How to Clean a Zippo

How to Clean a Zippo

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally even the rugged Zippo needs a little TLC. But when Zippos stop clicking, clickers (as loyal Zippo fans are known) don’t worry too much, and not just because they have several spares on standby. One advantage to owning a Zippo is knowing you have no need of any special tools or cleaning supplies. Learn how to clean a Zippo and avoid inconvenient manufacturer returns and increase your lighter’s lifecycle.

Inside your Zippo

To clean the inside of your Zippo, you’ll need nothing more than a cotton swap or pipe cleaner and a bit of lighter fluid. Pull your Zippo from its outer case. Pour a bit of the lighter fluid on the swap or pipe cleaner and carefully clean inside and all around the lighter mechanism. No lighter fluid? Don’t worry, rubbing alcohol or kerosene work wonders too.

Outside your Zippo

Many Zippos have a nickel or brass case. Typically, most clickers use cleaners like Zilvo or Brasso to shine up the outside cases. But in a pinch, you can also use nail polish remover and rub your Zippo case with a clean, cotton sheet. Just make certain the polish remover is acetone free and rinse your case in warm water after the cleaning.

Lighting Problems

Most of the time a Zippo fails to light, the problem can be traced to a dirty flint wheel, the lighter part that moves up and down. This problem is easily remedied. While your Zippo is still apart, grab some canned air, the kind you use to clean your computer keyboard. Stick the air nozzle down by the wheel and spray. This should remove any debris.

The Zippo reputation was cemented on battlefields and in the outback. It quickly became known as the lighter that works, no matter what. On the off chance you’ve followed the tips in How to Clean a Zippo, and your lighter still doesn’t work, just know that Zippo lighters are guaranteed for life. The manufacturer will always accept a return and repair or replace your lighter.

Betsy Cline

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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