13 Ways to Start a Fire With Household Items

In this article, we won’t be focusing on alternative fire starting methods, such as flint and steel, ferro rods, or the hand drill.

Instead, let’s take a look at some items we all have in our homes that will burn easily.

A Battery and Steel Wool

To start a fire, just mix your steel wool with something that will catch fire quickly (dry grass, for example) and touch the steel wool with the battery connectors.

Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is flammable on its own, but it’s not that good of a fuel. Instead of just lighting it up, you should rub it into a cotton ball or a cloth and then light that up.


Crayons are made from two things: paraffin wax and paper. If you rip off the top part of the crayon and light it with matches or a lighter, it’ll burn for about 15 minutes.

Hand Sanitizer (and Other Alcohol)

Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, mostly ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Wouldn’t you know it, both of those alcohols are extremely flammable when used right.

Guitar Picks

Guitar pics are usually plastic, and you can use a knife or a box cutter to grate the edge of them. That way, you’ll get a lot of tiny plastic bits (they’re almost dust), which will catch fire easily.

Duct Tape

One of the most versatile tools known to man is also a great fire starter. Since it’s made from flammable plastics that burn slowly and are also covered in flammable glue, you can use duct tape to start and provide warmth for a fire.