Hurricane lamps were invented to produce a consistent light even when held outside in blustery weather. The hurricane lamp's construction allows fresh air to feed the flame and the exhaust to vent out. The glass dome houses the flame in a relatively controlled environment, and it reflects an even, bright light. Keeping the lamp clean is critical to efficient use.
Place the hurricane lamp on a layer of newspaper to catch any spills. Pull the ring at the top of the lamp to lift the metal housing over the glass globe. Tilt the globe sideways until it is cleared from the top housing when it is replaced. Remove the glass globe.
Wash the glass globe in a solution of warm soapy water using a cotton rag to wipe off the soot that accumulated on the inside as well as any build-up on the outside. Wipe the globe dry with a cotton towel or paper towels.
Unscrew the top lid that holds the wick in place over the oil chamber. Lift the wick out of the oil and remove it from the cap and throw it away. If the oil is very old, drain it into a suitable container for recycling. Wipe down the exterior of the lamp with a damp rag.
Feed a new wick into the cap and turn the control until about 1/2 inch of the wick is showing out the top. Fill the chamber a little over halfway with clean oil. This will ensure a brighter flame and less smoke. Lower the other end of the wick into the oil chamber and screw the lid back on.
Replace the glass globe in the same way that you removed it. After you lift the ring you can tilt it back into place and lower the top metal housing back in place. Adjust the wick later, after it has had a chance to soak in the oil. Store the lamp in a cool dry area until ready to use.
Never try to clean a hurricane lamp while it is still hot.