Episode 65: Exploding Lighter

Air Date: November 1, 2006

A lighter can explode when placed under a welding tool.


The heat generated from the welding tool was hot enough to cause the plastic lighter to melt and release its fuel which ignited, causing a small explosion.

A lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer.


A lighter was left in a running laundry dryer but suffered no significant damage and did not explode.

A lighter can explode when hit with a golf club.


Hitting a lighter with a golf club did not make the lighter explode, but when the MythBusters decided to hit the lighter while it was lit, it exploded rather violently.

A lighter can explode on a car dashboard.


The lighter was put in a toaster oven to simulate the maximum temperature that the interior of a car can reach, around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no reaction for several hours, and the lighter finally exploded when the MythBusters ramped the temperature up to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, well above any temperature that can be expected in the interior of a car.

A single lighter in a person’s pocket could explode lethally.


The MythBusters placed a lighter in a pair of jeans and put it under a welding tool. The sparks and heat from the tool managed to set the pants on fire, but failed to ignite the lighter. This myth was labeled busted because of the improbability of a lighter exploding in someone’s pocket.

Five hundred lighters packed inside a car can explode with lethal force.


The MythBusters placed five hundred lighters in a car and slowly heated it up. One by one, lighters began to rupture and release gas fumes. When the MythBusters finally triggered an igniter, the gas fumes exploded, blowing out all of the windows and setting the car on fire. The myth was deemed possible as long as there is a suitable ignition source.

An Old West gunslinger could drop a coin and fire his pistol five times before it hits the ground.


Using replicas of actual Wild West pistols, Grant, Kari, and Tory attempted the stunt themselves. However, Grant and Kari were unable to clear the pistols from their holsters in time and Tory was only able to get off one shot. Grant then built a device which showed that the pistols were mechanically unable to fire that fast. The MythBusters finally turned to a professional gunslinger, but he could only fire three shots and he stated that firing five in that space of time would be "extremely difficult". With no results, the myth was busted.

An Old West gunslinger could shoot a hole through a silver dollar.


The MythBusters used actual period silver dollars for the test. A professional gunslinger proved that hitting the coin was possible (with many tries) by piercing a lead coin. Both the Peacemaker and Navy revolver were only able to dent the silver dollar. While a .357 Magnum could easily pierce the coin, the myth was busted because the .357 was not introduced until the 1930’s – gunslingers didn’t have access to it.

An Old West gunslinger could save a man from being hanged by shooting the rope.


Firing at a rope with the pistols, even at point blank range, failed to break the rope. The bullets were merely deflected off of the rope. A professional gunslinger armed with a more powerful Winchester repeating rifle managed to shoot and break the rope, but it required multiple tries in order to pull off. With the difficulty involved in shooting and breaking the rope, the myth was considered busted.


  1. FRANK says:


    • usbjiggerlighter says:

      He is also creative to test all the ways about whether and how the lighter could explode.
      Maybe he should add a warning in this post: “No imitation!” :D

  2. Melissa says:

    I just now had a Toyo (made in china) lighter explode in my left front pocket. It was half full. There was nothing else in my pocket other than the lighter. It’s a cloudy day and not hot. So disprove that one mythbusters! And don’t use bic. :P

    • The Jedi says:

      Well duh it was made in China, they don’t care how well made it was.

      • Charles says:

        Kind of like your parents and you.

    • rasham says:

      I have to disagree with their exploding lighter test as well. any 89 cent cheaper will grenade in the new Mexico summer heat. I know because I have had many of them do so. the nice on the other hand tend to hold up in the car.

    • Pauline says:

      I heard a loud bang at 3am this morning. My China made (brand name “Solar”) plastic lighter exploded. It was laying on the table when I went to bed and it shot across the room and landed on the floor. The whole side was blown out. Thankfully no fire.

      • star chaser says:

        Bics are why yall have theese problems use a bic

  3. Tom Goffnett says:

    Bob Munden fans — thank you for talking sense. All others, please go get educated, you are as bad with firearm knowledge as the mythbusters are. I cringe whenever they are going to talk about firearms. I can’t keep track of the number of errors they make in every horrible firearm experiment. Bob Munden can empty a colt peacemaker in a little over a third of a second. His wife, and I’m not joking, is twice as fast as the man they had on the show, she is the fastest female quick draw in the world. Call him — I called concerning a dvd and ended up talking directly with Bob for almost an hour. He loves to talk about it. Like Bob says, the only thing faster than Bob Munden is lightning. I’m forced to agree.

