Do It Yourself, Fire-Starting Material

Make Your Own Waterproof Matches

The good old waterproof match – the use is in the name. Soon, we will be posting a tutorial on how to make strike anywhere matches, and we will also apply the waterproofing to them. We will present two different methods of waterproofing matches: the wax method and the nail polish method. Both wax and nail polish are completely effective, however the wax method has some drawbacks…so we prefer the nail polish method. We will list the pro’s and con’s of both after their instructions.

Nonetheless, both of these waterproofing methods are cheaply made by yourself, saving you a lot of money. Both wax and nail polish is also easy to come by and especially nail polish is often overlooked. In time, we will elaborate more on the uses of nail polish in survival, but for now, back to business.

Method 1: Wax

Difficulty Level: 0 out of 5

You Will Need:

– Matches
– Candle

You can use any candle type, however we prefer the standard candle.

Matches 2.1
We exchanged this white candle for a black candle to assist visibility in the photos.

Step 1:

Light the candle. (Irony).

Step 2:

Take a match in your hand and if you are using a candle like ours, drip it over the head of the match as well as about 1 and a half centimeters of the body. Be sure to cover it evenly, yet not too much on the tip especially. If you are using a tea light or a jar candle, let the wax pool by the wick, then dip the match in the wax. Let dry. You may also melt wax in a holder and do the same. Quite franjly, you can cover the whole match in wax if you so choose, hell, when you don’t have any other choice, you can use your own earwax – gross but a means to an end. Any wax will do.

Matches 2.2
Make sure to cover the head properly.

Step 3:

And you’re done. Store your completed matches in a waterproof container for further water retardation. Before use, scrape the wax off of the head of the match and from a bit of the body.


Method 2: Nail Polish

Difficulty Level: 0 out of 5

You Will Need:

– Matches
– Any nail polish. We personally like using bright red for this, adding to their visibility for night time.

Matches 1.1

Step 1:

Take the match in your hand and lightly coat the head and half the body with the nail polish. Cover it properly, however, do not apply it so that it drips off. Remember, nail polish is highly flammable, so use your own discretion. Let dry.

Matches 1.2
As with the Wax Method, be sure to cover the head properly.

Step 2:

Strike the match as is without the need of scraping anything off. Note how the nail polish actually assists in fueling the flame. Also, store in a waterproof container for further security.

Matches 1.4
The nail polish lets the flame spread on the match much more than wax.

Pros and Cons:

We personally lean towards the nail polish version, as it grants greater protection to the match, aids in fueling the match flame, and the fact that you do not need to scrape off the nail polish when striking the match. The wax method is also fine, rather know it than not. Try out both and decide for yourself!


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