If you’re looking for a quick and simply way to start a fire, you’ve come to the right place.
In This Video I show you how i make my Vaseline soaked cotton ball fire starter. It’s simple, cheap and effective fire starter.
How Do Petroleum Jelly Cotton Ball Fire Starters Work?
Petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum) is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, which form a semisolid jelly-like substance. This product hasn’t changed much since Robert Augustus Chesebrough discovered it in 1859.
As the name implies, petroleum jelly contains petroleum — the same petroleum that’s used in oil-based products. In the form of jelly, it’s not flammable, it doesn’t evaporate, and it won’t run. All pluses.
But things change when you add it to a cotton ball. The heat of the burning cotton melts the petroleum jelly. At this point, the petroleum jelly still doesn’t start burning. That’s a critical point. If the petroleum jelly were flammable, the whole blob would go up in flame and burn itself out almost instantly.
So basically what’s happening is once the Vaseline melts, the cotton ball starts wicking it like a candle wicks melted wax. As the liquid petroleum jelly rises to the tip of the cotton fibers, it starts boiling and giving off a gas. This gas then burns in a very controlled, sustained flame. During this stage, the cotton ball no longer burns, just the gas. Why? Because the cotton ball is saturated with liquid petroleum jelly, and petroleum jelly doesn’t burn. Only the boiling gas burns.
Vaseline-soaked cotton balls are a key component of my fire-making supplies. Being prepared is a huge part of wilderness survival and getting a fire started is one of the top survival priorities. A good fire can warm a shelter, purify water, and cook food.
Vaseline-soaked cotton balls have proven valuable more than once during a downpour. I have tried many different types of store bought emergency fire tinders, and although they may work to some degree, they just don’t hold up to the wind and rain like Vaseline-soaked cotton balls.
Not only will Vaseline-soaked cotton balls pretty much guarantee you a fire in some of the worst conditions, but they are lightweight and compact too.
So, how do I make them? You may be asking….
Well, you’re in luck because that is exactly what I am about to show you.
Handful of cotton balls
Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly)
Container to Store The Soaked Cotton Balls