Zippo Lighter Fluid Substitutes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by johnlives4christ, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    I am wondering what i can use to power a zippo lighter other then lighter fluid.

    i want to know some different things for survival reasons, so that way if i have to improvise, i'll have the knowledge to do.

    i wonder about the charcoal lighter fluid stuff, i imagine it will work. i would guess that it's basically the same thing as lighter fluid, but less refined. anyone know how this would work?

    i know i can use rubbing alcohol in a pinch. does anyone else have any ideas?

    ~john
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    a mix of 20% parrafin oil and gasoline works ( parrafin drops the burn rate a bit but dont inhibit the ignition )

    kerosene will work but stinks

    av gas is great but smell like kero
  3. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i actually just tried the rubbing alcohol... it would not ignite in the lighter. not sure what parrafin oil is. ive heard of though.

    kerosene is easy to come by, the smell doesnt bother me any. will give that a try in a few minutes,

    whats av gas?
    thanks for the idea jack
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i tried kerosene, it didnt work either. wouldnt not ignite.
  5. ofitg

    ofitg New Member

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  6. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    Ronsol has a lighter fluid, as far as house hold chemcals, give WD40 a try, you never know
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    NO WD it'll KILL YOU!!! the active stuff is a BIG CARCONAGENIC (sp?) when burned .. ( toxic as heck i think cyanide or something like it )

    some bloke did it after VN less than a year later he was full of cancer

    av gas is aviation fuel a hyped up kerosene ( dunno how they hype it up )

    chopper fuel ask snake driver i bet all his guys used chopper fuel for there zippo's
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  8. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i've seen that, and, just like the charcoal starting fluid i think it would work. dunno... guess i could just buy some and try it.
  9. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Denatured alcohol. I use it in the old WWII German mess kits. It does have an oder, but it's safe enough when used with caution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol

    Denatured alcohol is ethanol that has additives to make it more poisonous or unpalatable, and thus, undrinkable. In some cases it is also dyed.

    Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves. It is also known as methylated spirits, especially in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Because of the diversity of industrial uses for denatured alcohol, hundreds of additives and denaturing methods have been used. Traditionally, the main additive is 10% methanol, giving rise to the term 'methylated spirit'. Other typical additives include isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and denatonium.
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    acetone and MEK are solvent retardants for lacquer and other finishes.

    i tried the alcohol in my lighter. i could not get it to ignite though. i put a match to the wick and it did light, but would not stay lit for any length of time.

    the same with kerosene.

    why would it not light. both lighters i tried (1 for alcohol and 1 for kerosene) have been used with fluid before.

    ~john
  11. doug66

    doug66 New Member

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    It works
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    John, Zippos work because the fumes from the flammable liquid ignite from the sparks. Kerosene does not give off enough fumes to work. Neither does alcohol.

    Lighter fluid is naphtha. Charcoal lighter, at least the brand sold by Gulf, is also naphtha, and it says on the label that it is “lighter fluid”. Well, I just looked, and it does not say that on the label, now. http://outdoor-living.hardwarestore...-lighters/gulf-lite-lighter-fluid-279919.aspx

    Paraffin is what the British call kerosene. In this country it is wax. Usually sold as “Gulfwax”. http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Oak-972...5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1283260781&sr=8-2

    There are two types of oil lamps in this country. Oil lamps and oil candles. The main difference is the shape of the wick. Oil lamps, and that includes lanterns, use a flat wick, between ½ and 1 inch wide. Oil candles use a round wick. Lamp oil is, basically, kerosene, although sometimes it has a color or scent added to it. Candlelamp oil is kerosene with paraffin added to it.

    Jet fuel is kerosene with naphtha added to it. The fumes from the naphtha help the kerosene to ignite easier.

    Coleman fuel is unleaded gasoline that is more highly refined than the stuff you put in your car. It probably will work.

    Regular gasoline, I am told, will work, but I’ve never tried it.

    Naphtha can be found in the paint section at hardware stores. Comes in quart and gallon cans.
  13. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    One of our missile room boys carried two lighters, one with the ships emblem on it filled with AV gas and a plain sided one with lighter fluid. When somebody asked for a light they got the lighter with the av gas. The flame was about 6" high and got a great reaction from anybody who didn't expect it. I lit my cigar with it once and ruined the taste of the cigar. Kind of blew his mind that I didn't jump back when it flared up but my buddies had already warned me about it. It's good to report aboard as the new guy and know people already aboard. It was worth the cigar to see the look on his face when his little prank didn't get the desired reaction.
  14. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member

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    To expand on Alpo's post check out this link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naphtha#Other_applications

    Since your concern is survival you may already have set aside a Coleman Lantern, camp stove and similar items. The link seems to indicate the Coleman Fuel would work for your Zippo. Why not just stock up on some gallon cans of that fuel as it would also be available for you stove, lantern or etc.
  15. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    Just like Carver I was going to say denatured alcohol. That what they use in the burners for chaffing dishes at restaurants. Burns clean and efficiently.
  16. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    okay, lots of info to take in. thanks everyone for your replies.

    alpo, thats for explaining that paraffin is kerosene. so i could mix kerosene and gas like jack said and make lighter fluid.

    i've heard of using just straight gas but i've heard it burns too hot, the flame would be to big, which isnt a problem but the problem would stem from the flame being too hot and burning out the wick prematurely.

    i will try the charcoal fluid first i think... and perhaps the gas/kerosene mix sometime soon.

    my reason for all of this is just to gain some knowledge of what can be used should i ever need to improvise.

    i will try the coleman oil to see if it works also. my thoughts are that it will burn too hot and not be as safe, or efficient as regular lighter fluid.
  17. zb338

    zb338 New Member

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    My old man was an officer on a tanker in WW2. Lighter fluid was
    hard to come by. He used anything that they were carrying. If
    he had a choice he used white gasoline or aviation gasoline. He
    had to keep samples of the cargo so he used those.

    Zeke
  18. 199er

    199er New Member

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    Have used mogas (army regular octane fuel) in VN & Germany in a 'pinch'.........it lights quick and burns high, 4-or 6 inches as I recall. So if you try regular gas, let some of it evaporate out of the zippo before lighting it. Also, shorten the wick and stand 'upwind' when you light it to prevent the flame from burning you.

    The Coleman fuel sounds like a sound suggestion....if you use it I would recommend using the same precautions as I mentioned with the regular gas.

    Under no circumstances use any MEK..............this is highly highly flamable and will ignite like Napalm.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  19. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i've never seen any MEK other then as an ingredient in reducer for finish.
  20. 199er

    199er New Member

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    That's it!! I used to do just that with it and used it as a degreaser as well. Also have used it to remove grease, glue, and other residues from my hands.............actually makes your hands feel cool when you use it. It's nasty stuff!!! Used to get it in 50 gallon barrels.
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