Olive oil is great in the kitchen for cooking purposes, but you might be surprised to know it’s also a great source of fuel for oil lamps. In fact, people have been using olive oil for a long time and it’s nothing revolutionary.
Olive oil comprises 99% of pure fuel. It’s also clean, safe, and can reproduce light for a long period. It doesn’t emit soot, smoke, or any other form of air contaminants. All of this makes olive oil a great choice to burn in an oil lamp.
This article seeks to provide more insights on olive oil and how you can use it for your oil lamp.
Table of Contents
Why Use Olive Oil For Your Oil Lamp?
For several years, people around the world have used olive oil to light up their space. Although olive oil can serve other purposes such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps, etc, it majorly functioned as a traditional lamp in the olden days.
If you’re still confused about burning olive oil in your oil lamp, here are some of its top advantages to keep in mind:
1. It Burns Clean
Olive oil is considered one of the best oils because it emits smoother flames. It is smokeless, odorless, which means that harmful hydro-carbons are not let into the air when you burn olive oil.
If you’re highly sensitive to paraffin or kerosene fumes, the best way to get a more pleasant smell is by burning olive oil.
While olive oil is safe for use, you should avoid burning it in a kerosene lantern. Instead, make your own retrofit olive oil lamp.
2. Resistance to Heat
High-quality olive oil is heat resistant. It has a good smoke point of 410°F which makes it fit for frying, roasting, and of course, burning in an oil lamp.
2. Safe to Use
Burning olive oil in your oil lamp guarantees you and your household utmost safety. Instead of igniting fire when flame drops into the oil, olive oil will help to put the flame out; this isn’t the case with kerosene.
Used as oil for oil lamps, olive oil is inexpensive. It is much more affordable than other oil lamp fuels.
In addition to growing an olive tree yourself, another means of having affordable olive oil is by going for cheaper options such as pomace olive oil.
While burning olive oil in an oil lamp, you must monitor the quantity at intervals and top up as needed. This ensures that the oil doesn’t dry up and cause the lamp wick to burn.
How Do You Store Olive Oil?
When it comes to burning olive oil, freshness is important. With proper storage, you are sure of the effectiveness and safety of this oil in your lamp. That said, here are things to keep in mind regarding olive oil storage:
#1. Store in Room Temperature
The best way to store olive oil is at a temperature of 65 to 75°F when it’s not in use. Storing in colder rooms can freeze the oil up, thus making it ineffective during usage. Also, properly storing the oil helps to increase the lifespan of the oil lamp.
#2. Don’t Expose to Air
Once you expose the oil to air, its quality can start degrading. You can bottle your oil in airtight containers to protect it from the air.
Once you open the container, ensure to quickly use the quantity you need and close back. This will help to limit the oil’s exposure to light.
#3. Keep Away From Light
You must always try to reduce your olive oil exposure to direct light. You can begin by taking it away from the window. Else, UV rays might penetrate and break the oil after some time.
Boxes or dark green bottles are one of the safest means of keeping olive oil out of light.
#4. Look Out For the Harvest Date
The harvest date is a big element to look out for while buying the olive oil. If there’s no harvest date, you should skip it or risk buying a product that has lasted for a long time.
You can always find the harvest date on the product’s label.
How Can I Make My Own Olive Oil Lamp?
As you probably know, burning olive oil as opposed to its kerosene counterparts is less toxic and safer. In general, the size of your wick will determine the cost of burning the olive oil. It also determines the flame size and amount of fuel that will be consumed.
However, if you learn how to construct your olive oil lamp, you may end up saving a few bucks on oil lamp purchases. Want to learn? Here’s how:
Step 1: Gather the Lamp Parts
The essence of gathering these parts is because you will need a range from an ordinary metal coat hanger, a wick, a needle-nose pillar, and a canning jar. These materials have high resistance to heat and can withstand hot temperatures because of what they are used for.
Step 2: Curve the hanger back and forth
Here, you are expected to firm your grip on the pliers. Twist it back and forth the metal wire of the coat hanger; stop when you hear it snap.
Step 3: Cover the wire surrounding the needle-nose pliers
To do this with ease, use the needle-nose pliers to grip the end of the wire and then wrap the wire around the pliers at least 4 times. But make sure it’s not too tight and not too loose, this will make it easy for you to remove the wind off the pliers when needed.
Step 4: Slide Off the Coil From the Pliers
Using a screwdriver, push the wound wire of the pliers. This step is easy as long as you don’t wrap the wire too tightly in step 3.
Step 5: Wrap the Wire Round the Coil
Ensure that the wick is firmly positioned to draw oil fuel by capillary action.
Step 6: Create a Loop to Clench the wick coil flat Beneath the Jar
You must shape the wire, form, and bend it by using pliers. This will hold the wound portion of the wick more tightly. You can then form a handle to support the jar’s lip edge by bending the rest of the wire up the edge of the jar.
Step 7: Twist the Top of the Wick Holder
You must bend it back to allow the wick to point upwards when it has to be inserted later.
Step 8: Create a Hook
The main purpose of creating this hook is to hang over the edge of the jar and the wick coil sits flat on the bottom of the jar. So, make sure the coil is well-positioned.
Step 9: Let the Holder Support the Hook
Do this by making use of the needle-nose pliers, and opening the upper winds of the wick coil so that the wick will slip through freely.
Step 10: Firm the wick
Pinch the wire adequately so that the wick won’t fall back. You should do this after the wick passes through the wire. It must be loosely held so that you can easily feed the wick later.
Step 11: Trim the wick
The wicks that are in excess must be trimmed to avoid smoke. However, the trimming shouldn’t be done in excess so as not to produce a little flame. Learn how to trim an oil lamp wick.
Step 12: Pour in Olive Oil
Now that the container, materials, and olive lamp are ready, it’s time to fill the jar with some olive oil. Pour the olive oil to the maximum level of the wick holder. Don’t forget to drop some of the oil on the wick to speed up the soaking rate.
Step 13: Light the Wick
You might find out that the wick will take some time to flame. That’s where you must exercise patience and allow it to soak up some of the oil.
Step 14: Put Back the Wick Assembly Into the Jar
This is to ensure that the extra lamp wick is sitting and soaking properly in the olive oil.
Step 15: Ready for Use!
You can now use it for lighting purposes as it burns smoothly. Since it’s a flame, use it with care and caution.
The wick of the olive oil lamp burns very fast because it’s used as fuel. The only alternative for it not to burn fast is if the oil is transported to the flame which isn’t quite feasible. What’s more, a hotter flame needs more oxygen and more fuel.
When you want to start using the olive oil in an oil lamp, ensure that the wick is always saturated. This is because the wick will be soaked in the oil even before it’s lighted, due to the thickness of the oil that affects the capillary action. Wicks produced with large weaves and tightly twisted strips of cotton cloth are better as they tend to burn smoothly.
In all, the use of olive oil lamps is safe, fast, and reliable especially if you live in an area where there are frequent light outages due to hurricanes, high winds, and storms.