  4. justin says:

    i just seen this nov 1 2006 showing of the lighter/gunslinger myths. it brought back my memory of being young and fooling around with lighters. i had ‘rigged’ this one lighter so when lit, the flame would be 4 to 5 times larger then normal, when a group of friends cought me with it i decided id run and dispose of it by throwing it on the ground. unfortunantly(sp?) i didnt get away with it because there was a fireball from the ground to my knee high!… also a few months back i used my phone to record a lighter exploding over a candel, the result was really cool. if i get a message back maybe youd like to see the ending ;)

  5. ashley says:

    I just had a cheap clear green plastic lighter explode in my dryer! I did not check the pockets well enough and it was left in a pocket of my husbands jeans. When it exploded it sounded like a gun shot in my dryer!

  6. Kieron says:

    I’ve been hit by parts from an exploding lighter from a neighbours table at a beach bar. I was talking to a friend and a lighter of the people on a table in the sun next to us exploded with a decent pop and I got hit by some of it. It was no where near powerful enough to do any damage, but they definitely can explode.

  7. Ward says:

    My cheap, made in China from Wal-Mart, lighter blew up spontaneously laying on the kitchen counter with no heat source around it.
    It sounded like someone had slammed a door and upon checking I found the lighter still flaming and a hole in my wine box. Luckily, no wine leaked out. lol

  8. Christopher says:

    cheapest lighters you can find, but they need to go in the chest pocket. that’s where welders keep them, for accessibility and because the button gets depressed by their jeans resulting in a flammable cloud just waiting for an ignition source.
    Also, one in a million chance but I threw a lighter at a brick wall and it resulted in a 4 foot fireball.

  9. James says:

    what kind of car was used in the experiment?

    • brado says:

      i think it was a mk2 1969 toyota corona 2 door

  10. Renee says:

    The lighter exploding in the dryer should not be a “busted” myth- it’s happened to me on several occasions! They should have tried other kinds of lighters, including non-childproof ones. Also, The Mythbusters team claims there was no spark and insufficient heat- but there were no clothes in that dryer!

    Stick that sucker in a jeans pocket with some other stuff in there, and you might find your missing elements. The clothes around the dryer, in my opinion, would act to retain heat around the lighter, and the metal buttons and zippers would give your spark! Lint caught in the mechanism may even act as kindling if the button gets accidentally depressed during the tumbling. It may not happen every time, either- I’ve had lighters go through with no damage whatsoever, and they worked fine once I plucked the lint out of the top.

    Drag this one out again, guys- this one’s truth!

  11. lori says:

    A cheap lighter just caught my comforter, couch and my daughters diploma on fire…yes it was in flames…the lighter had been sitting there for about an hour when I heard a loud pop from the other room…went running to see it all in flames…I was able to get the fire out before it caught my house on fire…Im just thankful that my daughter was being a brat and would not take her nap!! or she would have been sleeping there!!

    • T. Rollins says:

      Your daughter had a diploma and takes naps?

      • adrienne says:

        i have a Master’s degree & i still take naps!
        maybe her daughter’s diploma was from pre-school!
        or, the daughter with the diploma & the daughter who would not take her nap are 2 different girls!

  12. Orosco says:

    I just went to my car a couple of hours ago and thought that somehow someone had got in my car and trashed it, this was not the case! A cheap lighter named solar had exploded in a storge compartment in my car. It sent things like my tire pressure guage, little bottle of colonge and smaller items scattered in my car. I’m really pissed because it blow the door of the compartment off its hinges and broke them, it has to be replaced, its not fixable! The lighter itself was in pieces everywhere! Is someone liable?

    • MSpears says:

      Is someone liable? Yeah, but it’s probably some company in China that is outside U.S. legal jurisdiction…

    • Renaed says:

      I drove hubby to hospital for multiple bee sting, he got a shot and was fine, after my mini van sat in the sun for 4 hours in 98 degree temps, my lighter exploded. On my dash in the sun,

  13. Rich says:

    As i was walking my dogs I was lighting my cigarette, one of the dogs pulled me and I dropped the lighter on the sidewalk. The lighter exploded like a fire cracker with a loud boom and there was white smoke. Also there was absolutely nothing left of the lighter, it just desinigrated. I’ve dropped my lighter before plenty of times but this had never happened before. It must have landed just right on the sidewalk. Scared me cause it was right next to a large pick up truck.

