4 easy ways to make your own fire starter


Light your fire with these simple, homemade starters.

Words: Nadene Hall

1. Dried orange peel

Orange peel is full of flammable oils. Dry wedges of peel on top of your fireplace or burner until hard. Add to kindling and light.

2. Ti kouka (cabbage tree)

The long, dry strappy leaves of the ti kouka are a nuisance for gardeners, and lawnmowers struggle to mulch them. However, they make great fire starters. Gather a few dry leaves, then:

■ tie them into a simple knot, or;
■ wrap them around your hand, then tie with another leaf, or;
■ roll them up and stuff them into a toilet roll inner. Place under kindling and light.

3. Toilet roll inner & dryer lint

Stuff dryer lint into cardboard toilet roll inners. Roll up in newspaper or waxed paper (if you have it) and twist off both ends. Place under kindling and light. TIP: for a lovely smell, stuff a cinnamon stick or herbs into the roll with the lint.

4. Cotton balls & petroleum jelly

Massage petroleum jelly into a cotton ball, but leave one part of the ball jelly-free so you can light it. Petroleum jelly isn’t flammable. However, when it gets hot, it melts and gives off a combustible gas, which will burn for 3-4 minutes.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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