Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Effusion Lamp Questions.......

Since I first wrote about effusion lamps a few weeks ago I've received many emails from readers that have questions. I hope to post a few of them here and answer all of them for you.

I just placed an order with for new scents that I'm going to try out. I'll post the results in a few weeks.

I ordered the following:

Grass stain, Pearberry, Herbal Essence (which I had bought already and loved),Gardenia, Cold water (a men's fragrance), Almond biscotti, buttercream- snickerdoodle and cucumber melon.

Here are some of the questions you had:

  • how long can I soak my wick for? If I'm not using my lamp do I have to take the wick out within 24 hours? I have kept my wicks soaking for weeks without use. Keep them in an airtight container.

  • Can I use 99% isopropyl alcohol instead of 91%. Yes you can, just don't use less than 91%.

  • What are the best wicks to use? I have had the best luck with Lampe Berger wicks. They start around $6.95 and run up. Don't pay over $10.00 or you are getting ripped off. I find them on Ebay and buy a few at a time.

  • How large of an area do they scent? I have mine located on the main floor in the kitchen. I can smell that lamp from the upstairs of my house. It does a great job scenting the entire house.

  • What if the scent I have mixed up is too strong? Just dilute it with more alcohol.

Again, I would like to advise anyone using the effusion lamps always to use caution while they are lit. Remember, they contain alcohol which is very flammable. I always light my effusion lamp on a stable surface near to the kitchen sink. Once the flame is out the lamp is considered safe enough to leave alone.

I light mine in the morning and leave during the day while it sits unattended. It's never been a problem.

I would also like to mention that many of these beautiful and sometimes expensive lamps come with lousy wicks. My husband bought me a beautiful lamp for Christmas and the wick lasted less than a week. I good wick always has a small hole in the middle. Buy the lamp because you love it, don't worry about the wick, just replace it with a good quality one.

You can spend anywhere between $20.00 to over $100.00 for an effusion lamp. Most are very affordable. has a large selection of affordable lamps. I have ordered from them before and been satisfied with the quality lamp I received.

Please email me if you have any questions or problems at

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  1. Thanks so much for having all this information in place.

    I do have a question though ... and since you know this stuff ... why does the fuel have to be isopropyl alcohol? Why not ethyl alcohol?

    I've seen all sorts of FAQ's that say NOT to use ethyl alcohol ... but no one ever says why not?

    Sorry if this has an obvious answer ...


  2. Mary,
    Thanks for visiting the site. Now, for your question..why does the fuel have to be isopropyl alcohol? Honestly.........I have no idea. The research I have done has always listed 91% alcohol or greater. I have not seen any info on using ethyl alcohol. I wouldn't because I have not read anywhere that you could. Sorry I couldn't answer this question for you.
    I use the 91% and it works great for me.

  3. I am mixing my own fragrance and 91% alcohol...but it is burning with a lot of dark smoke. What am I doing wrong? And even though I leave the wick soaking, it only "burns" for about 30 minutes. Advice please.

  4. Misty,
    How old is your wick and what kind or brand of wick are you using? It could be that your cotton wick has gotten black under the stone. You can sometimes take the stone apart from the cotton wick, cut the blackened cotton off and put the wick back together. This has to be done carefully but I've managed to do it sucessfully every time. Let me know if this helps. It not contact me directly at

  5. Christy, could you go into more detail about cutting the black top off the wick and replacing it? I tried but couldn't quite manage the getting it back together part.

    Thanks for your great tips on these lamps! I am truly enjoying mine and have bought several for Christmas gifts!

  6. Vicki:
    Taking the wicks apart is really a last resort because they are difficult to get back together. Remove the wire that holds the stone to the wick. You will notice little points that hold your cloth wick in. Bend them straight with plyers and remove the wick. Trim off the black stuff. After, I wet the wick so you can get it back easier. Twist the wick back into the the stone.
    Use tweezers to "shove" it back in, a little at a time. Be very careful you don't break the stone. Re-adjust those little points back to the way they were so they will hold the wick in place. Place the wire back on and twist to lock. The trick to putting it back is wetting the wick and using the tweezers carefully. Good luck. It's not easy, but is workable and I've managed to do it many times.