Kerosene lamps have been around for centuries, and with good reason – they’re a cost-effective way to light up a room. However, kerosene oil lamps aren’t without their quirks.
One of the most important aspects of using oil lamps is selecting the right oil lamp wick. In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of wicks available for oil lamps and discuss which ones are best for specific applications.
So whether you’re a seasoned kerosene lamp user or just getting started, read on for the definitive guide to oil lamp wicks!
Check out my complete guide to oil lamp burner
Table of Contents
- Why Does An Oil Lamp Need A Wick ?
- What Is A Lantern Wick ? | What Is Oil Lamp Wick Made Of ?
- What Oil Lamp Wick Do I Need ?
- Flat Wick
- Where Can You Buy Oil Lamp Wicks From ?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Can You Use For A Wick For A Lantern? | What Can I Use Instead Of A Cotton Wick ?
- How To Tell What Size Wick Does My Oil Lamp Need ?
- Do I Need To Trim The Wick On An Oil Lamp ?
- How Often Do You Change Wick In Oil Lamp ?
- How Long Does Oil Lamp Wick Last ?
- When Should I Replace My Oil Lamp Wick ?
- How Long Does A Wick Last In A Kerosene Lamp ?
- What Is The Best Wick For Olive Oil Lamps ?
Why Does An Oil Lamp Need A Wick ?
The function of an oil lamp wick is to transfer the fuel from the burner to the flame. Capillary action pulls liquid fuel through the wick and stops the burning of the wick; the fire is actually burned over the top of the wick. The warmth is burned through the wick bottoms.
What Is A Lantern Wick ? | What Is Oil Lamp Wick Made Of ?
A lantern wick is a piece of cotton string that is soaked in fuel such as oil or kerosene. The wick is then lit, causing the fuel to be drawn from the burner up the wick where it is vaporized and burned.
Lamp Wicking absorbs and transports fuel oil for combustion into a nozzle. Unless the oil wick fits properly, the lamps light will fail to come through. Most wicks in the US are 100% cotton made, although there are some applications where this might not be appropriate.
What Oil Lamp Wick Do I Need ?
Oil lamp wicks are available in a variety of sizes and materials. Choosing the right wick size you need will depend on the size of your kerosene burner. The most common material for oil lamp wicks is cotton, but there are also wicks made from other materials such as fiberglass or Kevlar.
The type of oil you use will also affect the type of lamp wick you need. For example, if you are using a light oil such as mineral oil, you will need a different wick than if you are using a heavier oil such as olive oil. Heavier oils will require a thicker wick in order to maintain a steady flame.
When choosing an oil lamps wick, it is important to consider the size of your oil lamp, the type of oil you will be using, and the desired flame height. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect wick for your oil lamp.
A flat wick is a type of oil lamp wick that has a square or rectangular cross-section. This type of wick is typically made from cotton or linen and is impregnated with a fuel such as kerosene.
Advantages of a flat wick:
1. The flat shape of the wick helps to prevent it from curling over time, which can eventually lead to the wick becoming blocked.
2. The flat wick provides a larger surface area for the fuel to be drawn up, which results in a brighter flame.
3. The shape of flat wicks also allows for better air circulation around the flame, which helps to prevent soot buildup.
Disadvantages of a flat wick:
1. The flat shape of the wick can make it more difficult to insert into some oil lamps.
2. The larger surface area of the wick can cause the oil to be consumed more quickly.
3. The flat wick may require more frequent trimming than other types of wicks.
A round wick is a type of oil lamp wick that has a circular cross-section. This type of wick is typically made from cotton or linen and is impregnated with a fuel such as kerosene.
Advantages of a round wick:
1. The round shape of the wick helps to prevent it from becoming blocked or clogged as easily as a flat wick.
2. The round wick provides good air circulation around the flame, which helps to prevent soot buildup.
3. The shape of the wick also allows for a more even burn, resulting in less waste of fuel.
Disadvantages of a round wick:
1. The round shape of the wick can make it more difficult to insert into some oil lamps.
2. The round wick may require more frequent trimming than other types of wicks.
A twisted wick is a type of oil lamp wick that has a spiral or corkscrew-like shape. This type of wick is typically made from cotton or linen and is impregnated with a fuel such as kerosene.
Advantages of a twisted wick:
1. The twisted shape of the wick helps to prevent it from becoming blocked or clogged as easily as a flat wick.
2. The twisted wick provides good air circulation around the flame, which helps to prevent soot buildup.
3. The shape of the wick also allows for a more even burn, resulting in less waste of fuel.
Disadvantages of a twisted wick:
1. The twisted shape of the wick can make it more difficult to insert into some oil lamps.
2. The twisted wick may require more frequent trimming than other types of wicks.
A tubular wick is a type of oil lamp wick that is made from a hollow tube of textile material. The most common type of tubular wick is made from cotton, but other materials such as linen or hemp can also be used.
Tubular wicks are used in oil lamps because they allow the oil to flow evenly and steadily up the wick, which provides a consistent and steady flame.
There are several benefits to using a tubular wick in oil lamps:
- Tubular wicks provide a steadier and more consistent flame than other types of wicks.
- Tubular wicks allow the oil to flow evenly up the wick, which prevents the formation of hot spots and ensures that the entire wick is used.
- Tubular wicks are less likely to smolder and produce smoke than other types of wicks.
There are a few disadvantages to using a tubular wick in an oil lamp:
- Tubular wicks can be more expensive than other types of wicks.
- Tubular wicks require more frequent trimming than other types of wicks.
- Tubular wicks may not be suitable for use in all types of oil lamps.
What Are The Different Types Of Tubular Wicks?
