Make Matches Waterproof With Nail Polish

Make Matches Waterproof With Nail Polish

Once they are wet, matches are useless. As a precaution while camping or for any other use, waterproof matches are the way to go. No need to buy special matches though, Food Storage And Survival shows how to make your own with some nail polish.

Paint the match heads with fingernail polish. They need to be thoroughly covered. I like to go down the stick just a bit as well. You can also dip them into the bottle of fingernail polish, just blot them off on the edge of the jar on their way out — you don’t need them drowned in polish, just coated.

The blog notes that this can be a messy process, so it’s best to roll out some newspapers and do your project on that. Once you’re done coating the matches, let them dry completely with their edges hanging off, like in the photo above.

How To Waterproof Matches [Food Storage And Survival via WonderHowTo]


  • Given nail polish is designed to be durable, how easy is it to scrape off and expose the match’s surface so it lights?

    A more traditional waterproofing method is to dip in molten wax. When cool, the match is waterproof and the coating can be easily scraped off with a fingernail.

    • Agreed. Light a candle, drip some wax, dip the match heads so they are coated to a few mm. Less fumes and easier to fix if you spill some, than if you are using nail polish.

    • The link at the bottom of the article lists both methods, wax first. It says you don’t need any special work to light the nail polish protected matches, just strike them as normal. They’d probably last better for longer too- wax will melt and drip away over time in warm weather.

Log in to comment on this story!