As the days get colder and winter really draws in, most of us are focusing on how to stay warm and cosy at home. For the lucky ones amongst us, that means only one thing- lighting an open wood fire. Lighting your fire can be easy with the help of firelighters, but the vast majority available in shops use flammable chemicals such as petroleum, which is far from eco friendly. Keep the air a little cleaner and do some recycling at the same time, with these great ideas for home made firelighters.
Corks are dry, light and absorbent, making them a good material to make homemade firelighters. Collect stubs of old candles from around the home and melt them in a pan. Cut up or crush your corks into small pieces and place a little in an ice cube tray, or similar mould. Add a rolled up piece of paper to act as a wick, and top up each mould with the melted wax. Allow to cool, remove from tray and keep in an airtight container until you need them.
Dried out tea bags are packed with dry leaves- the perfect tinder! Next time you make a brew, keep your tea bags and recycle them as fire lighters. Melt the wax of any unused candles in a pan and add your dried tea bags, letting them soak up the wax. Carefully remove them and place on a baking tray until they have cooled and set. Keep them in an airtight bag and use as needed.
Improve the performance of your tumble dryer and make some highly effective, homemade firelighters at the same time! The lint which naturally builds up in the vent of your tumble dryer is dry and light, making perfect kindling. As with the previous tips, all you need is to loosely pack it into a mould, or roll into balls, and add a little melted candle wax. These wads of lint can be packed at the base of a fire and lit to encourage the wood to catch.
Lemon peel, or almost any other dried out fruit, makes a good form of kindling, and a perfect firelighter when combined with recycled candle wax. Save any leftover lemon peel and let it dry (this could take a number of weeks). Melt candle wax and dip the peel in, or if the peel is curved enough in shape, pour it inside. The natural curvature of most lemon peel makes it useful for stuffing other dried materials inside. Try filling with dryer lint or cork and cover with wax to stick it all together.
When making fire lighters, it is often best to try a number of techniques and find which works best. Using different levels of each material can help you find which works best at getting your fire going, saving you a lot of hard work, unwanted smoke and the need for unnecessarily harmful chemicals.
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