  14. JetStreamer Malta says:

    I had a lighter blow up in my parked car in Spring when the heat was not totally on yet. Temperature inside my car was 34C when I discovered the event at 11am. Having watched the experiment I consider myself lucky no fire ensued, probably because there was not enough gas in the lighter.

  15. Laur says:

    I just had lighter blow up in my car. Black car with a black interior…Hot summer day. and BOOM that lighter was gone. Ha, glad I wasn’t in the car when it happened.

  16. nicci says:

    I just had a lighter explode while i was in the bath yes i know why was there a lighter in the bathroom well i use candles in there.so i,m laying in the bath and washing my hair and bang i jumped so fast i thought my windows had been smashed . well i,ll never do that again leave a lighter in the bathroom …i,m still shaking lol

  17. slovakki says:

    i left my lighter in the car as I always do, in a compartment out of direct sunlight. It was one of those cheap plastic lighters and it was about noon – approx 85 degrees outside; and when I went to light it the whole lighter went up in flames! In my panic I tossed the lighter on the passenger seat floor where it stayed lit! I tried batting the flames out which obviously didn’t work, so left with no other option I threw water on the fire which created a HUGE fireball that burnt my left hand and arm and singed my hair. I have left lighters in my car all the time, and always keep them out of sunlight so I’m not sure why this happened or what caused the fireball. I know that all my future lighter purchases though will be Bic as they are the less likely to explode like that.

  18. geronimo henry says:

    did you ever hear of the myth of the jumping chinese?

  19. John Baines says:

    Today while sitting in my chair, this MK lime green cricket type lighter exploded in my pant’s pocket leaving bruise, and reddened area.
    John Baines

  20. david pasquinelli says:

    what if you left your lighter on the dashboard of a hot car for a few hours, then hit it with a golf club?

    • T. Rollins says:


  21. adam says:

    i actually had a lighter explode in my car today. the lighter was setting on the front seat in a 110 degree heat index with the windows rolled up. pieces flew everywhere from the front floorboard to all the way back to to the hatchback. it can happen!

  22. adam says:

    just a side note on my last post…. this was not a cheapo lighter it was a $7 novelty lighter that my girlfirend had bought becuase i give her a hard time about always losing her lighters it has a length of about 7 inches and a width of about 2 inchs after inspecting the lighter i found that it was very well made with very thick plastic according to the show this should not have happened. i think it deserves a revisit.

  23. britney says:

    a lighter exploded on my stove today while i was cooking… oops!

  24. Teresa says:

    A lighter I leave in the console of my car exploded in my hand today as I tried to light it. It was a cheap, plastic, see through kind, pretty full, and it scared the living crap out of me.

  25. mandy says:

    Okay, I was sitting outside and something in side my car blew up, it rattled the windows of the subaru. I investigate, the top compartment is open and the outside lining is shattered, all around the front seats are broken plastic particles and everything inside the dashboard compartment is soaked in an oily substance…. well the blue bic lighter exploded! At is only 80 outside but the car has been fro the past 5 days in direct sunlight….

  26. gary says:

    I had a lighter explode in my pocket once, I had been sitting in front of a gas fire when I became aware of a hissing sound. Realizing the heat from the fire had melted the glue holding the top of the lighter on I tried to get it out of my shirt pocket pronto. Unfortunatly there must have been a tiny spark of static, as just as my finger touched the lighter it exploded. It was one hell of a bang . No damage to me though apart from a bruised finger where the top of the lighter hit it. Plastic body of lighter reduced to about a hundred pieces. I remember slowly peeling my shirt open almost too scared to see what damage had been done .

  27. Bret says:

    A Bic lighter will most certianly explode on the dash of a car. Mine did labor day 2010 just a week ago. Broke the windsheild and a wood pipe rest as well. I have pics.


  28. Terry says:

    Never even heard of an exploding lighter…until about 30 minutes ago. I had a MK disposable lighter in my truck console and when I opened my door a few minutes ago I thought someone had broken in my truck. There was papers, glasses, keys, pens, etc. scattered all over the front area. I finally realized what had happened when I found a large fragment of the lighter on the far side of my dash. It was about 85 degrees outside and the lighter was not in direct sun. I will NEVER have a disposable lighter again! Mythbuster guys; YOU MISSED THIS ONE BIG TIME!

