How To Make Matches In Nigeria

Table of Contents

How to Make Matches in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

In Nigeria, matches are a household item that is used daily for lighting stoves, candles, and lanterns. Matches are readily available in the market, but making them yourself can be a fun and cost-effective activity. In this article, we will guide you on how to make matches in Nigeria from scratch.

Materials Needed for Making Matches in Nigeria

Before we delve into the process of making matches, it's essential to gather all the materials needed. These materials include:

  • Matchstick splints
  • Potassium chlorate
  • Red phosphorus
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Gelatin
  • Water
  • Cardboard

It's important to note that safety precautions must be taken when handling some of these materials, especially the potassium chlorate and red phosphorus, which are highly flammable.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Matches in Nigeria

Now that we have all the materials we need let's dive into the process of making matches in Nigeria.

Step 1: Preparation of Matchstick Splints

To make matchstick splints, cut thin strips of cardboard into long sticks measuring approximately 2 inches long and 0.12 inches wide. The sticks should be as straight as possible to ensure a uniform end product.

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Step 2: Mixing the Chemicals

In a small bowl, mix 1 part potassium chlorate and 1 part red phosphorus. Ensure that the mixture is well blended, and there are no lumps.

Step 3: Preparing the Adhesive

In a separate bowl, mix 1 part gelatin and 1 part water. Stir well until the mixture becomes thick.

Step 4: Dipping the Matchsticks

Dip each matchstick splint in the gelatin mixture and let it dry for a few seconds. Afterward, dip the same matchstick into the chemical mixture, making sure it's coated evenly.

Step 5: Drying the Matchsticks

Place the coated matchsticks on a flat surface to dry for at least 2 hours. It's essential to ensure that the matchsticks are not touching each other during the drying process to prevent them from sticking together.

Step 6: Sanding the Matchsticks

Once the matchsticks are dry, use fine sandpaper to sand the tips of the matchsticks. This is to ensure that the matchsticks light easily when rubbed against a rough surface.

Tips and Tricks for Making Matches in Nigeria

  • Ensure that all materials are adequately measured to avoid any discrepancies in the end product.
  • Always handle the chemicals with care, as they are highly flammable and can cause harm if not handled properly.
  • It's essential to use fine sandpaper to sand the tips of the matchsticks to ensure a smooth and easy lighting process.
  • Store the matches in a cool, dry place to prevent them from getting damp or wet, which can make them difficult to light.


Making matches in Nigeria is not only a cost-effective way to get matchsticks, but it's also a fun activity to do with friends and family. With the right materials and following our step-by-step guide, you can make your own matches with ease. Stay safe and have fun!

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  1. Is it safe to make matches at home?
    Yes, it's safe to make matches at home as long as all the safety precautions are taken when handling the chemicals.

  2. Can I reuse the leftover chemicals?
    No, it's not advisable to reuse the leftover chemicals as they may have already been contaminated during the first use.

  3. How long can the homemade matches last?
    The homemade matches can last for a long time if stored in a cool, dry place and away from moisture.

  4. Can I use any type of cardboard to make matchsticks?
    It's best to use thin strips of cardboard to make matchsticks as they are easier to work with and produce a uniform end product.

  5. How do I dispose of the leftover chemicals?
    It's essential to dispose of the leftover chemicals properly by taking them to a hazardous waste facility or contacting your local waste management for instructions.