How to burn a wood pallet

Updated February 21, 2017

Dispose of old, broken or unwanted wood pallets by quickly burning them. Wood pallets are useful for transporting and holding large objects when they are in good condition. Over time, wood pallets that are used regularly or stored outside can break and rot, rendering them useless. Pallets are made of scrap and knotty hardwoods that burn efficiently once they have dried out. Burn a pile of unwanted pallets to regain the space they are currently occupying.

Clear a 10-foot radius around the burn site of all debris. The fire must be away from buildings, trees and dry brush. Concrete surfaces are fine but they may have residual burn marks after the fire.

Place a working fire extinguisher approximately 10 feet from where the fire will be burning and in plain sight.

Stack three to five wood pallets in a pile and shove crumpled black and white newsprint into the spaces between them.

Spark the lighter or matches and light the edges of the wadded newspaper. At this point you can douse the wood pallets in lighter fluid if you want to accelerate the ignition process.

Churn the fire with a metal garden rake to distribute the flames evenly as the pallets burn and crumble. Toss any remaining wood pallets into the fire two at a time until they are gone.

Attend to the wood pallet fire until it has completely burnt to the ground. Use the extinguisher to put out any flare-ups that occur away from the burn site.

Clean up the remaining metal nails, charred wood and ash from the burn site with the garden rake or a push broom and dustpan.


Dry out new wood pallets for at least six months before burning to lower their moisture content.

Things You'll Need

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Newspaper
  • Lighter or matches
  • Lighter fluid (optional)
  • Metal garden rake
  • Push broom and dustpan (optional)
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.