  29. Dawn Kinateder says:

    I just had the most horrifying and bizarre experience last night with a plain, cheap run of the mill lighter. I had made a fire in my woodstove, but used matches to light it. The fire was difficult to get going, but eventually was going well, not needing my attention, doors and airflow closed up, etc. I sat down on my couch with my laptop and plugged in a cord to my speakers to listen to some music. I had been sitting there for about 2 minutes and all of a sudden, there was a deafening explosion. I could not hear for close to five minutes. Slowly, my hearing came back, but my right ear still hurts and makes a weird call waiting beep if I hiccup. I do not know exactly where the lighter was in the room, but I do know it was not around the woodstove. It is possible that it was near my computer and the cord I had plugged in to play music through my speakers. I am still finding pieces of this lighter strung all the way from one end of my house to the other end in a whole separate room. I have no idea how none of these pieces hit me. It sounded like a gunshot. It took me awhile to realize it was the lighter. I was looking at my windows, my computer, and could see nothing wrong, and then began to see little pieces of blue plastic all over the floor. I found the top with the metal part about 10 feet from where I was sitting. And I have found some other pieces as far away from me as they could get from where I was sitting and then also in the other direction in the doorway of another room. I don’t know what caused this. Perhaps some type of an electrical charge from the cord? Could static electricity have built up in the room from various factors? We have had electricity come through our woodstove that shocked us upon touching the stove. But again, I was not near the stove when this happened, nor was the lighter as I am overly cautious about not leaving anything near the wood stove. There’s no evidence of melted plastic on or anywhere around it. It was so traumatizing, I’m afraid to even be around a lighter at all, ever again. I might be ok with it if I could figure out what actually happened, but I have no idea. I don’t believe there was any lighting outside, which there was the time we had electricity come through the woodstove. Any ideas? This is truly the weirdest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life and it scared me to the point, I honestly cannot be in the same room as a lighter now.

  30. Steve Hamner says:

    One exploded on my wife’s dashboard on a day that reached 213f. It didn’t catch fire, there were just parts all over the front of the car. I live in Los Angeles.

    • Jenn says:

      I live in South Florida and mine exploded on the dash as well. It was in the shade under a lip on the dash but I guess that didn’t matter. This myth needs to be redone ASAP!

  31. Jeramie says:

    I agree about Bob Munden. He was actually the first person I thought of when I saw the show. The one big thing the MB’ers missed on this show is that if you fan your hand you can get the shots off MUCH quicker.

    On single action pistols you squeeze the first shot, fan your left hand, and quickly drag each finger over the hammer (while holding the trigger down). The Pistol with cycle as every finger hits the hammer. It sounds easy but its not…. unless youre Bob Munden or one at his level.

    Mythbusters, love the show but here is one you missed. Put Bob on the show and im betting it will be confirmed…

  32. Eric says:

    A lighter can explode. they may not kill, but they can cause serious damage. My aunt’s friend had a lighter blow up in her back pocket. She was lighting fireworks & part of the plastic was lite on fire. It Lite the gas in the liter on fire. In my youth I used to blow up liters for fun. I know that that is stupid & I almost lit a building on fire.
    You take out the roller and flint. next you make the gas flow, wedge something under back end of the lighter & lite. If the lighter is lite long enough it blows. The amount of fluid makes a difference. More fluid bigger bang, less big flame. It is not always the same. It dose not confirm any myth or it may change some results that you have come to. I had some pretty large bang from just a lighter. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.Eric Mohnke

  33. matt says:

    I live in ohio and had a cheap lighter exploded in my car while I was at work, don’t use bics everyone knows they are the best lighter.

  34. SC says:

    In 1987 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) did a segment on the issue of exploding bic lighters. Very disturbing. There are deaths as well.

    video: http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/pre-2007/mp30/video/exploding_bics_qt_870929.html

    Summary: http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/pre-2007/mp30/exploding_bics.html

  35. louise says:

    Well tonight we were sitting in our living room and my husbands lighter blow up in his pocket I was shocked and got on line to see what there was to read and got your website . No one was hurt but I am also glad it did not catch fire. He was wearing his wool vest all day with the lighter in his pocket.

