How to clean a kerosene heater

How to clean a kerosene heater? Follow the best steps [ 2022 ]

How to clean a kerosene heater? It becomes a very common question nowadays. Kerosene heaters are the most frequently used heater method in rural areas. It works by burning kerosene in a combustion chamber, so the fumes can heat a metal tank.

An oil wick, or a mantle, supplies oxygen, the causes the kerosene to burn. However, when there is soot and dirt accumulated in the heater after use, it might not work properly anymore because the metal tank has become brittle due to corrosion.

Why need to clean a kerosene heater?

The primary purpose of cleaning a kerosene heater is to restore the oil wick and the mantle so that they work properly. Also, ensure that there are no soot and debris to damage the oil wick, which will in turn cause the kerosene heater not to ignite.

kerosene heater
kerosene heater

What are the best kerosene heater cleaning products?

A kerosene heater cleaning kit is available within the market. It consists of a can of kerosene and a separate package containing two sponges. The throwaway sponges are soaked in kerosene and then used to scrub away the grime on the metal tank until it becomes shiny again. These cleaning kits are cost-effective, allowing you to clean your kerosene heater for only a few dollars.

How to clean a kerosene heater in 12 steps?

The below 12 steps demonstrates how to clean a kerosene heater in an easy way.

Step 1: Unscrew the cover of the water heater and drain all the water from it.

Step 2: Fill the water tank with kerosene until there is not any more room left.

Step 3: After filling all the water tanks in kerosene, use a magnet to pick up any metal objects such as screws, nails, and nuts that might lodge inside them.

Step 4: Remove the mantle. Use a magnet to remove any screws or nails that might lodge in the heating chamber.

Step 5: After removing the mantle and all the metal objects, clean its wick thoroughly with a sponge without any kerosene on it.

Step 6: After cleaning off all dust and soot from inside the heater, use a soft cloth to wipe away any grease and oil from the metal tank.

Step 7: Use a soft cloth to wipe any soot away from the heating chamber.

Step 8: After wiping the metal tank and heating chamber completely, use another sponge soaked in kerosene to clean them again.

Step 9: After cleaning the metal tank and heating chamber, put back the mantle and follow steps 3 through 8 for cleaning its wick thoroughly.

Step 10: After cleaning the wick of the mantle, use a magnet to pick up any metal objects that may have lodged inside it.

Step 11: After removing all the metal objects and the mantle, clean the wick of the heating chamber thoroughly.

Step 12: After cleaning the wick of the heater and putting back its mantle, use a magnet to pick up any metal objects that may have lodged inside it.

Watch the video to learn how to clean a kerosene heater.

Video credit: Craig Arndt Channel.

What to avoid cleaning a kerosene heater?

Even though there are many ways to clean a kerosene heater, you should avoid the following circle.

1: Never use soap when cleaning the heating chamber because it will damage its coating and cause corrosion. Also, never attempt to clean off any rusty oil stains by cleaning it with water or salt because this will remove the outer coating of the heating chamber instead of removing rust stains.

2: Never use detergents or any kind of cleaners that contains acids because these might cause corrosion damage to its enamel coating.

3: Never use steel brushes or sponges to clean off stubborn stains because they will damage the tank.

4: Never use gasoline to clean off stubborn stains because it contains chemicals that will damage the enamel coating of the heater tank.

5: Never clean off soap scum in the heating chamber by using kerosene because this will make a layer of soot on it instead of cleaning soap scum properly.

6: Never leave the heater tank open because this will cause oxygen accumulation inside it, which might ignite your kerosene tank and cause an explosion.

7: Never use abrasive cleaning products such as steel wool on its enamel coating.

8: Never attempt to clean the tank without draining it because this will make a layer of soot in the heater instead of making it clean and shiny.

9: Never use your tank to store any kind of liquids, chemicals, or paints.

10: Never put your heater inside a confined space such as a cabinet because this might cause fire due to oxygen accumulation.

