“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls as Fire Starters”

“Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls as Fire Starters”

Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls as Fire Starters


Starting a fire can be challenging, especially when camping or in other outdoor situations. However, with a bit of creativity and reuse, those empty toilet paper rolls that normally get thrown away can become an easy and effective fire starting tool. In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide on reusing toilet paper rolls as fire starters, covering everything from materials needed to step-by-step instructions.

Materials Needed

To repurpose toilet paper rolls into fire starters, you will need the following materials:

  • Toilet paper rolls – The cardboard tubes left over after all the toilet paper has been used are perfect for this project. Make sure they are empty and clean.

  • Wax – Old candle wax, crayons, or paraffin wax work well. The wax helps the cardboard burn longer.

  • Dryer lint – Lint collected from the dryer lint trap is very flammable. This acts as excellent tinder.

  • Twine or string – This is used to wrap up the finished fire starters. Cotton twine or jute string are ideal options.

  • Scissors – For cutting the twine and trimming the toilet paper rolls.

  • Wax paper, tin foil – To contain the mess while melting wax.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps to make fire starters out of toilet paper rolls:

1. Cut the Rolls

Use scissors to cut toilet paper rolls into 2 inch wide segments. The shorter length helps the fire starter burn slower and more controlled.

2. Collect Dryer Lint

Open up the dryer lint trap and collect all the accumulated dryer lint. Avoid lint that is overly saturated with fabric softener as this can inhibit burning.

3. Melt the Wax

Place wax in a old can or foil and melt it either in the microwave or on the stove. Paraffin wax melts at low temperatures. Be very careful handling hot wax!

4. Dip the Rolls in Wax

Use tongs to dip the cut toilet paper rolls into the melted wax. Completely coat each segment. Let excess wax drip off before placing the rolls on wax paper to cool and harden.

5. Stuff with Dryer Lint

Once cooled, pack each wax covered toilet paper roll tightly with dryer lint. Compress it in well.

6. Wrap with Twine

Tie each fire starter tightly with twine or string. This keeps the dryer lint secure inside the tube.

7. Store and Use

Keep your finished fire starters in a waterproof container or plastic bag until ready to use. To use, simply place one under your kindling and light it up. The wax and lint should burn slowly for around 5 minutes, giving you ample time to build your fire.

Tips and Ideas

  • Use colorful old crayons to make fun designed fire starters.

  • Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or lemon to make your fire starters smell nice.

  • Old birthday candles are a great frugal alternative to bulk wax.

  • Cut pool noodles instead of toilet paper rolls for longer-lasting fire starters.

  • Used dryer sheets also work well instead of dryer lint.

Benefits of Homemade Fire Starters

There are many advantages to making your own fire starters from recycled materials:

  • Saves money – No need to buy commercial fire starter products.

  • Burns longer – The wax and compressed lint burn slowly for up to 5-10 minutes.

  • Environmentally-friendly – Repurposes household items that would normally be trash.

  • Safe – Does not use any hazardous chemicals.

  • Convenient – Make a big batch ahead of time to have on hand whenever needed.

  • Customizable – Tailor with different waxes, lint sources, and scents.


Turning old toilet paper rolls into fire starters is an easy, practical way to reuse a common household item. With just a few basic materials like wax, lint, and string, you can make DIY fire starters that are inexpensive, eco-friendly, safe, and very effective at starting campfires, fireplaces, or outdoor fires. The next time you finish a roll of toilet paper, don’t throw the tube away – transform it into the perfect fire starting helper.