How to replace a Zippo wick
After long-term use of your beloved Zippo lighter, there comes a time when the wick needs to be replaced. Replacing a Zippo wick might seem complicated, but it really isn't that hard. Here we explain exactly how to replace a Zippo wick to make it work like a new lighter once again!
Does my Zippo wick need to be replaced?
If you've bought a new Zippo lighter and you want to replace the wick for the first time, you probably don't need to replace it at all! How is that possible? Very simple! The wick of a Zippo is fairly long, and a large part remains unseen inside the lighter, while only a very small piece is visible (the piece that comes out of the lighter).
So, if I don't need to replace my wick, then what should I do? There's something you should always try before replacing your Zippo wick. Instead of buying a new wick, simply take some small pliers, and carefully pull the wick upwards. This might require a little force, but don't worry: you can pull quite hard without breaking anything. Pull it up 1 or 2 centimetres, so that a new, unburnt piece of wick becomes visible. Then take some nippers to cut off the end of the wick, and your Zippo has a "new" wick!
This is how you replace a Zippo wick
We don't need to tell you that you cannot keep pulling your wick up infinitely. After pulling it up several times, it becomes too short to effectively absorb the fuel, which will prevent it from burning properly. That is when your wick REALLY needs to be replaced. Luckily, that is not too complicated either. How exactly you can replace your wick, is explained step-by-step below.
Stap 1: Open up your Zippo by removing the inside of the lighter from the metal case. Simply pull the inside upwards using two fingers, while you hold the case with your other hand.
Step 2: Now that you have removed the lighter from the housing, remove the screw on the bottom of the lighter. Now the flint comes out as well. Carefully remove the spring, the screw and the flint from the lighter and put them aside for a while (be careful not to lose any parts). Then remove the cotton cushion from the lighter, and the cotton on the inside (that holds the fuel) become visible. Remove the cotton as well. Now only the (old) fuse remains in your lighter.
Tip: You can also replace your Zippo wick without removing the screw, but this makes it much easier and it's only a small effort.
Step 3: Pull the wick upwards (using pointed pliers), and remove it from the lighter. Now you're left with an empty Zippo without any parts in it, and you're ready to install the new wick.
Step 4: Take the new Zippo wick and push it through the hole. You can do this from either side, but we find it much easier to put it in through the top of the lighter and pull the wick down from the inside. It might not be so easy to get it through the hole, but you should be able to get it in without using any tools. It may help to make the end of the wick slightly wet, and to "twist" it through gently.
Step 5: When you've managed to get the wick through the hole, pull it into position with your pointed pliers, so that the wick is flush with the edge of the lighter. Now the wick is in place! If you've pulled it through too far, you can simply pull it back using your fingers. If the end of the wick was ruined while trying to get it through the hole, simply cut off a small piece.
Step 6: Put the cotton back into the lighter. Note: this is a very important step that you should take some time for to do it properly. It is important for the wick to be inbetween as much cotton as possible, so that it absorbs the fuel well. Make sure it's not pressed all the way against the side of the lighter, where it can't absorb so much fuel. We recommend "twisting" the cotton around the wick, and to spread it all around the lighter, making sure there are no "empty spaces". You want the wick to be exposed to as much fuel as possible, to make it burn perfectly. Also, make sure there is enough cotton around the wick-hole, so that it doesn't leak from there when you slightly overfill your Zippo.
Step 7: Put the flint back into the lighter, place the cushion back on top of the cotton, put the spring back in and tighten the screw, and you're done! Now fill the cotton with some lighter fluid, if necessary, and put the lighter back into its case. Your Zippo is now equipped with a new wick, and it gives you many lights for many months once again.
How often should I replace my Zippo wick?
A Zippo wick lasts a very long time, and almost never needs to be replaced. How often a wick lasts and how often you should replace your Zippo wick obviously depends on how much you use your lighter. One wick can easily last for months - most average users can count on a lifespan of at least half a years. But it's not just about how often you use your lighter, it also counts HOW you use it. For an optimal lifespan of your zippo (wick), it is essential to fill it betimes, before it gets empty. If you don't do this, the wick of your lighter will burn up, instead of the lighter fluid (Zippo fuel). Never wait too long and fill your lighter before it is really empty!
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