Supermarkets often have "fire starting liquid" on sale - that's usually transparent oil-like liquid looking much like kerosene. The label typically says the product it "mix of paraffins". It behaves more or less like kerosene, just a bit harder to ignite.

The usage is to spread perhaps 50-100 ml or so onto charcoal or firewood, wait for a minute, then set it on fire with a match or lighter.

Can such liquid be used in place of kerosene in a kerosene lamp?

2 Answers 2


Kerosene is different from other carbon fuels in that is has a much higher flash point, meaning that it has to be warmer than other fuels before it will produce a vapour that can be ignited. Other fuels with a much lower flash point produce a lot more vapours at warmer temperatures, making them much more volatile.

If your lamp is designed to be used with Kerosene, then using any other type of fuel could cause the lamp to explode, or worse, vent vapours that could fill a room, find a spark, and catch a cabin on fire (worst case scenario). Only use fuels recommended for your gear, you're flirting with disaster it you start experimenting with other igniters.


Lighter fluid and charcoal lighter fluid may be one of or a combination of the following: alcohol, kerosene, naphtha or other petroleum solvent.

Therefore I would stick with kerosene.

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