How to use and maintain an oil lantern


I was recently at my father in laws house and noticed a Dietz cold blast junior he had hanging on his garage wall. I said something about it and he told me I could have it. Old oil lanterns are bulletproof other than the
globes and can also be used as a heat source. So now I'm gonna tell you how to use an old oil lantern. They are perfect for power outages and any other time power may not be available. 
The first thing to do after you find an old lantern is replace the wick. Check the size before you buy replacements. The old Dietz junior lanterns use a 1/2" wick. 
Push down the lever by the wick adjuster which will move the globe down. Pull up on the spring loaded top of the lantern. The globe will tip forward and can be gently removed. Just pull the globe from between the cage holding it in. Once the globe is removed you need to remove the cover from the wick holder. Turn it counter clock wise and the two ears will spin free. It may be necessary to pull up by the wick adjuster while turning the cover. Next try to spin the wick holder free, mine did not come loose so I skipped it. If you are able to get the wick holder unscrewed just remove the old wick and feed the new from the bottom. If you could not get it removed from the lantern no big deal just spin the wick height adjuster until the old wick is all the way out the top and pull it free. Then feed the new wick down and turn the height adjuster until it is situated. Put it all back together and the wick is done. Before reassembly you may want to clean the inside of the globe with some windex.
Finally fill the lantern 7/8 of the way with kerosene or lamp oil and let the wick soak for a few minutes. Lift the lever to make the globe raise and light the wick. It will smoke at first but you just have to lower the wick and globe and it will stop.
To Extinguish a lantern raise the globe, lower the wick and blow it out. One bit of advice, dont lower the wick too much it will fall into the fuel tank.
There's not all that much to go wrong on an oil lantern, it works through capillary action rather than pressure like propane so a new wick and fuel is all that is usually needed unless the globe is broke. Lamp oil will burn about 1/2 an ounce per hour. I havent tried kerosene yet but i read a tank of it will last 45 hours in my lantern. An oil lantern has a nice yellow flame rather than white/blue like propane which helps create a nice ambience. 


  1. bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

  2. If you're going to run a few kerosene lanterns buy the rolls of wicking vs the pre-cut lengths .... not only cheaper but you'll have less wasted stub ends of wicking ....

    1. That's a good idea. They didn't have the rolls at the store here in town but ill check amazon.