Homemade Waterproof Matches: Fingernail Polish vs. Candle Wax

Angelina river camping trip

Homemade waterproof matches, which is best, fingernail polish or wax, and should we use strike on box or strike anywhere matches? In a recent article we talked about Homemade Waterproof Matches: Strike Anywhere vs. Strike on Box Matches, which seemed to create more questions than it answered. In that article several of the strike anywhere matches failed to light. Some of the strike anywhere matches had their heads break off while others just failed to ignite.

I decided to repeat the experiment but this time with a newly opened box of strike on box and strike anywhere matches. Both boxes have been stored in a closet here at the house for around a decade, but unopened. A week before the experiment both boxes were opened with 10 matches from each box used in the experiment. Five matches from each box were dipped in fingernail polish, and five matches from each box were dipped in candle wax. When we say “unopened”, each box was still in its factory sealed cellophane wrapper.

For the test, the homemade waterproof matches were dipped in water for at least five seconds. Some of the matches were dipped for around 10 – 15 seconds. The strike on box was used for its corresponding type of match. The striker on the strike on box matches was used for the strike on box matches, and the strike on the strike anywhere matches was used for the strike anywhere matches. However, we made sure the matches would strike on the other box. The strike anywhere matches were lit on the strike on box striker.

After dipping the matches in water for at least five seconds, I felt the strike on box matches gave a more constant result than the strike anywhere matches. A couple of the strike anywhere matches failed to ignite, where none of the strike on box matches failed to light. A rough estimate, around 90% of the strike anywhere matches worked, as compared to 100% of the strike on box matches worked.

Final results suggest we should make homemade waterproof matches from strike on box matches, and use candle wax.