How to Trim an Oil Lamp


An oil lamp can add a touch of romance to your home and also can serve as a valuable light source during a power failure. You can purchase old oil lamps from flea markets or estate sales or find new lamps at retail stores. To use your lamp, you'll need matches, lamp oil and wicks. Trim the wick after each use, and you'll enjoy your lamp for years.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Lamp oil
  • Remove and clean the lamp chimney after each use. Wash it with soap and water to remove black streaks and any other residue from burning oil, and set it aside to dry.

  • Pull the wick gently so more of it emerges through the burn tube. Trim the wick, leaving a fresh section at a proper height for your next use.

  • When trimming the wick, cut off the black part. You can make the cut straight across or at an angle. Trimming it straight across creates a wide flame of average height; an angular trim makes a tall, narrow flame that sheds more light.

  • Check the oil level, and top it off as needed. If a burning lamp runs out of oil, the glass can shatter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use pure lamp--never use gasoline or kerosene.
  • Always extinguish the flame when you are done using it.

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