7 Zippo Fuel Alternatives That Work  (And 6 That Don’t)

A Zippo lighter is a useful addition to any EDC kit. Lightweight and versatile, it’s easy to light even in high winds, stays lit without you holding it, and it’s robust enough to withstand any survival experience.

A bulky tin of lighter fluid would help your lighter live longer, but it will also weigh you down and take up valuable space in your bug-out bag.

7 Zippo Fuel Alternatives That Actually Work

The key to finding an appropriate alternative is balance. While you want the fuel to be flammable, you don’t want it to explode.

#1 Ronson Lighter Fuel

Containing the same compounds as Zippo lighter fuel, this will work just as well as the original. While the plastic bottle makes it easier to chuck into your bug-out bag, it doesn’t resolve the weight issue.

#2 Perfume or aftershave

While this produces a strange crackling sound, it burns consistently and safely.

#3 WD40

While it won’t burn as cleanly as the original lighter fluid, it is flammable enough to produce a flame. Using it regularly may damage your lighter’s wick and cotton, reducing your Zippo’s life expectancy.

#4 Nail Varnish Remover

Consisting mainly of acetone, nail varnish remover works surprisingly well as Zippo fuel. It can get a little smokey, but it ignites and burns well.

#5 Gasoline/Petrol

Being very similar to lighter fuel, gasoline is one of the best alternatives. As with acetone, it does produce a larger and somewhat smokier flame but burns very effectively.