How to Start a Fire With Household Items

How to Start a Fire With Household Items

Do you need to start a fire for heat, cooking, or just for fun, but don’t have regular fire-starting equipment? It can be a real problem, but there are actually many ways out there of starting a fire using some regular household items.

Starting a Fire With Household Items – Making a Flame or Sparks

You will need some kind of flame, spark, heat source, or strong magnified light source to light anything on fire. You might have matches or a lighter, but you also might not. So, how do you get something lit in the event that you are short on matches or a lighter?

1. A Glass Lens

One of the best ways to start a fire using household items is some sort of glass lens. You might have started fires as a kid using a magnifying glass — same method here. All you have to do is use the magnifying glass to catch the sunlight, and then direct that beam of concentrated light onto some dry tinder. It might take a minute, but you should be able to achieve a decent flame doing this. If you do not have a magnifying glass, you may be able to use the lenses from glasses or a mirror to achieve the same result.

2. Flint and Steel

The next way to create a fire using household items is by using flint and steel. These may or may not be household items, but many people do have these items laying around. Here, you need to use the steel to strike the flint to make a spark. You also need some really dry tinder to catch that spark, which through some light blowing, you can fan into a full flame. This can be hard to accomplish, especially in windy conditions, but it is an option to try.

3. Friction Fire

Have you ever seen those outdoor survival shows where people using 2 pieces of wood to make a fire simply by rubbing them against each other? All you need here is a base piece of wood with a small hole or indent drilled or dug into it. You will then use a stick, which fits in that hole, hold the stick in between your hands, and turn it back and forth as fast as you can. This friction will create heat, which will then create a fire.

It is essential that you have some sort of thin and dry tinder sitting atop of the hole where the stick is being turned, as you will need to catch this on fire using the heat and sparks generated through the friction below.

4. Battery and Lightbulb

One really ingenious method of making a fire using household materials is to use a battery and a light bulb. Here, you will need a basic incandescent lightbulb and a large D battery. Smash the lightbulb so the filaments on the inside are exposed. Then, take the plug end of the lightbulb and touch them to the negative and positive terminals of the battery, which will then heat up the tungsten filament you exposed before. The heat generated here is more than enough to light some drying kindling or tinder.

5. Battery and Steel Wool

Another method you can follow to make a fire using household items is by using a D battery and steel wool. All you need to do here is to loosen up some steel wool, so it’s not packed together too tightly, then touch the battery terminals to the steel wool. This should create a short circuit with extreme heat, and it should be more than enough to set the steel wool on fire. Then, simply touch the burning steel wool to some dry tinder, and you have a fire.

6. Battery and Foil Wrapper

The other method you can follow to make a fire using household items is by using an AA or AAA battery with a foil wrapper, like a gum foil wrapper. You want to cut the foil wrapper into little strips and then twist it in the middle, so it looks kind of like a bow tie. You then want to touch the foil wrapper to the battery terminals on each end. The current should then set the wrapper on fire.


There you have it — 6 ways to easily start a fire using household materials. You should be able to find the materials in your home for at least one of these ingenious fire starting methods.

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