Cotton Ball Fire Starter

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Making a cotton ball fire starter is easy and they work great in a variety of different weather conditions.  

In just a few minutes you can create several small fire starters that can be placed in a survival kit for future use.

By using supplies commonly found around your home makes the project cheep and easy to complete. 

Plus these homemade fire starters can easily be lit with matches, ferro-rods, flint and steel or a variety of other fire starting techniques.

From the survival enthusiast to the average backyard camper, these fire starters are cheep and practical, making them a must have item for anyone who enjoys a hot fire.

Lets Begin!

To make the fire starters you need a few basic items:

  • cotton ball 
  • petroleum jelly
  • plastic baggie

These instructions use a regular sized cotton ball but you can choose to use the jumbo size if you want a larger fire starter. 

To begin, turn the plastic baggie inside out and place your hand inside.

This allows you to scoop out the petroleum jelly without getting your hands all messy.  

Some people choose to use their bare hands, rubber gloves or even cooking utensils but this methods works well and doesn't incorporate other items.

With the baggie turned inside out, place your hand inside and scoop out about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly.  

Next, place the cotton balls in the palm of your hand.

While grasping the petroleum jelly and cotton balls in your hand, turn the baggie right-side out.

Next, kneed the petroleum jelly into the cotton ball fibers.  

Working the petroleum jelly into the cotton balls will ensure a longer and more even burn time.

Thats it you're done!  

In just a few minutes you can create several useful fire starters.  

You can just leave the cotton balls inside the plastic baggie until you're ready to use them.  

This method keeps the process clean and allows a convenient way to store the cotton balls.  

You can also store the cotton balls in plastic pill bottles or other similar devices if you want.

Before lighting the cotton ball, spread the fibers apart with your fingers to open it up.

This exposes the fine fibers and makes them a lot easier to light.

This pictures shows the cotton ball being easily lit with a ferro-rod made by Firesteel.

The cotton ball burned for 3 minutes on a relatively wind day!

Overall - Cotton Ball Fire Starter

Cotton ball fire starters are cheep and easy to make.  

With just a few supplies and a few minutes of your time you can create a fire starter that's hard to beat.


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.