Care For & Maintain An Oil Lamp

Regular maintenance will give your oil lamp a longer life.

Most modern-day oil lamps actually use gas-based and petroleum-based fuels because they are safer than oil-based fuels. Oil lamps are simple vessels used since the Bronze Age. They require little care and maintenance. They will last longer, however, if you perform simple tasks regularly to keep the lamp clean and functioning properly. Maintaining the oil vessel will also help keep you safe. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Prepare your lamp properly before burning. Remove the oil container from the lamp and fill it three-quarters of the way with a high-quality, non-scented lamp oil. Trim the wick with sharp scissors so it shows just over the top of the wick tube.

2. Light the lamp and place the chimney over the flame. If the smoke produces soot, lower the wick until it stops. To extinguish, lower the wick and blow gently across the top.

3. Clean the chimney as needed. If you recently blew out your candle, let the chimney cool completely. Remove and wash with warm, soapy water and a clean cloth. To prevent streaks and spots, add one or two tbsps. of baking soda.

4. Replace the wick when it runs low. If you do not burn off your fuel regularly, dispose of it safely once a year and replace.

5. Clean the outside of the lamp when it gathers dust. If it is metal, polish it accordingly. Otherwise, you only need to dust the outside of the lamp every so often.

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