How to fix a Zippo lighter

A Zippo lighterA question often askt is “How Do I Fix an old Zippo Lighter?”. The answer is just as simple – if you know how to do it. Let me begin with explaining how it works.

This type of lighter uses a liquid fuel, which could be anything form retail zippo fluid to standard petrol or acetone.
It is contained within a number of cotton balls located at the bottom of the lighter.
A wick goes from the bottom to the top, transporting the fuel. It works just like an oil lamp – the fluid is combusted, but the wick remains intact (for the most part).

Here’s how you fix an old zippo (or simply tune up your current one):


1. Open it, take out the houseing, unscrew the screw, take it out (a flint will fall out, don’t let it escape). Remove the lid, take out the cotton. This is the parts of a Zippo.

2. The Wick. If you got a long wick, simply drag it out a bit in order to get a fresh wick at the top. If yours is too short, feel free to buy a retail wick, or use some substitute. I’ve heard that thin rope or such will do just fine.

3. The Cotton. Well, it’s not actually cotton i think – but it works just the same. Feel free to replace it with cotton or alike.

4. The Flint. If you can light your zippo with another lighter, but not with the thumbwheel – this is your problem. Either you can buy new flints – or you can get them for free. Simply take a cheap BIC-lighter or an used-up butane one, and take off the metal cover at the top. Remove the thumbwheel and get the flint from it. Works just fine for me! Put it in the metal pipe where the screw sat, it will pop out just underneith your thumbwheel.

5. Thumbwheel. I have no idea on how to fix this one, it’s probably something you’ll have to google. If it’s possible, just buy a fake Zippo and use that wheel.

6. The Fuel. I’m using retail Zippo fluid, but I know a guy who is using the same petrol as his car. Smells wierd though. Aceton also works. Try what works best for your smell and your wallet. Or find some fake Zippo Fluid for half the retail price.

7. That’s it! Simply polish it up, and you’re good to go.
As long as your caseing isn’t broken. That’s a whole new problem, lol, but I saw this one guy – using ductape to fix it.

And remember – smoking is bad for you. Lol.

One thought on “How to fix a Zippo lighter

  1. I refill old “lighter fluid” cans from a quart of Napha I get from the hardware store …much cheaper!! Same stuff!! And keep your eyes open for discarded disposables and scavenge the flints out of them….they give you more than enough flint to outlast the given butane. I’ve found that using a fine wire brush on the spark wheel and cleaning it periodically helps—–with use it gets dirty and is more or less sliding across the flint instead of digging in and causing spark!!

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