Simple and Nearly Free Fire Starters

Simple and Nearly Free Fire Starters

We’ve all been told to clean out the lint trays in our dryers to avoid a house fire. And for good reason- dryer lint burns like crazy! And when we clean out that tray, we throw the lint out, right?

Not anymore! With Winter Storm Pax coming my way, I decided to work on this quick, nearly-free DIY project. I had first heard about this from a colleague of mine who takes regular hunting/camping tricks…and then I was reminded of this by an old friend of mine. Dryer lint makes a fabulous fire starter (i.e., tinder) for those of us with wood-burning fireplaces in our homes.



Nearly Free Fire Starters

There are literally dozens of ways to make these- the internet is full of ideas, from the simple to the complicated. My method? Super easy- three materials: Dryer lint, Empty toilet paper tubes, and wax paper. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

I’ve been saving dryer lint and cardboard tubes for a while now, so I had a plenty of each to work with.

Toilet paper cardboard tubes to be repurposed as DIY fire starters with dryer lint and wax paper by Sadie Seasongoods /

Ready to be repurposed!

Then, I just crammed some dryer lint into one of my cardboard tubes. And yes, my dryer lint looks gross…but I’m working under the assumption that everyone’s does.

DIY fire starters by repurposing cardboard toilet paper tubes and dryer lint by Sadie Seasongoods /

Eeek…a little gross close up.

I had read that wax paper worked really well as a fire starter so I decided to wrap up my stuffed tubes with it to finish the job. Full disclosure, though- I’ve had the same box of wax paper for more than a decade and was really excited to finally have a reason to use it up.

DIY fire starters by repurposing cardboard toilet paper tubes filled with dryer lint and wrapped in wax paper by Sadie Seasongoods /

I’m pretty sure my wax paper is 10 years old…

And there you have it! Fireplace is all ready to go when the snow starts falling.

How to make DIY fire starters using upcycled dryer lint and repurposed cardboard tubes wrapped in wax paper by Sadie Seasongoods /

All done- easy as that!

DIY fire starters by repurposing cardboard toilet paper tubes filled with dryer lint and wrapped in wax paper by Sadie Seasongoods /

Ready to get lit!

Ridiculously easy AND a great way to “recycle” materials you already have. And now…bring on the snow!

Craft on!


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  1. We have done this also…. but the waxed paper is a great new addition for us. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  2. My family has been using these for years and they work GREAT! I just wish I had a fire place myself to try them out.

  3. Great idea to use that dryer lint! Makes me wish we could use our wood burning fireplace :/ There’s just something so cozy about sitting in front of a warm fire when there’s a winter storm raging outside. Thank you for sharing with us at Merry Monday!

  4. OOoh, we usually just use noodles and oodles of newspaper, but this seems like a great idea. I like being able to use the toilet paper rolls for something. Thanks for posting.

  5. I was just doing laundry yesterday, and trying to remember how to use the lint for these. What perfect timing to find you on Merry Monday!

  6. Is there any danger in burning the lint from clothing with synthetic fibers?

  7. Sarah, i think this is great idea as it seems i tend to have an abundance of toilet paper rolls and lint. As for the wax paper, i think i have you beat sister. Just finished a roll i had for about 20 years, The box was falling apart. lol

  8. Awesome! Even though I live in Florida-during our few months of cooler weather I enjoy lighting up my outdoor fire. Wax paper is inexpensive–I agree-I don’t use it very often. Now I have a reason. THX

  9. IF you use dryer sheets.. use those instead of wax paper,, or in addition to… i use wax paper when camping.. dryer sheets at home.

  10. Thank you I will try some I live in Idaho –Pollock snow day today

  11. These are really great! I like to recommend them to my clients that have installed firepits or fireplaces in a patio. They don’t create as much mess as adding sticks.

  12. If you melt paraffin wax and mix it with the lint it makes a waterproof fire starter that burns for quite a while. I use a large can to melt/mix and pour into old ice trays that I spray with Pam. You’ll be surprised with the results.

  13. Just wondering if there are any pollution issues with burning synthetics/wax…

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      The jury is still out on that- some people say yes, others say no. I say…it’s less dangerous than store-bought starters that have lighter fluid or some similar chemical in them!

  14. Great idea! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  15. Virginia says

    What a great idea!! Pinning!

  16. You know i love a good repurposed project and this is a great one! Congrats, you’re featured this week at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

  17. marianne wood says

    Sounds like a great idea. one question, tho. My dryer lint contains lots of cat hair & a little less dog hair as well as my own hair! Any negative issues when burning with such?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I wouldn’t think so, Marianne, but I can’t guarantee that. Our dryer lint has a TON of cat hair in it (we have two cats, one is a long-haired kitty) and really never worried…but we do use these more often outside in our fire pit, so there are even fewer concerns. We also don’t chemically treat our cats for fleas or anything (they’re indoor only) so that would be my main concern about the dog hair.

      • marianne wood says

        Thanks for the quick reply. I guess my concern would be any smell associated with hair itself being burned as part of the lint mix.

  18. I use old dryer sheets to wrap them up

  19. Interesting!!!! Will check it out and get back to you!!!! (after it cools down enough for a fire!!)

  20. Margo Dingmann says

    I make something similar to these as well, the only thing I do different is instead of using wax paper on the outside I use wax to seal the ends from my scentsy pots .On one end I seal it completely on the other end I add a 1-2 inch candle wick then seal it with wax. (ordered the candle wick from amazon) have found these to store easier and burn better. And the best part is I am recycling paper tubes, dryer lint and wax .

  21. Judy D. Black says

    On the video it said “DON”T” recycle you TP tubes. Isn’t that what you’re doing Or am I missing something ?(wouldn’t be a first) LOL

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hahaha, ohhhh I understand your confusion! The program I use to make videos limits how much text I can use…but what I meant by that was “Don’t toss your TP tubes in your recycling bin!”. But yeah, I see exactly where you’re coming from!!

  22. What a great idea!

  23. Thanks!! I will try it outdoors, thinking of adding dry lavender sprigs to fight off mosquitoes!!!


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