How to Light a Candle Without a Lighter: 5 Simple Hacks

Published February 16, 2021
Mature woman igniting candle on dining table

You can learn how to light a candle without a lighter. There are 5 easy and simple hacks you can use anytime to light a candle without a lighter. Practice how to light a candle without a lighter before an emergency situation. When you're familiar and have experience using any of these methods, you'll be able to face such a challenge with confidence.

1. How to Light a Candle Without a Lighter by Using a Match

The most obvious alternative to lighting a candle without a lighter is a match. This can be a stick match from a box of matches or one from a book of matches.

Using a Matchstick with a Matchbox

The stick match is easier to use since it offers excellent resistance when you strike it along the matchbox. Make sure you close the matchbox before attempting to strike the match.

Man igniting candles with matchsticks lighting up a candle
  1. Hold the matchstick about halfway along the stick between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Place the match head at one end of the striker.
  3. Keep a firm grip, you want to move the match head quickly down the length of the striker.
  4. When the match head ignites, move your grip to the stick end to keep your fingers away from the flame.
  5. Hold the lit match at the base of the match and light the candle wick.
  6. Blow out the match once the candle wick is lit.
  7. Don't throw the used match in the trash, in case the flame doesn't extinguish.
  8. You can run the burned match head underneath a facet to ensure the flame is extinguished.

Striking a Match Using a Matchbook

A matchbook contains paper matches that are part of the matchbook. Never attempt to strike a match without removing it from the matchbook since this can result in you setting the entire matchbook on fire.

  1. You will need to bend and remove one of the matches from the matchbook.
  2. Close the matchbook flap and secure it by tucking it underneath the striker located along the bottom of the matchbook.
  3. The paper match isn't as resistant as the matchstick, so be careful you don't burn your fingertips when striking it against the striker.
  4. Immediately light the candle wick and extinguish the match.

2. Use Heating Elements in Home Appliances to Light a Candle

You can use a heating element to light a candle. There are several types of heating elements, such as the one on your cooking range or stove/oven, toaster, toaster oven, and space heater. You should fill a bowl or glass with water to place near the candle to prevent setting anything on fire during the transfer of fire to your candle.

Gas cooker with burning flames propane gas and candle
  1. Turn the element on and set it to the high position.
  2. Once the element has heated, you can attempt to light the candle directly by moving the wick against the element.
  3. If the candle wick doesn't ignite and only smokes, you may need something to transfer fire to the wick.
  4. Choose a long unbroken piece of spaghetti. If you don't have any spaghetti, you can remove a long bristle from a natural bristle broom.
  5. Grip on end of the spaghetti and hold the other end against the element until it catches fire.
  6. Carefully use the burning spaghetti to light the candle wick.
  7. Extinguish the spaghetti flame in the bowl or glass of water.

3. Magnifying Glass and Tissue Paper

It is quick and easy to start a fire with a magnifying glass. You will need paper and a fireproof container, like a ceramic or glass bowl. The lighter the paper, the quicker it will ignite. Tissue paper is a lightweight paper that burns rapidly. You will need to sit near a window where direct sunlight is streaming through.

Merge sunlight with paper with a convex lens
  1. Crumple a portion of tissue paper and place it in the fireproof bowl.
  2. Position the magnifying glass between the stream of sunlight and the paper.
  3. Direct the light onto the crumpled tissue paper.
  4. The paper should quickly ignite.
  5. Move the candle to the burning paper to light the wick.
  6. If you're trying to light a jar candle, use a piece of spaghetti to serve as a match to light the wick. Be sure you properly extinguish the makeshift spaghetti match.

4. Household Battery and Aluminum Foil

You can use any household size battery for this method. You will need a strip of aluminum foil about ½" wide that is about two times longer than the length of the battery you're using. You can use part of a 100% cotton ball.

  1. Cut the aluminum foil and pinch it in the center, so it creates a V-shape.
  2. Tear a piece of cotton from the cotton ball and place around the wick.
  3. Hold one end of the aluminum strip over one end of the battery.
  4. Hold the other end of the aluminum strip on the opposite end of the battery.
  5. You now have a current of electricity running from one end of the aluminum foil to the other.
  6. Place the pinched center of the aluminum foil onto the cotton you placed around the wick.
  7. The cotton should ignite and set the wick on fire.
  8. The cotton should incinerate.

5. Flint Rod and Striker

You can use a flint rod and striker kit to set a piece of tinder on fire. It is best to do this outside to avoid a possible fire hazard in case the spark strikes something other than the tinder. You will need a fireproof tin or other container. You will place the tinder in the tin or container. The tinder can be anything that is dry and will easily ignite, such as dried leaves, dried moss, or a 100% cotton ball, crumpled up tissue paper, or steel wool. Most kits come with a sample of tinder.

A man makes a fire with a flint
  1. Set the fireproof tin or other container on a level surface.
  2. Place the tinder in the tin or other container.
  3. Hold the rod and striker in front of the tinder.
  4. Using the striker, strike it against the rod while you pull the rod toward you and away from the tinder. This ensures the spark falls onto the tinder and ignites it.
  5. Hold the candle so the wick touches the burning tinder to light it.
  6. Extinguish the tinder if it is still burning.

Learn How to Light a Candle Without a Lighter

It is easy to learn how to light a candle without a lighter. You can choose from 5 simple hacks for the one you're most comfortable using to light a candle.

How to Light a Candle Without a Lighter: 5 Simple Hacks