How to Waterproof Matches with Nail Polish

How to Waterproof Matches with Nail Polish
Skip the wax. Learn how to waterproof matches using nail polish.


Learn how to waterproof matches
Skip the wax. Learn how to waterproof matches using nail polish. [Image via]
Learning how to waterproof matches correctly is worth the time. Store-bought waterproof matches can be expensive. It's more cost-effective to learn how to waterproof matches and do it yourself, then add the results to your home survival kit or mini outdoors survival kit.

However, don't go reaching for a brick of wax. Here's how to waterproof matches in an unexpected way.

How to Waterproof Matches with Nail Polish

The common perception for waterproofing stick matches is to dip your “strike anywhere” match heads into wax as a preventative to water penetration. Though this method works, there are two reasons this is very difficult to do successfully.

First of all, not many of us want to melt down a candle or a bar of wax for coating a few matches.

Secondly, there is the chance that the wax may become too hot in its liquid stage and ignite the match. In times of crisis it may also be extremely difficult to successfully scrape away the wax in order to ignite the match.

An easier and more practical way to waterproof your “stick matches” is with an application of a heavy coating of clear nail polish over the match head and down the wood stick. Don’t forget to coat the bottom of the matchstick.

Think of it as the same method in which you would waterproofing your deck. Clear nail polish will seal the match head and coat the wood to prevent penetration of any moisture. Clear nail polish applies easily and dries quickly. After allowing time to dry the coated matches can be securely stowed with your survival gear.

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  1. Seems someone wants to re-invent the wheel 🙁 Finger nail polish is good for a lot of things even holding small screws in place. Water proof matches, yes it would do that just fine, however what the author failed to think about is using the match a week or a year later. Hard brittle polish covering the match head what happens when you strike the match, the brittle polish flies off and you are holding a bare match stick 🙁 The comment about hot wax igniting a match head is more bull. Candle wax, beeswax, I suspect that even shoe polish might work.


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