Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Fire Starters

1 Material
2 Minutes

Finally, spring!! Cool spring evenings are great for us to use our fire pit. Even when we are low on dry kindling, we have a way to get our fire going.

I have seen a few posts with great suggestions for making homemade fire starters. Here is another idea, also using items that otherwise would be headed for the garbage or recycling bin.

icon Just as great is the fact that this idea costs zero dollars and takes almost zero time!

Begin by collecting cardboard tubes from wrapping paper, paper towels, and toilet paper.

These will be the base for this fire starter.

 I cut them down to 6”-8” if they are too long and keep them in an empty laundry pod container in my laundry room.

icon I keep the empty tubes in my laundry room because every time I empty the lint trap in the dryer, I put the lint into one of the cardboard tubes.

I just loosely fill one, then move on to the next.

Be sure to store them in a safe, dry location. As everyone knows, dryer lint is very flammable.

icon When it’s time for a fire, we use a few of the lint-filled cardboard tubes as part of our kindling to help get our fire started. Both the lint and the tubes burn quite easily and cleanly. We have used this many times in our fire pit, and it has always worked very well. 

icon In addition to filling the cardboard tubes with dryer lint for use in our fire, we also have filled them with:

-shredded paper from our office shredder

-old receipts


The tubes keep everything nice and neat, and they are very easy to use, store, and transport (like for a camping trip).  

icon It's a nice feeling to reduce our garbage/recycling, even if it is just a little bit.

S’mores, anyone?

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 8 questions
  • Marsha Marsha on Mar 14, 2022

    How would I distress my brown brick fireplace? I want a light gray & a darker gray? Put the dark down first then the light gray then brush it with a metal brush?

    Am I at least on the right direction?

    Thank you

  • Dkd28446389 Dkd28446389 on Mar 15, 2022

    The stuff won’t set the roof on fire?

  • Gypsyjane Gypsyjane on Mar 21, 2022

    Why not use toilet tissue tubes? No cutting down to size with those.

Join the conversation
3 of 35 comments
  • LAHawk LAHawk on Mar 27, 2022

    I've always seen old candle wax coated on them for quicker burn.

  • Klc Klc on Mar 27, 2022

    Yes! Others have suggested the same. I plan on doing that moving forward:)

    • KimofCoventry KimofCoventry on Apr 06, 2022

      I don’t think that’s even necessary. Why go to the extra effort, been doing your way for years and our pit is big enough to hold a sedan 🙂 We never have an issue getting it going. We have a small metal one too that’s closer to our house we burn often. Have seen pine cones dipped in wax too. They are pretty but not really a recycle like posted. 🔥 👍 Always have dryer lint and cardboard tubes.