11: Never cover the heater tank with anything and never push it towards surrounding walls because this will block the airflow, causing oxygen accumulation.

12: Never use a metal brush to clean your kerosene heater because this may damage the coating of the metal tank.

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How to clean a kerosene torpedo heater?

  1. Before you start cleaning your kerosene torpedo heater, ensure that it is completely cool.
  2. Next, fill the heater tank with water, as much as possible so that it will be able to cover the base of the heater and drain off easily when poured out.
  3. Then remove the mantle or wick from the heating chamber and clean it thoroughly with soap or detergent and water because soap scum is visible on it.
  4. After cleaning the wick, dry it completely before putting it back onto the heating chamber.
  5. Pour out the water from your tank and use a brush to clean off any debris or dirt on its bottom and the heater setting ring.
  6. Make sure that you clean all the parts thoroughly because dirt might accumulate in these areas easily and cause corrosion.
  7. After cleaning all parts of your kerosene torpedo heater, put back its wick or mantle onto it.
  8. Fill the tank with kerosene until it is completely filled.
  9. Use a clean sponge to clean off any soot stains inside the heating chamber till it becomes shiny again.
  10. After cleaning the heating chamber, use another clean sponge to clean off any debris or dirt on its bottom and setting ring.
  11. After ensuring that your heater is completely cool, pour out all the kerosene from its tank and leave it open for some time so that oxygen can pass through and remove the accumulation of soot inside it.
  12. After a few hours, your heater will be completely clean and will function properly.

How to stop kerosene heater from smelling?

In order to stop your kerosene heater from smelling, you need to clean it regularly and maintain it properly. Regular cleaning and maintenance will increase your heater’s efficiency, which will require less fuel to heat up your water.

How to vent a kerosene heater?

Your kerosene heater must be vented correctly to ensure the safety of your family. If not vented correctly, your heater may ignite without you being able to control it. So, it is important that you know about different types of venting so that you can choose the most suitable kind for your heater.

Type 1: Vented on top

Your kerosene heater should be vented on top through a hole or chimney. A good recommendation is to install a metal vent pipe about 6 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. This metal vent pipe should be screwed into the wall.

Type 2: Direct venting

You can use a direct venter for kerosene heaters. Direct venting of a kerosene heater is through the bottom, which may be out at the back of the house or attached to your roof gutter.

Type 3: Fan-forced venting

If you are trying to vent your kerosene heater through the back, a fan or fan-forced venting setup is the best option. This type of ventilation system will move air—either air from outside or air drawn in from inside your home—through the chimney of your kerosene heater to prevent it from igniting.

how to clean the rice cooker
how to clean the rice cooker

How to clean kerosene heater soot?

Cleaning kerosene heaters is a little bit difficult and time-consuming because it may corrode and damage certain parts of the heater. Therefore, you will need to carefully examine your heater to find all of its parts. Then, follow the instructions outlined below.

1. Parts that should be cleaned

The wick or mantle of your kerosene heater should be cleaned every 12 months because soap scum is visible on it and dirty shades can accumulate into it easily. This is one place where soot can settle in easily.

2. To clean soot

The only way for you to clean soot is with a brush. Buy a long-handled soft bristle brush and thoroughly clean the parts that have soot stains.

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How to clean a kerosene heater wick?

Cleaning the wick of your kerosene heater regularly is very important because it is exposed to soot, oils, and residue from the kerosene. It also acts as a secondary type of fuel, making sure that there is enough heat inside the heater.

How to clean a kerosene heater pump?

Cleaning a kerosene heater pump is not an easy job but you can do it easily by following these instructions:

  1. Remove the pump from the heater tank.
  2. Then disassemble it completely and remove any debris or dirt from its moving parts, especially the gears and spring.
  3. Use an old toothbrush to clean off these areas thoroughly.
  4. After cleaning, reassemble the pump and test it by pumping out some kerosene into a small jar to see if it still works properly or not.
  5. Then, put it back into the heater tank and fill it with kerosene.
  6. Clean the pump again with a new toothbrush or a damp cloth.
  7. Then test it by pumping out some kerosene again to see if it still works properly or not.
  8. Finally, wipe off any oil from its moving parts with a clean cloth to make sure that they are properly lubricated so that they can move smoothly.

