How to Reuse Old Corks as Fire Starter

I can now finally answer the question, What should I do with all of these leftover wine corks? While browsing Pinterest the other day, I came across a brilliant idea to use wine corks as fire starter. I saved it to my Pin board Glamping – Need to Try, wondering if it would be another Pinterest Fail, but alas, it was not.

  • First, take an empty, sealed container. A mason jar works well.


  • Fill it with your selected corks.


Don’t overfill. They expand and you’ll have trouble getting them out. 

  • Grab some rubbing alcohol at the drug store. 90% is recommended, but this is what the store had and so I went with it.


  • Fill her up!



  • Slip the jar lid back on and store it in the pantry for a few days, giving the corks time to absorb all the booze.  (I let mine soak a week, but you can do 3-4 days.)


How handy is this jar to throw in your campout bag?

When it’s time to start the fire, open the jar and grab a few corks.


Mine were all bloated and crammed together, as you can see, so getting them out required some maneuvering.


Place them in your desired fire location. Here, I’m using a metal cylinder in my grill. If you’re building a campfire, you can place them at the base of the fire underneath your kindling.

Next, add the “kindling.”


My kindling here is an old shopping bag.

Seriously, what does it say about me that I have shopping bags and wine corks laying around the house?

  • Next, I turned the cylinder over so I could fill it with coals.



  • Then I filled the cylinder with coals.
  • If you’re using these corks on a campfire or don’t have a cylinder, simply stack the corks, kindling, and logs in that order.


  • Then, light the kindling.


  • Light it good!


  • Almost at once, your corks and kindling should ignite and the corks will sustain a flame.


Go little corks!


  • Watch it burn.


  • At this point, turn the cylinder over and dump the coals into the grill. Wear a mitt so you don’t burn yourself. Make children and pets stand back.
  • If you’re using these over a campfire, just watch ’em burn and add logs as needed!



Now you’re ready to grill burgers and roast marshmallows. The only question left is, What do I do when I run out of wine corks? 

I think I have some girlfriends who can help me with that…

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