Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 4
Playing With Fire » Burning Metal

Send steel up in flames- as long as it's in wool form. I was 10 years old, but I'll never forget that day: The smell of bread in the oven. The crunchy grit of steel wool in my fingers. The fact that my mom still left matches out where I could find them. That's when I learned that, yes, you can light steel with a match.

You don't need anything fancy to send metal up in flames. Take a wad of steel wool (extra-fine 0000-grade works best), hold it in a pair of pliers, and light it with an ordinary match. You won't get a big fireball, but it definitely burns-even faster if you blow on it. Bits of red-hot iron may fall to the ground, so do it outside and watch your feet.

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