How to Refill Zippo Lighters

Written by amy davidson
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How to Refill Zippo Lighters
Zippo lighters can last years if maintained properly. (feurzeug. lighter. image by Olga Trociuk from

Zippo lighters are popular lighters that have been around for many years. A large variety of Zippo lighters are available, with hundreds of different designs. If you have one, or if you are a collector, then knowing how to refill these lighters when their fluids get low is important for keeping them burning bright.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Zippo lighter
  • Zippo brand lighter fluid
  • Paper towels
  • Soap and water

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  1. 1

    Flip open the top of your Zippo lighter and pull out the lighter's base by pulling at the metal part where the flame comes out. Make sure, of course, that this part isn't hot if you have used the lighter in the past couple of minutes.

  2. 2

    Turn over the Zippo lighter base that you have removed. You should see a gold or silver nail on one side, holding cotton sheeting in place. Pull back the cotton sheeting slowly; don't pull too hard, as you don't want to tear the material. Underneath the sheeting is cotton stuffing inside your lighter base.

  3. 3

    Open the top of your Zippo brand lighter fluid and turn it over, pushing the thin nozzle softly into the cotton stuffing. Give the bottle a few gentle squeezes so that fluid soaks into the cotton. Make sure to soak the cotton, but you don't want liquid filling up beyond the cotton. After a few gentle squeezes, inspect the cotton, and if it looks soaked, don't fill anymore. Pull the cotton sheeting back down over the cotton stuffing.

  4. 4

    Slide the outside cover of your Zippo lighter back over the base while still holding the Zippo base with the cotton side facing up. Close the lighter lid and let the Zippo stand right side up for five minutes. Wipe the lighter with a paper towel and wash your hands to ensure that you haven't had an accidental spillage of lighter fluid.

Tips and warnings

  • If your Zippo doesn't light after refilling it, it may need a few more gentle squeezes of fluid. Repeat the previous steps one more time. If your Zippo still doesn't light, there may be a problem with the inside of your lighter and you should see a professional. You can usually find people with Zippo experience at smoke shops and tobacco speciality stores.

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