What is the best cleanest burning kerosene?

It is highly recommended that you use the cleanest burning kerosene because using this type of fuel will reduce the risk of your kerosene heater igniting. Also, the cleanest burning kerosene is less likely to clog heaters and cause them to malfunction.

How do you clean an old kerosene heater?

Cleaning an old kerosene heater is not easy and you need to follow these instructions:

  1. Before cleaning it, make sure that your heater is completely cool.
  2. Once it has cooled down, remove its pump and casing.
  3. Then clean its pump completely by disassembling it and removing any debris or dirt from the moving parts with an old toothbrush.
  4. After cleaning, reassemble the pump and test it again by pumping out some kerosene to see if it still works properly or not.
  5. Then, clean its pump again with a new toothbrush and some dishwashing detergent.
  6. After cleaning all parts thoroughly, put the casing back on your kerosene heater and fill it with kerosene.
  7. Once it is completely filled, switch off the heater to avoid overheating it while you are cleaning it.
  8. Then, use an old toothbrush to clean the pump and other parts of your heater again.
  9. After cleaning all parts thoroughly, put them back together again, fill it with kerosene and switch it on to test if it still works properly or not.
clean a kerosene heater
clean a kerosene heater

Frequently asked some questions about how to clean a kerosene heater.

How do you clean a kerosene heater?

Step 1: You need to remove the hose from the clogged heater.

Step 2: You need to disconnect the clogged heater system.

Step 3: Place kerosene-soaked rags over the porous surface of the fuel tank and use a pail to catch all the fuel draining out of it.

Can you clean the kerosene heater wick?

You can easily clean the kerosene heater wick. First, attach a metal brush to the vent pipe on top of your heater. Then, unscrew the metal cap at the bottom of your heater and remove the wick.

Then use a wire brush with stiff bristles to clean it thoroughly. Make sure that you do not use metal wire because it can scratch your heater’s interior parts.

What causes black smoke from a kerosene heater?

There are many causes of black smoke from a kerosene heater, but the most common cause is the combustion of gum and varnish. Gum and varnish are what cause new kerosene heaters to smoke so if you notice this happening to your heater, make sure to clean it.

How often should I clean my kerosene heater?

You should clean your kerosene heater once every 2 weeks to prevent it from catching fire. Only use soap if you are cleaning the tank of a kerosene heater because using dishwashing detergent can damage the interior parts of your heater.

How long will a kerosene heater wick last?

A kerosene heater wick will last for 1 to 2 years. However, you have to keep in mind that cleaning it regularly is very important because it helps the wick last longer. Also, you have to replace your wick as soon as possible after burning kerosene with a high sulfur content because this can cause the wick to deteriorate quickly.

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How do I stop my kerosene heater from smelling?

If you are using fuel with high sulfur content, your kerosene heater will start to stink after a while. The good news is that there is a solution to stop this from happening. There are some additives that you can add to your fuel and they will help in keeping the smell at bay because they have properties that prevent smoke from being formed inside the heater. These additives have been tested by a number of people and they have found that they work great for most kerosene heaters.

What are kerosene heater wicks made of?

Kerosene heater wicks are made of fiberglass or synthetic fiber. Fiberglass is a commonly used type of material for wicks because it has very good thermal insulation properties and can soften at high temperatures.


Kerosene heaters are good heating solutions but they also require proper maintenance to keep them working properly. As such, it is very important that you clean your kerosene heater regularly and not use soap to clean the tank because this will damage the inner parts of your heater. If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to maintain your kerosene heater and use it for many years without having any complications with it.

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