How to Start a Fire with Household Items (GUIDE)

Fire has been an essential component in the evolution of man; for instance, during the Stone Age, fire was used in different ways, from cooking and communication to protection against wild animals.

Without fire, life would have been impossible for mankind. Starting a fire is easy today, following a few basic instructions, such as using lighters or matches. However, how do you start a fire with household items?

This article will explore various ways to start a fire with household items. Also, exploring the basic knowledge associated with fire..

How to Start a Fire with Household Items


Matches are the most familiar, straightforward, and easily accessible lighting items in the house.

Matches are made of small wooden sticks with flammable components attached at one end.

To make fire, you must strike the chopsticks against the rough surface; the tip ignites, producing a flame.


Another important way a fire can be started is through a lighter. A lighter contains flammable gases like butane and sparking mechanisms.

You need to press the button or rotate the wheel to produce light. The gas is released, and the spark ignites it, creating a flame.

Petroleum Jelly And Cotton Ball

Putting petroleum jelly on a cotton ball makes a fire starter that can easily catch fire and burn for a long time.

You only need a little bit of petroleum jelly on the cotton ball.

This is helpful for camping or emergencies when you need a fire starter you can depend on.

See related: Best Fire Starter for Wet Weather


Is it true that it loses its meaning after reading a newspaper or magazine? That cannot be undoubtedly true as newspapers have other uses.

Paper may consist of newspaper or cardboard. Papers or newspapers are common in every household, and getting hold of it.

Papers are commonly used to make a fire in many households.

This method of starting a fire does not require skills; you only need to roll the pieces of paper together to form small paper sticks; some prefer folding them.

Place them in the desired place where fuel is and ignite it. Newspaper light easily with simple steps, you are ready to make yourself fire.

Dryer Lint Starter

The dryer lint fire starter is another simple way to start a fire using household items.

To make a fire using dryer lint, gather the tinder or kindling materials; for efficient burning, ensure the materials used are dry enough to sustain the fire.

Dryer lint does not require a lot of energy to carry as they are not heavy, making it the best for camping and hiking adventures.

How To Start A Fire With Household Items Without A Lighter

Starting a fire without a lighter can be challenging but vital in places where fire-making is paramount, for example, outdoor activities like family entanglement or camping.

Although it is crucial to understand the safety and precaution associated with making a fire, having alternative knowledge on how to start a fire is very valuable.

So, here are some of the ways to start fire household items without a lighter.

Magnifying Glass

Magnifying glass is one of the unexpected ways discovered to make fire.

The discovery shows that to make fire, one needs to concentrate the sunlight rays in one place.

This increases the temperatures of the target, causing it to form smoke.

When it starts to smoke, gently blow until it produces a flame.

Making fire using a magnifying glass is very easy, but the rate it will be made depends on the amount of sunlight directed at it.

Batteries and steel wool

When preparing a fire with steel wool and battery, you need to use steel wool to touch the battery’s terminals; due to much exposure to heat, the steel wool will heat up and ignite.

Prepare a tinder to catch the generated sparks and turn them into flames.

Flint And Steel

This is one of the ancient methods of starting a fire; this is a free way to start a fire without a lighter.

Striking a piece of steel against flint or any hard rock generates sparks that can ignite the fuel.

For faster lighting, it is advisable to use dry leaves or wood shavings to make your tinder.

Using Friction

Friction is one of the traditional ways of starting a fire. However, starting a fire with friction requires a lot of energy, and this method also requires many skills and experience.

To start, you have to create a bow and a string between the two ends of a flexible string.

Put the dry pieces together and use the bow to rapidly sew back and forth, causing a spindle to rotate against the fireboard.

The friction should generate enough heat to ignite the tinder.

Bow And Drill

This particular method of starting fire requires friction; it involves the rotation of an arched bow against a piece of wood. The higher the friction, the higher the temperatures.

The arched bow is attached to a spindle with a spring. Gather some dry leaves or fine wooden materials.

While the bow rotates back and forth, it will create enough heat to ignite the kindling.

Understanding The Basics Of Fire

To successfully start a fire, three essential components are needed: heat, fuel, and oxygen, commonly called a fire triangle.

If one of the three components is removed, the fire will not continue to burn.


Heat is the first element required to make a fire; energy is an important component in raising the temperatures of a material to the point where it will start to burn.

Heat can be introduced to household items through various sources, including sparks, magnifying glasses, or open flames.


Fuel is any material that can burn.

It can include things like wood, paper, fabrics, plastics, flammable liquids, cooking oil, and rubber, among other flammable materials.

Some fuel materials catch fire faster, such as tinder-dry leaves or paper.

Small wooden sticks or twigs can be kindled to catch fire from the burning fuel.

Larger logs of wood can sustain the fire for a long time.


Oxygen is the third element necessary for a fire to exist.

The environment’s surroundings us is made up of 21% of oxygen. The oxygen present in th atmosphere is enough to support burning.

In this case, oxygen is an oxidizing agent, enabling the fuel to undergo combustion, releasing heat from light and other chemicals.

A fire cannot burn without oxygen. However, when using household items to make fire, ensure the tinder or materials you use gets enough oxygen to allow uniform burning.