vaseline on a cotton ball or old piece of rag. Really simple and works every time. Love the pocket coasters – I will trying them out.

  14. Jendi

    Definitely a hit when the man asks for more! LOL
    There are so-o many uses for old jeans. Hope it works for you.

  15. Rosie

    I love making our own firestarters. Since many of our egg cartons at the stores are styrofoam, I usually resort to using empty toilet paper rolls. (fyi: it is easier to cut them down to smaller sizes before filling them.) I’ll have to try melting wax in a pot of hot water next time I have large pieces. Right now I’m going through old candles (in jars), so am using the candle warmer to melt the wax.

  16. Lauryn

    Love this! We just started using our fire place for the season and have already used up our fire starters. I think I need to make a batch of these this weekend. Now to find out where to acquire some wax. 😉 Thanks for linking up to Motivation Monday!

  17. Terry

    Quite a neat experiment, glad it worked out so well for you.

  18. Laurie S.

    I’ve seen them made with sawdust and wax. You could try that and let us know!! Thanks for all your great posts. I love checking your site. Stay warm!

    1. charlene

      My son put a tarp down under the logs he was cutting and collected so much sawdust I mulched my 20×48 garden with it. I call it GoAway SiltySoil. Only 49.99 a bag. he.

  19. Dianna

    If one were to be doing a lot of these, or doing it often, maybe an old, metal, stovetop coffee pot would make handling and pouring. Thrift store? I just happen to have a couple and will be trying these firestarters for gifts. Thank you for the tutorial

  20. Beverly

    Paper shreds from an electric document shredder will substitute well for the dryer lint.


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