  36. Becky says:

    My cheap lighter that has been in my car for months and possibly longer, suddenly blew up in my car yesterday. So I know it can happen!

  37. Roger Nagel says:

    I had a lighter explode in my car today. It had enough force to rip my headliner and leave remnants in the back seat. I think it would easily put someones eye out

  38. Skoby says:

    A couple of years ago I was working at a festival supervising the campsite and I was warned to keep an eye out for fires cause the year before someones caravan had gone up in flames believed to have been started by a lighter heating up in the sun.

    A possible related myth, a few of my friends had mopeds or motorbikes and smoked and they all started carrying safety matches rather than lighters since if you come off your bike the lighters could explode and set off any spilled fuel or even cause the petrol tank to explode. Seeing the results of this episode I can see that they may have been onto something and since one of them did come of their bike at about 40mph it might have saved him from more serious injury. Btw I’m from the UK so hopefully not used any words you americans wouldn’t understand.

  39. Cindy Fisher says:

    I was laying on my bed on my side. I took a cigarette out of my pack along with an MK lighter that was in my cigarette pack. The pack was in my front pocket of a pair of lose fitting capris. Earlier I had been outside helping put a swing set together,it was neither hot nor cold, it had rained, sprinkled and poured rain off and on the entire day. We came in and that is when I was laying down on the bed pocket side up. I took the pack from my pocket to get a cigarette and the lighter, I held them both in my hand for about 5 minutes when all of a sudden my husband and I heard this loud crack/pop. We couldn’t figure out what had happened. Then I looked at the side of my pants and they were cold and felt wet but looked icy from the contents of the lighter. The side of the lighter had blown off and the liquid came out on my pants. The rest of the lighter was still intact except for the side that was blown off. We could not find this piece. I had a very small bruise where the piece must have hit my leg when it blew. So see if you can explain this one.I didn’t have the lighter tight in my hand and when I did have a hold it was only part of the lighter and part of the cigarette which was not even lit yet. I won’t be buying anymore of these lighters. I never did light the cigarette until a couple hours later and that was with a bic lighter. I tried to look the company up on the web site but the email address they give just sends you to aol.

  40. Stevie says:

    Back in about 2006-2008 i was sitting in my garden in a pair of jeans sunbathing, i had my disposable lighter in my front left pocket, after sitting there for about 2 hours i suddenly felt a rush of cold air beside my crotch, i didn’t know what had happened, so went inside to have a look, as i thought something serious had happened, i then realised my lighter had exploded in my pocket ( which was the cold air i’d felt ) it scared the C**p outta me because i thought my lighter had caused me to bleed, i’d NEVER heard of anything like that happening before, so now when i sit in the sun i ALWAYS make sure i DON’T have a lighter on me.

    By the way it was SO hot ( i think it was about 25-27c so with the heat of the sun and my own body heat thats why it exploded)i had to have my electric fan outside with me to keep me a little cooler.

    • Anton LeRoux-Marx says:

      You were lucky a spark didn’t ignite it when it had blended with the air’s oxygen!!A LIGHTER CAN EXPLODE WITH DEVASTATING EFFECT if: a spark penetrates the pocket and burns a hole in the lighter. Now the gas leaks, and is contained in the trouser’s leg where it COMBINES WITH OXYGEN IN THE AIR. If a spark now ignites the MIXTURE stand back and BLOCK YOUR EARS!!!!

  41. Jp says:

    Bob munden is alot faster than lightning larry. He can hit 5 targets in under a second, please do the show again and mark the myth confirmed so long.

  42. Bill says:

    Um… just came home to a Walmart grill lighter that exploded out on the deck (presumably in the sun) while all were away today at work. My neighbor heard the pop.. like a shot gun and told us when we got home. If it weren’t for him informing us, I don’t think we would have guessed it exploded. Just happy nothing else caught fire, including the house! note: it was a Sunico Group lighter from Aug 2009. Don’t keep these baby’s in the hot sun (note: air temp 85F today.. low humidity in New England).

  43. Rosemarie says:

    I found out that the lighter exploding in a hot car IS POSSIBLE…by accident I left a Cheap Clear $1.00 store lighter on the seat of my car…it was in the sun….I came out 2 hours later and couldn’t find my lighter…however on the floorboard of the drivers side and in the back seat were the remnants of SAID Lighter…I’m just glad my car did not catch on fire…still have the pieces….Contact me….this is TRUE !

