Already saw some youtube video where they lit a camp fire with glycerol and potassium permanganate and tried those but the amount of the stuff you need to create enough heat is just too much.

So is there a way to light a candle with small amount of something and something, like having the candle wick dipped/powdered with something and then just letting it get into contact with something else?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Well, you could coat the head of the candle with phosphorous and then scrape it against a rough surface...but that would basically be a match. $\endgroup$
    – chipbuster
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ What is wrong with matches? A small amount of chemicals applied to a small stick to create fire in a safe way... $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


Safety and ability to light a fire, as far as I understand, directly contradict each other. What starts a fire on your wish, would occasionally start a fire against your wish. The glycerol/sulfuric acid/permanganate recipe, like it or not, is probably the safest of all.

Others include:

  • White phosphorus, not only flammable but also severely toxic by itself.
  • Butyllithium and many other organometallic compounds that would ignite instantly on air; that's not quite what you want, anyway.
  • Hydrogen against platinum black (danger of explosion).

I definitely would not try any of these at home.


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