How to Repair a Zippo Lighter Yourself

Updated February 21, 2017

Zippo is an iconic lighter brand, popular in 1950s movies and with cigar smokers around the world. Metal Zippos encase rayon wading drenched in lighter fluid, through which a wick is run to the ignition mechanism, which lights the flame by sparking a flint. With continued use, several pieces of the lighter can become unhinged, bent or otherwise unusable. Repairing these problems will give your lighter a longer life and better functionality.

Open the lighter with your finger. Remove the inside compartment from the unit casing by pulling up the wick end of the lighter. Examine the wick protruding from the top of the lighter. If the wick is completely black, pull the wick further up to expose unused wick. Cut off the burnt part of the wick.

If the lighter won't close properly, bend the chimney at the top of the lighter back into place. The chimney is where the lighter houses the flame. Replace the chimney if it is melted or bent beyond repair.

Check the flint on the inside of the lighter. Turn the screw on the bottom of the inner compartment counterclockwise to remove it. Tap the bottom of the lighter against your palm to dislodge the flint. If the flint is obviously too small for use, replace the flint with a new one.

Pull the rayon wading from the lighter if you notice mould or if the material has pulled apart. The rayon wading should look like cotton. Add lighter fluid to the wading if it is completely dry. Coat the wading with lighter fluid until it's absorbed. The wading should be damp, but not soaked.

Insert the inner compartment back into the lighter casing and spark the lighter. The initial flame might be high and fast, so be careful. Wait for the excess fluid to burn off and then close the lighter.

Things You'll Need

  • Lighter fluid
  • Wick
  • Flint
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About the Author

Charles Poole holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Appalachian State University. He started freelancing in college for local publications in Boone, N.C. and is continuing his career through online freelancing with a specialization in affiliate marketing, blogging and SEO.