Most people might answer that lint and old candles are trash, and they're right, to a point. But they can have a second life, offering themselves up as a sacrificial victim to fire.
Well, that's dramatic, isn't it?
Here's what I mean, really: old candles and your dryer lint can be used to make firestarters. Our state parks in West Virginia have something similar available to people who rent cabins: a cake of wax with what looks like sawdust mixed in, waiting in a basket on the mantel for quick and easy fire starting. I found out how to make a slightly different version on Facebook, and it really does work--and uses two things I would otherwise toss in the trash.
The process is simple. First, plan ahead by saving dryer lint and your old candles, or find used candles at thrift stores and yard sales. I got a bundle of about 20 candles for $1.00 last summer. Most of them weren't nice enough for using in the house, but they were perfect for this project.
1. Melt the candles in a double boiler or other pan. Remove the wicks and toss--or you can use them as I did, cutting them into short lengths to use as lighting wicks for the firestarters.
5. Clean up your mess! Wax is tricky to clean off utensils and pans, but try putting them in the freezer until the wax is hard, then take out and let them sit for a bit. The wax will usually peel right off.
It's that simple. I made 24 the other day in about 15 minutes, using the egg box method. Before Christmas I made them for gifts using the small tart-size cupcake liners and putting the cakes into old blue quart jars with zinc lids.
Now I'm on the hunt for more old candles. I have plenty of starters made for the fireplace, but it will soon be firepit season, you know!
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.