Do you have a wood-burning stove? Fireplace, perhaps? You need these – quick, easy fire starters!
We have a wood-burning stove that we love. It is an efficient source of heat in the colder months.
The winters here are soooooooooooooooooo cold! Have I mentioned that before?
But cold and snowy outside can inspire warmth and coziness inside. Things like hot tea, soft blankets, and a blazing fire in the fireplace all offer comfort in the wintertime.
FIRE PLACE GENERAL TIPS
If you build a lot of fires, here are some general tips for you:
1- Make sure you maintain and clean your chimney. You can maintain the firebox by keeping it clean, but leaving about an inch of ash in the bottom. Call in the professionals for a proper chimney cleaning.
2- Stock up on firewood. Be sure to have enough firewood to get through the winter. Once the snow starts, it becomes less and less convenient to acquire firewood. Store it in a nicely dry area until you are ready to use it.
3- If you have a cast-iron wood-burning stove, check to see if you need to polish it or touch up the heat-resistant paint. This is best done in the Springtime, when your wood-burning season has come to a close.
4- Adhere to strong safety practices. Read the owner’s manual for your particular fireplace or stove. If it’s easier, consult an expert in your area with questions. Keep the area free of flammable decorative items such as: wood knick knacks, loosely flowing drapes, and/or carpet. Make sure you have up-to-date smoke alarms and CO2 alarms, with fresh batteries installed. A good tip from our neighborhood Fire Fighters is to change your batteries when you change your clocks. It’s a way of “re-charging” when you either “Fall backward” or “Spring forward!”
WE LOVE A COZY FIRE
As much as we love to sit by the fire, it’s not always easy to get the fire going in the first place.
And…..do you ever purchase those commercially made fire-starters? They often contain undesirable “ingredients!”
So today, I’m going to share with you how I very quickly and easily make fire-starters.
You will need an egg carton, soy wax, dryer lint and/or dried herbs, a saucepan for melting wax, some old newspaper, and a protected work surface.
Gather Your Supplies
First, you will need to gather up your supplies:
1- Egg carton – If you don’t have one of these, ask a neighbor or friend if they have one. It MUST be made of cardboard -absolutely NO plastic, Styrofoam, or other toxic material!
2- Soy wax – I like to use soy wax because it is plant-based and non-toxic. I find that it works really well.
3- Dryer lint – I know, ew – gross! But it works so well in terms of flammability! (That’s why you have to keep your dryer lint trap cleaned regularly!) If you don’t have or use a dryer, you can use bits of dried-up plant matter. In fact, if you have any dried herbs from your garden, that could work beautifully! I highly recommend lavender or mint, as a lovely aroma will be released while burning.
4- Pan to melt the wax – I like to use a pan that will not get used for cooking food. Who likes waxy bits in their food, anyway?
5- Protect your work surface – a counter top or table top – with newspapers or something comparable.
Make Your Fire Starters
QUICK, EASY FIRE STARTERS
1- Measure your wax. I do this by packing the egg carton with the wax, then putting it in the melting pot.
2- Evenly distribute bits of dryer lint and/or herbs in the egg carton.
3- Melt the wax.
4- Pour the wax over the egg carton bits.
5- Allow to cool and harden.
6- Break or cut apart and use to start your cozy fires!
***Farmhouse Tip – Give these as gifts! Maybe you have a holiday party to attend? Tuck 3-6 firestarters into a gift bag with colorful tissue paper and viola! You have a much-appreciated Host or Hostess gift! Don’t forget to let them know you made them yourself.
Let me know if you try this and how it works for you!
Give these quick, easy fire starters a try! And please leave a comment below about the things you use to start your fires in your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Enjoy your lovely, warm fire!
For more Winter thoughts, try this comforting oatmeal recipe.
For more fireplace safety tips, check out this article.