Mixing alcohol and keroscene - a good combo?

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Since I can't stand the smell of burning keroscene, I read with interest a post that claimed adding one half ounce of methyl alcohol to five gallons of keroscene would stop the odor. This seems like a ridiculously small amount, if it even works. Seems it should be more like 1/2 ounce per gallon or quart. Does anybody out there have any actual experience with this?

-- Steve A (albrecht@ndak.net), October 16, 1999


Steve --

The smell of unburned burning kerosene irritates my lungs and gives my wife headaches. That was probably my contribution on an earlier thread. There are at least two products -- Kero-Kleen (sp?) and another called simply "Wick Cleaner" -- that are marketed for just this purpose, particularly for heaters, but it works in lamps too of course. The side-bar on the bottles of Wick Cleaner suggest adding 1/2 oz to 5 gals -- an absurdly inconsequential amount I agree, but it works -- or as much as 2 oz per 5 gals. I have tried the recommended additive, but prefer using a bit more .... heck, just slosh it in there, why not? At the rate recommended by the manufacturer, a single 8 oz bottle @ $4.89 would treat 80 gals of kerosene -- a drum and a half. Phew. LIke I say, at that rate, I figured I'd buy a few bottles (of the pine-scented stuff) and splurge -- a whole ounce in 5 gals. IN fact, I squirt a quarter ounce in the fonts of my Aladdin lamps and they burn stupendously well. No fumes at all. I'd burn a dozen in one room this way. You can also order or pick up methyl alcohol over-the-counter from your pharmacist, in pints or gallons.

-- Roch Steinbach (rochsteinbach@excite.com), October 16, 1999.

Hi Roch:

I'm afraid you've left me a bit confused... twice now!

Are you saying that the commercial products mentioned above (Kero-Clean, etc) merely consist of methyl alcohol plus some added scent and therefore plain methyl alcohol is an essentially equivalent substitute or am I missing something here?


-- Yan (no@no.no), October 17, 1999.

EXACTLY. I'll double check the ingredients on the Wick Cleaner, but I am ertain it is simply methyl alcohol with "fragrance" added. that's why I've been buying methyl alcohol from my corner drugstore. Sorry that wasn't more plain.

-- Roch Steinbach (rochsteinbach@excite.com), October 17, 1999.

Yep ... the Wick Cleaner "conatins methyl alcohol". Period. Just for the sake of followup, today I ran a little test of the Wick Cleaner, head to head with pharmacy grade Methanol (methyl alcohol). The two are identical: both produce an almost invisible floating alcohol flame, excpet the Wick Cleaner gives off an intoxicating pine scent when burnt. If you can;t get the commercial product, get the methanol form you druggist.

-- Roch Steinbach (rochsteinbach@excite.com), October 19, 1999.

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