Dryer Lint Fire Starter?

The following was forwarded to me by someone who knows what I sometimes use as a fire starter.

Sounds sorta like an urban legend…


“I wanted to let you and the other readers know…unless you use all organic clothing DO NOT USE DRYER LINT for firestarters. The inorganic fibers and dyes and the treatments that can be put on the materials can be highly toxic to people and the environment. I highly recommend to not do this. I am a Girl Scout leader and they have been trying to dissuade people from doing this for a long time. Some alternatives are pencil shavings and wax in egg cartons, a broken taper about an inch long wrapped several times in wax paper like a candy, an empty tuna can with a coil of cardboard and wax inside. Just no dryer lint!!! ~Mary”

You would think that there was a worldwide epidemic of lint bonfires visible from space fueled with unnatural fibers.

Sounds like a case of extreme political correctness, bred from good intentions but not grounded in reality.


Commom Sense…
Pencils contain linseed oil and chemicals in the paint…Tuna cans W/cardboard and wax release chemicals as well…Egg cartons, if not the cardboard ones are made from chemicals…they are after all, FOAM…

Fire is a Chemical Change in progress…no matter what you are burning.

DON’T use
dryer lint or discard your orange peels! Sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me. A small amount of dryer lint shouldn’t be any more harmful than any other sythetic material you are buring. Most of my clothes are cotton. I could see it being a small problem if you are burning rayon lint though.

Mary would hate to know
what they burn in the medical waste incinerators.

What about beer cans? Is it OK to burn beer cans and orange peels?

Someone in Florida recieved a 550,000.00 award for orange peels to methanol. http://renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=24225

OHHHHHHHh Girl scouts
well it just seems a bit over protective. I use natural cotton balls and dryer lint mixed. I LOVE the cotten from the top of my grandmother’s pills (I think it was Tylenol Arthritis with about thre inches worth) Now does Mary worry about burning the petrolium jelly? it is worse than deisel fuel. how about throwing the lint away? does it go into a plastic bag into a landfill, or into a paper sak, then the lint can slowly leach chemicals into the water supply, but poision micro-organisims along the way (the ones breaking down biodegrateable garbage, not the ones that were poisoned before by the toxic rain from burning) And really how many campers are using this method? How much can there really be as a polutant? As for me and my friends kids around the fire…the cardboard egg carton cup, half full of lint and Vasalene will not be concerning me as far a poisoning my dinner, it is a starter, not a fuel.

Maybe I should use wax dipped pine cones. that would only alter ecosystems in a minor way by affecting growth cycle of trees, food supply for animals, and the rebuilding of soils. maybe I will go cut cotton wood trees to carry thier fiberous limbs around to create kindling.

I will be sticking with my plastic bag with lint and cotton and the like in it. I am not afraid. My poisoning of the environment will equal out with my car pooling to work, then running the 2.6 miles home. Maybe I will start shreding my Serria Club corespondance to fuel my fire starters, or something. Or maybe I will just be too afraid that my camping will be negitively effecting the world, so i will stop, and just add a room or two to my house and pick up some home fitness machines, I am sure that thier factories are environmentally sound, the trucks that ship them are burning home-made bio-deisel and that the big box store where I buy it is not wasting anything to have such a well lit, warm and safe building with 5 acres of parking and 32 foot celings.

Oh are you still reading this…I figured that you would be at another posing by the end of this rediculus rant.

Have fun out there and enjoy the GREAT (not pretty good) outdoors!


And I’ve been knitting little sweaters
for my poodles out of lent. Jeez, I feel stupid.

Dryer lint will cause an environmental
calamity in areas already weakened by orange peels!


– Last Updated: Jan-08-06 6:38 PM EST –

I guess I'll go back to starting fires by lighting farts.

Orange Peels?
I have to ask. What’s the pun about orange peels? Is it an inside joke?


I would not use dryer lint either
Belly button lint has been proven safe, reliable, and always available.

Inorganic Materials ?
The person who wrote this does not have a clue about the synthetic materials used in clothing. It’s absolute hogwash.

We use Yak dung !
There are two choices naturally!

When we are in the Everglades we use alligator excriment, but sometimes it is hard squeezing those gators.

Up in Ak we would shoot a charging Brown bear, , then take a tuft of it’s hair and use that. If you miss the bear with your first shot, then you pick up the trail of stuff that you left behind and use that.

Here in the south, we always invite a red neck along and there is usually a ample supply of “bacci” juice that you can dry out and use.

I personnaly have reached the age where I say to hell with the fire, and as soon as it gets dark crawl into my sleeping bag and dream of tomorrows paddling.



belly button lint …
harder to collect and you don’t get much each time … but if you save a bunch of it, this my friends, is the ultimate fire starter. all manner of stuff is in there which can be burned with impunity. if fact, alot of what’s in there should definitely be burned … with or without impunity.

moreover, you can share with friends … sort of a belly button lint reverie if you will. you can tell stories of what this little piece of lint is, how it got in that little place on yer belly, and what it means to you.

scotch goes good with this.

All sarcasm aside folks, I am wondering about burning plastics. I always used to, without a second thought. You see, where I grew up (rural), that is what they did at the dump. As such, I figured it was no diffirent if I did. Then I heard about PCB’s bonding to molecules of plastics, an then bio-magnifying through the food chain. It seems that animals high up on the food chain have the highest levels of these toxins in their tissue. I have even heard that dead Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence are treated as toxic waste.

Does anybody know what sorts of plastics are particularly harmful (I would avoid buying them and burning them) and which, if any are benign?

Also, just to try to balance things out - keep your orange peels away from my pristine campsite (and, even more so, your broken glass and charred beer cans)

there have been several debates here regarding the biodegradeable qualities (or lack thereof), of orange peels, thus the ethics of their disposal in the natural world comes into play.

I believe this concern is addressed in the latest version of the Patriot Act :wink:


Belly button lint…
I can’t imagine how I would survive if I had an outie!

I have used Dryer lint!
I was a Scoutmaster, and we used all of the above. We dipped cotton balls, and or dryer lint into melted wax, and made really great fire starters.

Another thing we did was to take the wooden matches that you could strike anywhere. We tied about 10-12 of them together with string, and dipped them into wax. We left the string about 8" long, and used that as a handle to dip the entire bundle into the wax. You could strike the end of the match on a rough surface, and when one match lit the rest of them lit too. Dipping the entire bundle in wax, kept them very waterproof.

We never tried belly button lint :). But what ever you do, don’t use “Fromunda Cheeze”. it makes a smelly fire starter.

If you don’t already know. “Fromunda Cheeze” is what you dig out from under your toe nails! :slight_smile: Ugh! :slight_smile:

Happy Pyro!

Olive Oil Soaked Paper Is The 'Bomb’
Burns long and gets the job done.

Plastic burning
is a large cause of death during structure fires. The smoke is toxic. In commercial buildings with suspended ceilings, that sometimes do double duty as return air plenums, the National Electric Code requires a special Plenum Rated cable for use in the space. A little poly dryer lint outdoors probably won’t hurt anyone unless they melt it to their fingers or hang their face over it and inhale. I don’t mess around with that crap to make a fire. Try using a portable propane torch, and a bottle of compressed air with a chip blower nozzle. One starts the fire and the other acts as a superbellows. No Problems.