  44. Vani says:

    My sister left her lighter in the car this weekend in a cup holder that also has some changing it. It exploded, there was coin carnage and chards of lighter all over the car. MYTH: UNBUSTED

  45. Vincent says:

    A lighter, falling out of your hands, can explode on the ground too.

  46. Chris says:

    Yes Bob Munden can do it, he and his wife should get a chance to prove it. After all this myth is not if the average person can do it, but rather can an individual actually be capable of reaching such a level of expertise that would allow them to achieve what the average person cannot believe possible.

  47. Clinton says:

    I just had a very cheap $1 clear purple lighter self ingite. I just smelt burning plastic turned my head and the lighter on the same bench next to my stereo and computer was in flames as there must of been a small leak. I am totally confused on how this happened . I had asked my friends on fb and also got a reply with the very cheap chinese lighters as my friend also had the same experance 4 years ago. Luck the lighter did,nt blow my hand off as i picked it up and through it off the balcony. For it to explode 2 seconds later. Think i will only buy bic quality or better now.

  48. alex skingley says:

    cut a wire with a rife ultimate force

    • alex skingley says:

      a scooped rifle

  49. Stuart Harvey, Mensa Society member says:

    The most powerful “Old West” revolver was the Colt “Walker” model loaded with 60 grains of 3f black powder (equivalent to a .357 Magnum). I believe this would shoot a hole in a silver dollar!

  50. Billy says:

    Well you can blow any lighter by throwing it on the ground. I use to do it high school all the time. The lighter doesn’t actually have to be lit but for some reason the gas has to be flowing. We would remove the small metal cover flint. All you should have is the case containing the fuel and the white tube coming out the top. With your thumb press down on the white tube and throw it against the ground and pop. Also I’ve had several lighters blow in my car and I always use the cheap stuff so the question I wonder is if maybe cheaper lighters can leak fumes because a lighter will almost never explode if the fumes aren’t coming out for some reason.

  51. Deborah Swiney says:

    My son gave my husband a cheap plastic lighter to use. It was missing the metal cover off of it, my husband used the lighter to smoke on the front porch. Good thing my son went out there a few minutes later the lighter was completely gone, melted all but two little pieces and the window sill was on fire. Any later and the house would have been burning. We all decided that we would not keep a broken lighter of any kind, Viva was the lighter brand a free one from dirt cheap. And we will all keep an eye on cheap plastic lighters

  52. Daniel says:

    with the exploding lighter on the car dashboard myth, what about if the air conditioner was left on the hottest tempurature aswell as the heat of a very hot summer day, may the car then get hot enough for the lighter to explode?

  53. dstrong says:

    I’m coming to the party a little late but this myth isn’t a myth at all, I had a 99 cent store lighter on the dash of my truck and it exploded so violently it put a six inch spider web crack in my windshield! These guys need to bring this one back.

  54. melonie says:

    this morning i JUST did laundry and accidently wash and dryed a cheap lighter. i HEARD it bust. but at the time i didnt know it was in there and thought the upstairs neighboor dropped something. i took it out and im still using my dryer. hope it dont cause any damage : /

  55. Shailesh says:

    An Old West gunslinger myth:
    Gun Slinging is not for everybody. Only few special people can do it with lots n lots of practice. For this myth, Mythbuster team should special people who is very fast like Bob Munden. I am sure he will Confirm this Gunslinger Myth.

  56. shonangreg says:

    I keep my bag of weed, pipe, and usually a lighter in my acoustic guitar. Last night I had not smoked since morning, but I heard a boom-crack sound. I ran into that room, and there were several small pieces of wood on fire still spinning on the tatami floor. And the guitar and stand had been blown over. The bottom half of the guitar was blown out — just a few tape-covered wires were left.

    The guitar body was not on fire, and the wooden pieces were quickly going out also.

    Then I saw my bag of weed. The plastic had melted and I just had warm, plasticy weed :-( So I made butter ;-)

    Note: Why does no one mention what their lighter looked like after these reported explosions? If these events really were to have happened, surely the condition of the lighter would have been one of the first things to examine ;-)

    • Dean Williams says:

      Yet you didn’t explain the state of your lighter after exploding?

