Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oil Lamp Fuel Review

A few days ago I received an e-mail News Letter from Kirkman Lanterns reviewing the different types of fuels that can be used in your oil lamps. I thought it would be good information to pass it along for those who are new to oil lamps.

W.T. Kirkman Lanterns
July 8th Newsletter

One of the questions we are asked most often is which fuels can be used?

Lanterns and large wick oil lamps generally need a fuel with a flash point between 124° and 150° Fahrenheit.
Some brands of kerosene have a flash point that is too low to safely use in oil lamps and lanterns, so make sure that any fuel you plan on using has an appropriate flash point. (Flash points are always listed on the product MSDS, available from every retailer or on-line.)

Always contains some amount of sulfur, so it should only be used outdoors. Tiki Torch fuel and Citronella oil can be used outside however, they do produce an odor and sooty flame and will reduce the wick life. To reduce the odor and soot and extend wick life, mix these fuels 50:50 with kerosene.

Medallion Lamp Oil by Lamplight Farms

Is a good general purpose oil for indoor and outdoor use in both oil lamps and lanterns. It has little or no odor, and can be found at your local Ace or True Value Hardware Store and other home centers. Do not confuse Medallion Lamp Oil with Ultra-Pure Candle Lamp Oil which is liquid paraffin.

Wal-Mart carries FloraSense brand lamp oil which is similar to Medallion Lamp Oil, and can be had for a reasonable price. Home Depot or Lowes carries Kleenheat brand synthetic kerosene which is an odorless fuel and can be used in all oil lamps and lanterns both indoors or out.  This is a seasonal product in some stores, so you may have to stock up in the winter for use the rest of the year.

Paraffin Oil
Also known as 'Smokeless Odorless' oil is not recommended for use in oil lamps or lanterns with 5/8" or larger wick.  This product is made for candle lamps and the small oil lamps widely used in restaurants and has a flash point over 200° Fahrenheit. It will not burn properly, will consume wick faster and produces only half as much light as any of the approved fuels.

More information on fuels can be found on our FAQ page here:


  1. Is a good general purpose oil for indoor and outdoor use in both oil lamps and lanterns.