5 Tips for Properly Lighting & Using Oil Lamps
Millennials turn everything into a trend these days. We especially love anything that brings a sense of nostalgia—and oil lamps fit right in. If you’re curious about how to use paraffin lamps in your home, check out these five tips for properly lighting and using oil lamps.
Filling Your Oil Lamp
All oil lamps are different and may require various amounts of oil. Fill your lamp at least half an inch above the bottom or reservoir lip to keep it burning. How long you want your lamp to burn will determine how much oil you add. Most lamps burn about half an ounce per hour.
Best Oils To Use
The absolute best oil to use in your lamp is paraffin lamp oil. It burns clean and doesn’t carry any unpleasant odors. Further, you can find it scented. Paraffin oil is also smokeless, so you can use it indoors.
Pro Tip: As an alternative, use old vegetable oil with a few drops of essential oil to light your lamps. Never use gasoline or alcohol!
Prepare Your Wick
Make your own wicks out of old T-shirts or other cotton fabrics, or buy them online. The most important thing to remember when lighting your oil lamp is to never burn a dry wick. It will smoke and neglect to catch the oil. Prepare your wicks by soaking them with lamp oil. To prevent smoke, you should trim them often by cutting the burnt edges.
Lighting an Oil Lamp
To light your oil lamp, ignite the oil-soaked wick with a flame. You can control the height of the flame and, consequently, the brightness of your lamp with how much wick you expose. Keep an eye on your oil lamp to ensure that it doesn’t begin to smoke. You may need to trim the wick, turn it down, or add more oil to your lamp.
Turning Off an Oil Lamp
To turn off most oil lamps, you’ll turn down the wick so that it’s no longer exposed. Next, blow out the flame to extinguish it. If your oil lamps don’t allow you to turn down the wick, you can either blow out the flame or use a candle snuffer.
Use these tips for properly lighting and using oil lamps to fuel your passion for vintage home decor. Oil lamps look excellent in a window, on the stove, or in the bedroom. They are bright enough for reading or mood lighting and may save you electricity, so don’t hesitate to start using modern oil lamps.