dryer lint

my old friend tom came to my birthday party 2 years ago. he told me he had been working on my present for quite some time. he is my artist friend, so i was pretty excited to see what he came up.

he handed me a gallon ziplock bag with 3-4 months worth of dryer lint. it was a great gift, truly, because it is an essential component of homemade firestarters.

here are my top 3 ways to make firestarters with simple ingredients.

  1. collect cardboard egg cartons, candle wax, dryer lint and/or woodchips. tear the top off the carton. add some dryer link and/or wood chips to each cup. fill about 2/3 full loosely. melt candle wax and drizzle a decent amount over each cup. to use, tear out 1-2 cups and use with a small piece of kindling or two.
  2. you will need a piece of corrugated cardboard, strike anywhere* matches and candle wax. cut your piece of cardboard into 3′ squares. you can vary the size- once you get the idea you will understand. carefully slide a match into 3-4 of the corrugated ‘tubes’ on one end of the cardboard. dip cardboard into the wax to meet the base of the matches (some people cover the matches with wax, too- this makes them ‘waterproof’. place on layers of newspaper to cool.
  3. collect dry pinecones. melt candle wax in a pot and with tongs- dip the pinecones in wax. drain excess wax into the pot and place on layers of newspaper to cool.

i store handfuls of these in a tin container and they work great for indoor and outdoor fires.

did you know strike anywhere matches really are different than strike on box? we have a cast iron match dispenser at the East Fork and someone loaded it with strike on box matches. they wouldn’t light when you dragged them across the cast iron sides of the dispenser. i met a guy at a party once and he told me his family had invented one or the other of these versions. hmmm. or was that just a terrible pick up line?

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