Zippo Lighter Fluid Substitutes

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

  1. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    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?

  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    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

    Apr 28, 2008
    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

    Apr 28, 2008
    i tried kerosene, it didnt work either. wouldnt not ignite.
  5. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    John, I wonder if Coleman Camping Fuel (aka "white gas") would work?

    Coleman fuel and lighter fluid are both classified as types of naptha -
  6. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Knoxville Tennessee
    Ronsol has a lighter fluid, as far as house hold chemcals, give WD40 a try, you never know
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    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

    Apr 28, 2008
    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 Supporting Member

    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.

    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

    Apr 28, 2008
    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.

  11. doug66

    doug66 Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    It works
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    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”.

    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. 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 Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    To expand on Alpo's post check out this link:

    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 Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    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.
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