Sunday, October 28, 2012

Random Household Hints: Home Made Bees Wax Fire Starters!

Just thought I'd share a random household hint that I have found to be successful! If you follow my blog posts you may remember me mentioning how I felt guilty at not using my beeswax cappings "properly". (Basically I didn't know how to purify/render it down so I just melted it and used it to make fire starters.) Well I'm here today to tell you how well those fire starters work! I had heard of this idea at a preparedness fair at my church. (Mormons are really great at learning to be prepared!!) It was suggested to use dryer lint, (who doesn't have an endless supply of that?!) egg cartons (very easy to find) and they said to use some kind of wax. At the time I thought; there's something I could do with my beeswax cappings. So last year that is what I did with my left over bees wax. But I didn't get around to using the fire starters until this year. It's cold here and I couldn't stand it any longer, I needed a fire! But I didn't have any newspaper to get it started. (Which is what I usually use.) So I decided to try the fire starters I made last year. I only used one of my home made fire starters and one piece of newspaper, (I managed to find one piece!) And I used small pieces of wood (cedar logs about 2" around.) It worked the first time with no other flammables needed. I'm very impressed with how easily these fire starters work! (And it only took 1!) So even though I felt guilty about not using last years bees wax for a better purpose, I love the way that it makes the fire start easily!!

Here's what I did to make these easy Home Made Fire Starters:

You will need:

Dryer Lint
Egg Cartons
Bees Wax Cappings, melted

Push dryer lint down into the egg cartons, pack as much as you can into the egg carton dividers leaving about 1/2" head space. Melt the bees wax cappings down in a double boiler (remember bees wax is very flammable so use low/med. heat and watch it at all times!) Once the wax is melted, carefully pour it over top of the dryer lint. I poured it about a 1/4" thick into each egg carton divider. Once the wax had hardened I cut the egg carton into individual pieces using each egg holder as a piece (using scissors.)
This is what an egg carton full looks like, then I just cut them into individuals with scissors after they hardened.

I also decided that next year I will save the pieces of cheesecloth that I used to purify the beeswax and let it harden, then cut that into smaller pieces to be used as fire starters as well. (As you pour the hot bees wax through the cheesecloth layers to remove impurities from the wax, it hardens into the cheesecloth. And when hardened I believe will serve as a good fire starter.)
This is an example of the cheesecloth I will allow to harden and cut into squares and use it to start fires next year.

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