Antique Kerosene Lamp
Information On Antique Kerosene Lamps & Lanterns
Antique Kerosene Lamp Antique Lamp Care & Restoration | Books On Antique Kerosene Lamps

 

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Antique Kerosene Lamp Care

Cleaning and restoring antique kerosene lamps is easy and fun to do.

One of the joys of owning an antique kerosene lamp is in actually being able to use it once in a while. So if you have an antique that you need to repair or restore to usable condition, there are a few reputable sources of repair and restoration parts for these lamps. You can find many types of burners, collars, wicks, shade holders, banding, crowns and chimneys from them to bring your lamp back to fully usable shape. It is useful to know that many parts for oil lamps and kerosene lamps are interchangeable.

Cleaning Antique Kerosene Lamps

You should start with a boiling water and detergent solution to clean out the kerosene tank or font as it is also called and the sooty glass chimney. Use any tools you can find to scrub old, oily grime off of the metal and glass parts. A stiff bristle brush, an old toothbrush, a toothpick or fine steel wool will do to get the grime out of difficult to reach places but you need to be careful of scratching fine brass or breaking glass. Use boiling water and detergent again for a final clean, then rinse, dry and use vegetable oil to polish tarnished parts with a soft cotton cloth.

Caring for Antique Kerosene Lamps

The glass and fabric parts of your antique kerosene lamps can easily be damaged so handle with care. Always keep the lamp clean and properly assembled. Soot should be cleaned from the mantle and chimney as soon as possible. The mantle can be cleaned as above in hot water and detergent. Besides keeping your lamp nice to look at, there is also a safety issue because dust and soot, if allowed to collect, can be dangerous when exposed to an open flame. Become familiar with all the parts of your lamp and make sure they are all assembled properly at all times. Finally, make it a routine to clean and fill your lamp if you are using it.

Precautions

Make sure you use your lamp in a well ventilated area. Not only can the burning fumes be dangerous to an accidental touch but there is also the added danger of starting a house fire. Never use gasoline or other dangerous fuels in these oil lamps. You can use any good refined kerosene or commercial lamp oil, the best being the oil specially prepared for your type of lamp. It is not a good idea to use scented oils as the additives can damage the wick and gum up the burner. Never burn the lamp too quickly or too hot. If you see an orange flame, the wick has not had time to absorb enough kerosene, so make sure it has before you light it again. Obviously, you should always keep an eye on your lamp while it is lit and make sure the flame is completely extinguished when you are done—not only should you lower the wick until the flame dies out but you should also blow on the burner as if blowing out a match to help it to extinguish completely. To make sure, raise the wick again and check that it is out.

How To Safely Use Antique Oil Lamps