Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove?

Posted by: froldt

Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 08:47 AM

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.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 09:05 AM

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.
Posted by: phat

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 10:09 AM



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)
Posted by: froldt

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 10:16 AM

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!
Posted by: oswego

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 11:31 AM

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
Posted by: hootyhoo

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 01:41 PM

Yes, but only once.
Posted by: froldt

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/16/08 09:58 PM

This might be the best answer yet!
Posted by: BarryP

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/17/08 07:26 AM

Froldt,
Donít you have a gas station close by? They usually carry yellow-bottled HEET.
-Barry
Posted by: froldt

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 04/17/08 07:23 PM

I do, but living in the dorms and not having a vehicle makes it more challenging to get there...
Posted by: wilit

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/08/08 11:30 PM

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.
Posted by: kspar

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/11/08 10:56 AM

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.
Posted by: DTape

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/11/08 01:57 PM

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.
Posted by: kspar

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/11/08 02:00 PM

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?
Posted by: DTape

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/11/08 02:19 PM

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.
Posted by: TomD

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/12/08 12:04 AM

MSR advises against using their fuel bottles for alcohol. Apparently it eats the coating off the inside of the bottle.
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/18/08 10:40 AM


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="" />
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/18/08 10:45 AM



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="" />
Posted by: Earthling

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/22/08 06:27 PM

nothing soaping up the bottom of your pots won't prevent from sticking <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: bulrush

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/27/08 11:06 AM

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.
Posted by: midnightsun03

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/27/08 06:42 PM

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
Posted by: BarryP

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/28/08 06:36 AM

Midnight,
I love the way you see the lighter side of things!
-Barry
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/28/08 07:47 AM

The thought of the joke is good enough. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: Erik

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 05/28/08 08:42 AM

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.
Posted by: coyotemaster

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 06/02/08 09:39 AM

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?
Posted by: chaz

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 06/03/08 04:33 AM

Stand back. Better yet. Don't even try it.
Posted by: phat

Re: Can I use lighter fluid in an alcohol stove? - 06/03/08 10:20 PM


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... )