  57. Dean Williams says:

    I’m in the uk, and when our lighters run out we usually, for fun, chuck them at the ground as hard as possible and they explode. It’s really funny… but anyway they are the cheap plastic lighters with a metal rim at the top where you light the gas… So this is possible.

  58. adrienne says:

    today while driving, i grab my Cheap Plastic Lighter that i bought at Dollar Tree & went to light a cigarette. the f***ing thing blew up in my face!! Scary. i threw it out the window.

  59. Cbub says:

    I just had a lighter explode in my car today. I left it on my car seat and when I came back a few hours later it was just pieces of plastic all over the front of my car

  60. lewis age12 says:

    The myth a lighter can explode when put in a laundry dryer was busted but would a lighter in a washing machine make the clothes inside much more flamable.

  61. Ryan says:

    Just did a search to see what I should do if a lighter explodes in the dryer and found this post. This is for sure not a myth. Was just watching football and heard a big pop and the dogs went nuts. Thoughts it was my neighbors at first but heard something unusual in the dryer and found that my 99 cent lighter exploded.

  62. Herbie Versmels says:

    I did not see this episode but I did just pull a blown up bic lighter from my laundry. Maybe it was from the impact of the tumble dry and not the heat. Either way it did explode and judging from the tiny pieces of shrapnel I would think it was from the heat. Unlike when u throw a lighter at the ground and the top or bottom blow out leaving fewer larger pieces.

  63. james says:

    a lighter could explode on a car dashboard, i have seen a lighter blow up on a table outside in the sun. a car dashboard in the sun would blow one up

  64. Taylor Frost says:

    I actually had my lighter explode after sitting on my dashboard TODAY. I grabbed it to light my cigarette and the second I flicked it, it exploded and burnt a large area of arm and face. No trauma or anything done to agitate the lighter, just placing it up to my cigarette and holding my thumb on the flint. I havr pictures to prove it haha!

  65. Doug says:

    Bic lighters will not blow up on the dash of a car but cheaper lighter will for sure…..Iv seen it for my own eyes. Time to redo your test and this time use the clear Plastic lighters!

  66. Steve says:

    Was searching for exploding lighters since one just exploded in my dryer. Very cheap plastic shattered. 220v dryer. Was hoping the door would not open to reveal my wife’s burning clothes. Better retest this one, Mythbusters

  67. Kimber says:

    I had one lighter in my car and I went to work. When I got off my lighter was in pieces all over the front of my car. I told my friend it exploded he said there was no way my car could have gotten hot enough. I live in texas and its the summer. My car interior is black and it always hits the sun every afternoon. My question is ” is it possible for my lighter to have exploded in my car? I’d like to end this dispute.

  68. hal says:

    Re butane lighter exploding in car! YOU are SO busted. One went off yesterday! I’ve got the pieces to prove it and almost a friggin heart attack when it occurred, not knowing immediately what exploded. Good thing I was not lighting a smoke with another lighter at that exact instant! Very very hot here yesterday, 123 on the seat cause I had just happened to have a therm as it was the hottest day of the year, so far. I was not even aware the lighter was sitting there. Grey fabric, NOT leather seats either. I was driving southbound. That seat took full 2:30 sun! I keep those cheap give away lighters in the car for emergency, hahaha! no more! This is not a “myth!” Occurred! Perhaps distinctions with manufacturers? Pressure of butane? I dunno, but the thing went off!

  69. Chris says:

    We live in Henderson, NV where it’s 110 in the shade. Yesterday, a long nosed lighter , left on the counter next to the grill, exploded in the hot sun. The grill was not being used and luckily, no one was in the back yard. Apparently, they do explode from the sun’s heat.

  70. Amy says:

    I had a lighter explode last week while it was sitting next to my gas range. I was sautéing in a skillet and it was right under my hand and forearm. The explosion caused a serious (blistering burn) on my fingers and side of my hand. My lower arm is now black and peeling. When it occurred the explosion of the lighter combined with the gas from the range caused a high enough flame to catch my hair briefly on fire. The place where the lighter was located is granite and was not hot enough to melt plastic. The range is a high-end Viking. I do not know the brand of lighter, but it was the type you use to light grills not cigarettes. I am posting this to warn others never to keep their lighters anywhere near gas ranges, stoves or ovens. Basic common sense.