There are two main types of tubular wicks: braided and twisted. Braided tubular wicks are made from multiple strands of textile material that are braided together. Twisted tubular wicks are made from a single strand of textile material that is twisted into a spiral.
Cotton Flat Wicks For Most Oil Lamps
High-quality cotton is used to make clean-burning and rapid transportation of fuels. Cotton wicks are most readily available and are suitable for use in most domestic applications.
Fiberglass Oil Wick
A fiberglass oil wick may be a good choice over a cotton oil wick in certain situations. For example, if you are looking for a more durable wick that will last longer, a fiberglass wick may be a better option. Additionally, fiberglass wicks can typically handle higher heat than cotton wicks, so they may be a good choice if you are using your oil lamps in a high-heat environment.
Kevlar Oil Wick
Kevlar oil wicks are made of a heat resistant material, so they can be used in situations where a cotton or fiberglass oil wick might break down. Kevlar wicks also tend to last longer than other types of wicks.
If you use your oil lamp in a very hot climate, the heat can cause the wick to break down. Also, if you do not trim the wick regularly, it can get too long and begin to break down. Additionally, if you use an oil that is not compatible with the wick material, it can break down the wick. Finally, if you allow the oil level in the lamp to get too low, this can also cause the wick to break down. All of these situations will result in an oil lamp that does not work properly and will need to be replaced.
Where Can You Buy Oil Lamp Wicks From ?
When it comes to finding the perfect oil lamp wicks, there are a few different places you can look. For starters, many hardware stores and home improvement stores sell oil lamp wicks and other lamp parts. You can also buy them on certain internet sites.. Here are a few places to check out:
These are just a few of the many places you can find oil lamp wicks. With a little bit of searching, you should be able to find the perfect wicks for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Wick For An Oil Lamp?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as the ideal wick size for an oil lamp may vary depending on the type and size of the lamp, as well as the specific oil being used. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is typically recommended to use a wick that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the lamp’s opening. This will help to ensure that the wick is fully submerged in oil, and that the flame remains steady and controlled. If you are unsure of what size wick to use, it is always best to consult with a professional or an experienced oil lamp user.
The most common sizes of cotton oil wicks are 6, 8, and 10 inches.
You can also find cotton wicks that are 12 and 14 inches long, but they are less common.
The most common sizes of fiberglass oil wicks are 3/8”, 1/2”, and 5/8”. People often use these sizes for their lamps because they are easy to find and work well with most types of oil lamps.
Kevlar oil wicks are available in a variety of sizes, but the most common are 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch.
What Can You Use For A Wick For A Lantern? | What Can I Use Instead Of A Cotton Wick ?
You could also make wicks with gauze for wound dressings. You can get the gauze in a supermarket or pharmacy or you can also buy 1-inch gauze from an upholstery retailer. Cut 3-inch strips that will be enough to fit kerosene lamps.
How To Tell What Size Wick Does My Oil Lamp Need ?
The size of wick your oil lamp needs will depend on the size of the oil lamp. Generally, a larger oil lamp will need a larger wick. You can determine the size of wick you need by measuring the inside diameter of the neck of the oil lamp. Once you have this measurement, you can refer to the chart below to find the appropriate size wick.
|Neck Diameter of Oil Lamp (in inches||Size of Wick Required (in inches)|
|Up to 3/16″||3/16″ wick|
|3/16″ to 1/4″||1/4″ wick|
|1/4″ to 5/16″||5/16″ wick|
|5/16″ to 3/8″||3/8″ wick|
|7/16″ to 1/2″||1/2″ wick|
|1/2″ to 9/16″||9/16″ wick|
|9/16″ to 5/8″||5/8″ wick|
|5/8″ to 11/16″||11/16″ wick|
|11/16″ to 3/4″||3/4″ wick|
|3/4″ to 13/16″||13/16″ wick|
|13/16″ to 7/8″||7/8″ wick|
|7/8″ to 15/16″||15/16″ wick|
|15/16″ to 1″||1″ wick|
If you are unsure of the inside diameter of the neck of your oil lamp, you can always err on the side of a larger wick. It is better to have a wick that is too large than one that is too small.
Do I Need To Trim The Wick On An Oil Lamp ?
Unlike candle wicks, the wick requires daily trimming to get rid of charred debris that produces a dull flame and smoke.
How Often Do You Change Wick In Oil Lamp ?
Wick – are usually needed to be replaced after 6 months of normal use. Is it good having another pair of spares? Chimneys – Chimneys will never be worn out and could rot or break if blown or if the lamp has been heated too quickly.
How Long Does Oil Lamp Wick Last ?
Wick burns 1-2 inches for every half-gallon of oil. Taking this number into consideration, a jug of lamp oil will last at least 30 days by trimming the wick and heating it for 5 hours a day.
When Should I Replace My Oil Lamp Wick ?
Wicking eventually burns down and should be replaced with an equal width to fit the oil burner.
How Long Does A Wick Last In A Kerosene Lamp ?
Tell me the lifespan of wicks in kerosene lamps? An 8″wick lasts for around 15gallons of lamp oil.
What Is The Best Wick For Olive Oil Lamps ?
When burning olive oils it’s important keep it saturated for a long time. It is important to soak in oil before lighting so it works better. Use wicks that have extensive weaving or even tight-twisted pieces of fabric. It is easy and inexpensive to create wicks with cotton.
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about oil lamp wicks!
We’ve given you a comprehensive guide on the different types of wicks available, as well as how to determine what size wick you need for your lamp.
We hope this information has been helpful and that you now feel confident in choosing and using the right oil wick for your needs.
If you have any further questions about oil lamp wicks then please leave a comment below.
And remember, always be safe when using kerosene lamps – never leave a lit lamp unattended! Thanks for reading.