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Kerosene Vs. K1 Kerosene

The kerosene you buy at the hardware store is grade 1-K, or "1-K kerosene." Although you can purchase 2-K kerosene, most modern kerosene appliances such as heaters, lamps and stoves require 1-K kerosene. 1-K kerosene is lower in sulphur and burns cleaner than 2-K kerosene.

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1-K kerosene can be either clear or dyed red. The red dye is added to distinguish it from diesel fuel because diesel fuel requires a motor vehicle tax and kerosene does not. Red kerosene is less expensive than clear kerosene and when you buy 1-K kerosene in bulk to heat your home, you are buying red kerosene.


1-K kerosene in bulk is also known as #1 Stove Oil. 2-K kerosene is known as #2 Stove Oil.

Where to Purchase

You can purchase small quantities, like 1 or 2 gallons of 1-K kerosene, at hardware stores. To purchase 1-K kerosene in bulk, contact your local heating oil or fuel supplier.


Store 1-K kerosene in a blue plastic or metal container clearly marked KEROSENE. Do not store kerosene in a red gas can because it could be mistaken for gasoline. Unlike gasoline, kerosene is very stable in storage. If you throw a match into a pool of kerosene, the kerosene will put out the match.

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About the Author

Steve McDonnell

Steve McDonnell's experience running businesses and launching companies complements his technical expertise in information, technology and human resources. He earned a degree in computer science from Dartmouth College, served on the WorldatWork editorial board, blogged for the Spotfire Business Intelligence blog and has published books and book chapters for International Human Resource Information Management and Westlaw.

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