  71. Scott says:

    I know they called this one “busted” but the other day I had a lighter on the dashboard of my truck that I used when I went out for lunch, when I got out of work at 3:30 I found the lighter in pieces on the dashboard and a big chunk of it in the back seat. Although I didn’t actually see the lighter explode I have no other explanation.

  72. Harry says says:

    I think there are WAY TOO many brands of lighters and variables to BUST this myth about lighters! Young lazy people will see this and being the fools they are- insist on leaving lighters in unsafe conditions where a small child or pet could get hurt!

  73. Tony D says:

    I believe I can contribute a slightly new facet to the exploding lighter saga. A couple of hours ago I had just made a mug of tea with boiling water and added a little milk to it (I live in the UK that’s what we do)This took place on the work surface in my kitchen. Seconds after preparing the tea, I took a cheap lighter from my pocket and attempted to put it in a high cupboard above the work surface. Accordingly to sod’s law the lighter fell from the precarious position in which I had placed it. and dropped straight into the mug of tea. In less then one second the lighter exploded in the cup covering my face and much of the kitchen in tea. the mug contained the lighter parts, but the mug was emptied but for about an inch of tea left in the bottom. Almost made me wet my pants but apart from the mess no other harm was done.

  74. Jessy! says:

    Love the show! Hate to disagree, but I’ve had a cheapo lighter explode in my car on a very hot day in Utah. Plausible?

  75. donna says:

    Hate to tell u but a lighter CAN explod in a laundry dryer!! How do i know….because it JUST HAPPEN!! Thats why i saw this page because i was looking up what to do when a lighter explodes in the dryer….sooo sorry boys it can happen. Now mind you that i use the cheap cheap brand of lighters but thats not in your synopsis?!!

  76. Charles D. Hall says:

    Earlier today while taking a map out of my pocket the disposable butane lighter in my pocket exploded shooting a piece of plastic shrapnel about 15 feet. This happened in the presence of two friends who thought a tire had exploded. Mercifully there were no injuries. The only explanation I can hypothesize is that the lighter was purchased in Michigan at an altitude of about 700′ and we were visiting the Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona at an altitude of about 6000′.

  77. Mike says:

    Had a lighter explode in my car just last month and crack the windshield. Confirmed.

  78. harold says:

    Question in my motorhome I cannot get my bic cigarette lighter to light but as soon as I open the door with fresh air it lights right up. Does anyone know what can be causing this to happen. It happens each and everything. Thanks.

  79. heather says:

    I just has a lighter explode in my dryer

  80. raven says:

    one time, I was hotboxing my car and my lighter exploded in my cup holder.

  81. Daniel says:

    I just had a lighter explode on my dashboard. And it left a nasty crack om my windshield. You can feel the crack on both sides of the windshield, too. You guys are full of it!!!

  82. benjamin lee says:

    It has to be about 6 thousand degrees (5842*F) degrees to melt plutonium. How many bic lighters does it take to get it to melt

  83. Mel says:

    A lighter exploded in my car. There were shards of plastic all over the front seats.

  84. Doug Taylor says:

    It hit 93 degrees in central Illinois yesterday. This morning I just finished cleaning up little shards of plastic from the disposable lighter that blew up in my truck. The lighter was on the seat, not the dash board.
    The biggest piece other than the metal was dime size and flew as far as behind the back seat. Never heard of such a thing. That’s how I found this site.

  85. Jonathan says:

    I had this cheap lighter which spontaneously exploded just by lying in direct sun on a warm August day.
    A bit scary!

  86. chet johnson says:

    I am an engineer and have calculated this to be possible. I tried to email and tell mythbusters but they refused to believe my numbers. I have had 2 lighters explode in my car. If you take a full lighter the manufacture give you the volume of the liquid. then use the ideal gas law, the gas is close enough to use it. Someone from mythbusters said its not an ideal gas. Engineering teaches you it’s close enough. Well mythbusters gave us the temp a full lighter explodes at, that tells us the pressure it explodes at. PV=nrT. remove n ad r! PV=T We know the Beginning Volume, we know the Temp it explodes at. Now decrease the volume, keep the pressure constant and the Temperature they explode at drops. I’ve calculated around 120 or so. I’ve seen over 120 in a car easy! If they’d use a little math and talk to an engineer! Myth is confirmed!

    • chet johnson says:


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