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.
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.