How to Make a Denatured Alcohol Lamp

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As an alternative to a Bunsen burner, oil lamp or even a candle, a denatured alcohol lamp can’t be beaten. The benefit of using denatured alcohol to make a lamp is that it will not produce blackening soot as candles and oil lamps will. A denatured alcohol lamp will burn at a medium heat and is perfect for long-burning lamps when camping or even for setting under aromatherapy pots. Denatured alcohol lamps can be constructed at home with common household items.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Glass jar with metal lid
  • Cotton clothesline thread
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Hammer
  • 1 nail

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  1. 1

    Puncture the metal lid of the glass jar with the hammer and nail to make a hole.

  2. 2

    Thread the cotton clothesline through the hole in the metal lid.

  3. 3

    Fill the jar 3/4 full with the denatured alcohol.

  4. 4

    Replace the lid on the jar and let the wick soak up the denatured alcohol before lighting.

Tips and warnings

  • Glass baby food jars are the perfect size for a good denatured alcohol lamp. A glass bottle with a metal lid can also be substituted. Use unwaxed cotton thread to avoid black soot.
  • Never refill the lamp when the wick is still burning; this will create a rush of alcohol vapour that is highly flammable and dangerous.
  • Never let children play with a denatured alcohol lamp even when unlit.
  • Never use any bottle or jar with plastic content.

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