How to Remove the Soot From an Oil Lamp Chimney

Written by rich finzer
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How to Remove the Soot From an Oil Lamp Chimney
A sparkling clean oil lamp gives more light. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Oil lamps make useful home lighting backups during a power failure. Frequent use of your oil lamp may cause soot to build up on the inside surface of the glass chimney. Over time, the soot reduces the illumination the lamp can provide. If the chimney of your lamp is sooty, you should clean it. This will require only a few minutes of your time, and the result will be quite pleasing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Window cleaner
  • Long-handled bottle brush
  • Hot water
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Remove the glass chimney from the base of your oil lamp. If the lamp was recently in use, allow the chimney to cool before attempting to remove it.

  2. 2

    Over your sink, spray the inside and outside of the glass chimney with household window cleaner.

  3. 3

    Brush the inside and outside surfaces of the glass with a bottle brush. Maintain a firm but gentle grip on the chimney, as it will be slippery once the window cleaner has been applied.

  4. 4

    Rinse the chimney with hot tap water.

  5. 5

    Inspect the chimney to make sure all traces of soot have been removed. If you missed a spot, spray, brush and rinse it a second time, until all the soot has been removed.

  6. 6

    Dry the chimney inside and out with a clean towel. Lamp chimneys are quite brittle, so again, maintain a firm but gentle grip while drying it.

  7. 7

    Replace the glass chimney onto the burner of your oil lamp. Be sure the retaining clips on the burner grip the outside of the chimney securely.

Tips and warnings

  • Excessive soot build-up may be an indication that the lamp wick has not been adjusted correctly when burning, or that it requires trimming.

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