3 Ways to Make DIY Waterproof Matches

The perfect match can withstand any natural disaster – winds, rain, earthquakes. Here are 3 ways to make your own DIY waterproof matches that will last for years!

“What are waterproof matches made of” is the question that many people ask themselves. There are 3 different ways to make DIY waterproof matches. Read more in detail here: what are waterproof matches made of.

Matchsticks scattered out from a plastic bottle.

When you’re out in the woods, every hiker or backcountry adventurer understands that having the correct equipment to build a fire is essential. If you go with matches, be sure you have a mechanism to keep them safe. Waterproof matches aren’t hard to come by, but they might be pricey at your local outdoor shop. And, if you’re packing your belongings the night before a vacation and realize you’re missing anything, there’s a good chance you won’t have time to hurry to the shop.

For the well-prepared and cost-conscious outdoorsman, knowing how to waterproof ordinary matches is a vital skill. Turpentine, nail paint, and candle wax are three traditional techniques for keeping your matches from water. When matches are soaked in turpentine and then dried, the resin penetrates the wood, making it water resistant. Matches are similarly protected by nail polish and candle wax, which cover the match head in a waterproof coating. It’s a question of personal choice and what you have on hand when deciding which waterproofing technique to apply. We’ll go through each of the three possibilities in detail below.  

It’s ideal to start with strike-anywhere matches, regardless of the approach you choose. They may be lighted on any rough surface, but strike-on-box matches must be ignited by the phosphorous strip on the matchbox. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.


 Matches, masking tape, turpentine, small metal, nail polish, candles and small container for storage displayed.

  • Matches where you may strike at any time
  • Newspaper
  • Tape for masking
  • Turpentine
  • Container made of metal or glass.
  • Colored nail polish
  • Candle(s)
  • Storage container of a small size

3 Ways to Make Waterproof Matches at Home

Turpentine Method No. 1 

Matches poured in turpentine and a phone is placed with it.

Protect your work surface with newspaper before working with turpentine, and make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated environment. Turpentine is a volatile and poisonous paint thinner. It’s difficult to breathe the fumes, and they may readily damage wood or painted surfaces.

Fill a small glass or metal container halfway with turpentine. Plastic should not be used since turpentine is powerful enough to chew through it. Toss a handful of matches into your container once it’s full. Set a timer for five minutes and wait for the matches to absorb all of the turpentine.

Remove the matches after five minutes and place them on paper to dry. You may use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. They’re ready to keep and use after they’ve completely dried.

2. Use of Nail Polish

Closeup view of matchstick dipped in nail polish.

Except for the problem of picking a color (what goes best with woodland pine? ), the nail polish procedure is extremely simple. Any nail polish will work, however glittery ones should be avoided. Matches may burn unevenly and ignite as a result of the glitter.

Prepare your work space by placing a piece of paper around the table’s edge. Dip your matches one at a time into the nail polish, letting the excess drop out before laying them out to dry.

Five matchsticks dipped in nailpolish being displayed.

Place the match’s base on the table with the painted side poised over the edge to enable it to dry evenly. While the painted side of the match dries, you may find it simpler to keep the base of the match down with a piece of tape, sticky side up. You may also use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process if you’re in a hurry. 


Scrape off a little of the polish to show the head when using nail polish matches, then use as usual.

3. Using Candle Wax 

Matchstick getting dipped in candle wax.

Light an old candle or a few tea lights, then wait a few minutes for a puddle of wax to form. One at a time, dip the head of your matches into the wax, turning to ensure uniform covering. Allow for 20 seconds of drying time after removing them from the wax before placing them down. 

Scrape a little amount of wax from the head and use as usual.


Matches scattered out from a bottle.

Use a solid, tiny container to keep your waterproof matches, such as an old film canister or an empty spice bottle. Every additional layer of protection means you won’t be caught off guard on the trail without a dry match. If strike-anywhere matches aren’t available, be sure to add a phosphorous strip from a matchbox in your container.



Watch This Video-

The “how to make wax matches” is a DIY project that allows users to create their own waterproof matches. The process for creating the DIY matches is difficult and requires some practice, but it’s worth it in the end.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a match waterproof?

A: Please contact the manufacturer of your device and ask them.

How do you make fire proof matches?

A: To make fire proof matches, you need to get a matchbook and pour some white glue on the pages. Then use a lighter or candle so that it melts down into the book. If you ignite these matches, they will not burn because of all the fireproof glues stick together

How do you make a homemade wax match?

A: To make a homemade wax match, you will need to use either beeswax or paraffin. You can also use carnauba. Melt the materials together in a pot over low heat until they are liquid and then pour into each mold as needed to fill them up completely. Pour it back on top of the mixture after filling so that nothing sticks out from inside of your matches when dry. Put a small piece of paper towel next to where you poured the melted material for easy cleanup later on

Related Tags

  • strike anywhere matches
  • how to keep matches dry
  • diy waterproof match container
  • diy matches