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#94504 - 04/16/08 08:47 AM Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove?
froldt Offline
member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 67
Loc: Ireland
I just made an alcohol stove from a couple of aluminum cans. I followed the steps shown here :http://www.metacafe.com/watch/839102/cool_little_miniature_stove/

I want to test it, but have no alcohol and won't be heading to the store for a few days. I do have some Ronsonol lighter fuel that I use in my Zippo. I figure that the stove and the lighter work in a related fashion, and so I expect that I could use the lighter fuel. Don't want to injure myself, though, so I figured I had better ask.

The fuel bottle states that "CONTAINS NAPHTHA" but there is no other mention of what it is made of.
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#94505 - 04/16/08 09:05 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
Not the same stuff at all. Naphtha is basically white gas which you would use in your liquid fuel gas stove. If anything use medical alcohol.

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#94506 - 04/16/08 10:09 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada


No, don't do it - using petroleum based stuff like that in an alky stove can be kinda dangerous.

Go buy some methyl hydrate, or denatured ethanol. (or everclear)
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#94507 - 04/16/08 10:16 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
froldt Offline
member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 67
Loc: Ireland
Darn, that's what I was afraid of. Now I won't get to test it for a couple of days, as I can't get to the store before then. *sigh*
At least now I know and won't injure myself. Thanks!
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#94508 - 04/16/08 11:31 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
oswego Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/16/08
Posts: 4
If you have HEET (dry-gas for your car) in the yellow bottle it will work fine. Denatured is the way to go in my opinion.

Oswego

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#94509 - 04/16/08 01:41 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Yes, but only once.

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#94510 - 04/16/08 09:58 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: hootyhoo]
froldt Offline
member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 67
Loc: Ireland
This might be the best answer yet!
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#94511 - 04/17/08 07:26 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: oswego]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Froldt,
Donít you have a gas station close by? They usually carry yellow-bottled HEET.
-Barry

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#94512 - 04/17/08 07:23 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: BarryP]
froldt Offline
member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 67
Loc: Ireland
I do, but living in the dorms and not having a vehicle makes it more challenging to get there...
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#94513 - 05/08/08 11:30 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
wilit Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 10
If you do buy HEET, make sure you buy the yellow bottle. The red bottle contains Isopropyl alcohol. It can be used in a pinch, but it smells REALLY bad and leaves and thick carbon deposit on EVERYTHING.

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#94514 - 05/11/08 10:56 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: wilit]
kspar Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 3
Isn't the yellow HEET methyl alcohol?
Isn't that poisonous? I'm worried about breathing in the vapors.

I'm using iso-heet now (red bottle) and wondering if I should switch over to the yellow bottle stuff.

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#94515 - 05/11/08 01:57 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: kspar]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Quote:
Isn't the yellow HEET methyl alcohol?
Isn't that poisonous? I'm worried about breathing in the vapors.

I'm using iso-heet now (red bottle) and wondering if I should switch over to the yellow bottle stuff.


Red bottle heet is isopropanol
Yellow bottle heet is methanol


Here is the msds for both:

Yellow Bottle
http://zenstoves.net/MSDS/MSDSHeet.htm

Red Bottle:
http://www.hardwarestore.com/media/msds/210914.pdf

Neither of them do you want to be inhaling nor ingesting. As long as you are using both of them in a well ventilated area and do not pour it into your food or stick your face next to your stove you should be fine. Heck this is true for just about all the fuels. The only one I can think of that would be "ok" is pure ethanol but both ingesting and inhaling will get you drunk might quick.

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#94516 - 05/11/08 02:00 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: DTape]
kspar Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 3
Thanks, makes sense. I'll be switching over to that now.

Out of curiosity, what do you all use for carrying your fuel? Metal fuel bottles, or plastic bottles?

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#94517 - 05/11/08 02:19 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: kspar]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Quote:
Thanks, makes sense. I'll be switching over to that now.

Out of curiosity, what do you all use for carrying your fuel? Metal fuel bottles, or plastic bottles?


I use plastic.

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#94518 - 05/12/08 12:04 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: DTape]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
MSR advises against using their fuel bottles for alcohol. Apparently it eats the coating off the inside of the bottle.
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#94519 - 05/18/08 10:40 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: oswego]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee

Yes you can use lighter fluid but it will probably ruin your pots the first time with "black" smut. The lighter fluid will give off really heavy black smut...Hope that helps...Happy Trekking...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there !!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
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#94520 - 05/18/08 10:45 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: GrumpyGord]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee


Medical alcohol is 30% water and will also leave a nasty black smut on your pots and every thing else that it gets close to...Hope that helps...Happy Trekking...Sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there !!!!! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
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The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

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#94521 - 05/22/08 06:27 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: sabre11004]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
nothing soaping up the bottom of your pots won't prevent from sticking <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
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#94522 - 05/27/08 11:06 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: Earthling]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Your alcohol should be at least 80% alcohol. You can find methanol (methyl alcohol) in the paint thinner department also. Or using any booze that is 160 proof or more should do it, but that would be a waste, wouldn't it?

I have found that the 70% isopropyl simply does not want to stay lit, plus it leaves carbon on your stove and pans.

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#94523 - 05/27/08 06:42 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: froldt]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
I was going to make a joke that "lighter fluid makes more sense than heavier fluid" but then I thought that someone might misunderstand the joke and think it was ok to use lighter fluid.

MNS
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#94524 - 05/28/08 06:36 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: midnightsun03]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Midnight,
I love the way you see the lighter side of things!
-Barry

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#94525 - 05/28/08 07:47 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: midnightsun03]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
The thought of the joke is good enough. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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#94526 - 05/28/08 08:42 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: TomD]
Erik Offline
member

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 348
Loc: Maryland
Quote:
MSR advises against using their fuel bottles for alcohol. Apparently it eats the coating off the inside of the bottle.


Yeah Sgt Rock said the same thing,stick with plastic for alky.

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#94527 - 06/02/08 09:39 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: phat]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
using petroleum based stuff like that in an alky stove can be kinda dangerous.


Thanks for the warning Phat.
I've wondered about adding just a dash of white gas, or gasoline in ethyl alcohol to bump-it-up just a little. Especially for winter.

Has anyone experimented with a mix?

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#94528 - 06/03/08 04:33 AM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: coyotemaster]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Stand back. Better yet. Don't even try it.
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#94529 - 06/03/08 10:20 PM Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? [Re: coyotemaster]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Nope, any petroleum distillte in there would probably be bad news, except in the open wick type hobo stove.

OTOH, I swore I wouldn't admit to it - and you should NEVER EVER DO THIS because lawyers will swing from the trees and descend upon you with lawsuits and disclaimers but..... I add a little alcohol to my white gas in winter - it picks up any water, and
makes starting a svea in -30 a fair bit easier..

(It's actually a bad idea to use methyl alcohol if your fuel bottle is aluminum - so seriously, don't do it kids... )
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My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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