There is no mistaking the unpleasant aroma of lamp oil. If your home is beset with this nasty odor, there are a number of steps which can help make it go away. The odor is most likely a product of two things: poor quality lamp oil and an improperly adjusted flame. When too much of the wick is exposed, most oil lamps begin producing sooty smoke and the telltale smell confronting you.
Things You'll Need
Common household cleaning supplies and sponges
High quality lamp oil
Replacement lamp wick
Carpet shampoo machine and carpet cleaning products
Access to a laundry or dry cleaner
Interior paint (optional)
Remove the lamp chimney and burner assembly. Wash the chimney with hot soapy water or window cleaner and rinse it with very hot water. This should remove all traces of smelly soot from the glass. Set it aside for now.
Remove the old lamp wick from the burner and discard it. It is impregnated with the impurities which are present in lamp oil. Install a fresh, clean wick.
Remove the remaining oil from the lamp. Pour it into a clean plastic container with a lid. Lamp oil is a type of kerosene, similar to charcoal lighter fluid. Plan on using it to light your charcoal grill, or fill your outdoor garden torches with it.
Launder or dry clean your curtains and drapes. While they are down, clean every window to remove any soot which may have drifted onto the glass.
Using a damp sponge and household cleaner to wipe down the walls. Most likely, they have a thin layer of soot on them as well. Additionally, warm sooty air from a burning lamp will naturally rise. If the ceiling above the lamp is discolored, be sure to wash it too. If it is severely stained, you may need to apply a fresh coat of paint. When you have finished, discard the sponge, as it will probably be discolored by soot and impregnated with impurities.
Wipe down any furniture or lamps with polish or household cleaners. If the fabric shades smell of lamp oil, discard them and purchase new ones. Wash any glass shades with window cleaner, just as you did the lamp chimney.
Shampoo your carpets. To help them dry properly, provide plenty of ventilation. Opening a window or two will also help purge the smelly air from your house and replace it with a fresh scent.
Acquire a container of odorless, ultra-purified lamp oil. It is somewhat expensive, but burns extremely clean with a bright flame and no kerosene smell.
Refill your lamp with the high quality oil. Reattach the burner assembly containing the new wick, and reattach the glass chimney.
Relight your oil lamp. Adjust the burner so that the wick burns with a bright, steady flame. If you continue using a high quality lamp oil, and adjust the wick height properly, the nasty smell will never return.