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How to Make a Fuel-Free Reusable Lighter Using a Floor Mop (With Pictures)

Perfect for anyone who likes to do things in life cheaper, smarter and more environmentally friendly.


A Homemade Tool

While incarcerated (a long story) for a very short time, I soon learned the art of many things, including how to split one matchstick into four. And how to light a cigarette without a match or a butane-gas or petrol lighter.

I would use a home (prison) made lighter that would work in the windiest of weathers, and last a lifetime...ish, which was handy for those who were actually serving life!

1. What you need is as simple as ABC.

A. Three strands of a mop head. How do I know if I have the right mop head material? Set it on fire, then immediately blow it out. If it extinguishes, it's no good. If it continues to burn like embers of a coal or wood fire, regardless of how hard you try to blow it out, then it's perfect. (as shown in the thumbnail image above)

B. A Clipper flint barrel.

C. A thin metal or hard/thick plastic or metallic tube and large enough to fit the Clipper lighter flint barrel inside.

2. Plait the three mop strands together


2. Plait the three mop strands together: First, tie the three strands to together in a knot at the end, then plait (similar to plaiting/braiding hair). If you don't have anyone to hold the end for you, use a heavy weight (as shown above) or place the knot end inside a heavy drawer to hold in place while you plait. Ensure to plait as tight as possible to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Then tie a knot at the bottom. (as shown below)


3. Making the lighter holder


3. Making the lighter holder: Make your lighter holder by cutting your desired tube into two pieces. Ensure each piece is 2 inches (5.08 cm) long. Too short and the Clipper barrel won't fit. Too long is just pointless.

4. Add the three components together: Stick the two tubes together using either glue, sticky tape and/or cotton. Whatever you like, as long as they are firmly stuck together. If the clipper barrel is too large for the tube, wrap some tape around it to make it fit firmly in place.

5. Priming the wick


5. Priming the wick: The only way the lighter (wick) will work is by priming the wick first, by setting fire to the end. Then blow out the flame and suffocate the smoking end inside the tube. The 'blackened' stuff is what is needed to help light your new lighter when struck with the flint. The more black stuff that is on the end, the easier it will be to light.

6. How to use/light it


6. How to use/light it: When striking the flint, use your finger or thumb (depending on how you hold the lighter) to gently push the blacked end as close to the flint as possible while blowing on it. Blowing helps ignite the wick/mop. Once alight, it will not go out unless you pull it back down inside the tube to suffocate it. To ensure the burning end does not accidentally slip out of the tube while inside your pocket and continue to smoke (burn), you can use an elastic band to hold in place.

Congratulations! You have just made a 100% fuel-free, windproof, flameless lighter. Perfect for camping — as a survival tool — or back-up when you run out of butane or petrol for your usual lighter.

What else can I use instead of metal or plastic tubes? Make your own case/lighter by using a small piece of wood (or metal) then cut into a small block (as seen in image above). Make two holes and add your design and you're good to go.

What else can I use instead of a floor mop as fuel? As long as they "burn" correctly, you can use other materials, including rope or sting. Rope: If the rope it too thick, pull the strands apart until the size/strands are suitable. String: If the string is too thin, add as many lengths of string together until their wide enough to plait.

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