Starting a fire can be a challenge even for people with a lot of experience. Firelighters are an easy way to give your wood fire a kick start. Although there are many homemade options for firelighters, paraffin-wax-filled paper cups are a convenient and effective option. The wax is melted, mixed with wood shavings or sawdust, and poured into small paper cups. If you have old burnt-down candles, you can opt to supplement your paraffin with them.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sawdust or wood shavings
- Old pot, 2 1/2 litres (2 1/2 quarts)
- Double boiler
- 1 box paraffin wax
- Old spoon
- 1 package 85 g (3 oz) paper cups
Dump 270 g (1 cup) of sawdust or wood shavings into an old 2 1/2 litre (2 1/2 quart) pot. You will use 1 cup of sawdust per 2 blocks of paraffin wax to create a mix of wax and sawdust. Do not worry if your measurements are not exact, since both the wax and the sawdust are flammable.
Add water to the bottom of the double boiler. Place 2 blocks of paraffin wax into the top of the double boiler and melt it on the hob. Remove the double boiler from the hob burner once melted.
Pour the wax into the pot with the sawdust or wood shavings.
Mix the wood with the wax using an old spoon until all of the wood is coated with the wax.
Scoop up the wood and wax mixture with the spoon and fill the paper cups 1/2 to 3/4 full.
Allow the wax to cool and store the cups near your fireplace or wood stove.
Tips and warnings
- Save your bathroom paper cups after you use them for making firelighters, rather than throwing them out.
- Use caution when melting paraffin wax over a stove.
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