I accidentally filled my Primus Powerlighter with the liquid lighter fuel rather than gas lighter fuel.

(How) can I correct this mistake, or is my lighter now ruined?

It was about 30–40% full and I did have some leakage as I tried to fill it. It appears I can make most of it evaporate by simultaneously pushing the valve open and pushing the ignition. It is now some 10% full.

  • It can't have been easy getting liquid into a butane lighter so it might not be full. You could try turning it on without lighting it (the cheaper equivalents I've got will do this with light pressure on the trigger) with the flame nozzle face down, and refilling it with butane simultaneously to blow the liquid fuel out. All well away from anything flammable, outdoors, etc. etc.
    – Chris H
    Aug 20, 2016 at 16:39
  • But even if you can clear it,I'd be very wary of both unexpected flames and it letting you down,at least for a while
    – Chris H
    Aug 20, 2016 at 16:42
  • @ChrisH your comment would be the correct answer imho. pressurize the fuel chamber, and push the liquid out of it. Now that there is a bounty on this question, you might want to rephrase your comment as an answer. :)
    – Peter1807
    Sep 1, 2016 at 9:55
  • @Peter18071 I'm a little wary of suggesting playing with fire or things to make it, without trying it out myself. You also have to take account where the outlet hose picks up. But I'll have a go.
    – Chris H
    Sep 1, 2016 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


It's unlikely to have much fuel in it, so you've got a chance. But you're going to have to be careful. The first step is to try to push the liquid out using the butane you would normally fill it with. Holding the lighter with the nozzle downwards and the trigger depressed to open the valve, all while pushing the butane canister into place should do the trick (the lighter fills from the bottom). You might need to put the lighter in a vice. However in many lighters, the output is taken through a pipe leading to a position quite low in the reservoir. You can't tell in this case because it's sealed and made of metal, but you might also have to try blowing butane in with the lighter the right way up (standing the filling canister on the bench). A tiny bit of liquid lighter fuel may be left behind in either case, but hopefully not enough to prevent lighting.

Then release the trigger, fill the lighter and make sure all traces of fuel are gone before trying to light it, which you should do cautiously. I'd be consider wearing leather gloves.

I wouldn't trust it as my only source of fire until it's had a good workout, in case enough liquid is in there to re-block the outlet. I'd also be wary of unexpected flames at first, and after it had been shaken about -- inspect for signs of liquid before lighting and watch out for flammables.

One other thing that might be worth a try, especially after blowing what liquid you can out of it, is leaving it in a warm place with the trigger pressed. I'd again do this outside, avoiding direct heat. The outlet nozzle is going to be really small, so very little evaporated liquid will escape, but it might be the only way to shift the dregs.


Be careful not to ignite anything -- you're likely to be pushing the trigger with spilt fuel around. Work in a well-ventilated place away from anything flammable -- outdoors.

I've assumed that like my cheap equivalent you can gently press the trigger without sparking. If you can't you'll have to be even more careful. I've also assumed that (again like my cheap one) you can lock the trigger. If not a cable tie or small clamp shoudl do the trick.

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