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Can I burn olive oil in my oil lamps?

 
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I have a LARGE collection of oil lamps. I LOVE oil lamps and collected them for years. I have probably 30 or 40, some decorative, some hurricane lamps. But, I've realized I really don't want to be breathing in fossil fuels when I burn them!

Everywhere I see online, says I cannot burn olive oil or other cooking oils in an oil lamp, as petroleum lamps are made for the oil to travel up a higher distance to burn, while olive oil only wants to travel up 1 inch.

At one point, I bought a natural oil that could burn in conventional oil lamps. But, it smells soapy, and it somehow degraded the plastic container it was in and leaked all over the floor and did serious damage to everything. It's self-distinguishing oil, but it was rather...corrosive? It destroyed the linoleum floor it spilled on. Weird stuff. Here's a link to the stuff I'm talking about, in case anyone is wondering: https://www.amazon.com/Firefly-CLEAN-Fuel-Lamp-Oil/dp/B00NCAXBSS.

Anyway, I would love to make use of my oil lamp collection without burning fossil fuels. Any idea how? What if I top them off with oi so there's a shhorter transer distance?

Here's some I might experiment with. They're handy little oil lamps that can fit on any regular masson jar lid
20190911_134911-1-.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190911_134911-1-.jpg]
 
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I think it can be done. Here's a video of a guy doing just what you're asking about. The round dome part that the wick goes through on top needs to be trimmed or removed, which shortens the length of wick the oil has to travel through. Prime a new wick with oil from the top after inserting it into a jar full of oil before lighting, this will get the flow of oil going up.

 
Nicole Alderman
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Reading the comments, it looks like the vegetable oil evaporates a bit over time, becoming gooey and sticky and no longer travels up the wick.

I'm wondering if this would happen to olive oil, too.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Looks like it's called a "chunk light" when it burns thicker oil? At least, that's what it's called in this video, where he does the actual transforming of the kerosene lamp into one that burns vegetable/olive oil (this is the video referred to in James' video up above)

 
James Freyr
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Reading the comments, it looks like the vegetable oil evaporates a bit over time, becoming gooey and sticky and no longer travels up the wick.

I'm wondering if this would happen to olive oil, too.



I wonder how long that process takes, if it's a few months or a few years, and if regular use and keeping the reservoir full helps slow or even prevent this.
 
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Found this ancient greek style olive oil lamp for sale on ebay. I wonder if it works well..
olive-oil-lamp.jpg
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I converted a few lamps to run on olive oil but found a light vegetable oil burned better. As laid out above the oil won't travel as far up the wick so you have to get the flame close to the oil. The other thing is you need to keep adding oil to keep the level up in the reservoir again because it does not wick well. I eventually discarded the lamp altogether and used a small 6 oz mason jar with two holes. one for the wick one for easy refilling...
cheers,  David
 
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You can absolutely use olive oil, for this. In fact, it's one of the cleanest, most environmentally sound oils you can possibly use, and a great way to use up olive oil that's probably beyond using for cooking purposes.
 
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