How To Stop Kerosene Heater From Smelling

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Numerous people are using kerosene heaters to warm up their homes, mostly because kerosene is quite inexpensive to use.

No matter if we’re talking about small handheld heaters or large ones, we’ve enjoyed this product for more than a century now. Plus, since kerosene is a very common fuel, it can be purchased by pretty much anyone.

That being said, while kerosene does have its uses and is also highly convenient, it can be quite nauseating to the scent – as well as sickly sweet.

Not many kerosene heaters release an odor – at least not when the unit is working properly – but sometimes, they can release a peculiar smell.

To stop the kerosene from smelling, you first need to determine the cause, after which you move on to the solution.

Why Does My Kerosene Heater Smell

Kerosene heaters may start emitting odors for a variety of reasons – all of which you need to solve as quickly as possible.

It may not damage the unit per se (at least not immediately), but it can be very dangerous to your health.

Here are the main reasons why kerosene heaters may be emitting an unpleasant odor:


  • You are using the heater in an unventilated space

Even the best quality heater with the best quality kerosene may begin to smell if you are using it in a room that hasn’t seen proper ventilation for ages. To avoid the buildup of unhealthy fumes in the air – which is the smell – you need to make sure the air within the room is changed regularly. Whenever you are using the kerosene, make sure to pop open a couple of windows. This way, you should be able to allow some cross-ventilation to occur.


  • You did not properly seal the bottom of the burner

When you don’t seal the unit’s bottom properly, the smell may escape your heater – and your nose won’t like it. To fix this problem, you may want to make sure that the burner has been sealed properly, by moving it left and right. Most heaters should make a clicking sound when they have been sealed, or at least come to a stop when you try to move it further.


  • The wick is set too high or too low

Sometimes, a kerosene heater may release odor simply because the wick was left too high or went too low. This is actually one of the most common reasons why your kerosene heater could make an entire room smell. Make sure that the wick is always set at the appropriate height, which is an inch and a half. Plus, make sure that you check on the heater at least once every hour, to be sure that it is still at the right height.

Also, you must always use the right wick to stop kerosene heater from giving off smoke.


  • You are burning low-quality fuel

This is a no-brainer. If your kerosene heater has begun emitting odors, then the chances are very high that you are burning low-quality fuel. If that’s not the case, then think about the time you bought the kerosene, or how you kept it because it may have gone bad. There’s also the chance that you are not using the appropriate kind of kerosene (one suitable for heaters), so make sure to check that as well.


How to Stop Kerosene Heater from Smelling

In most cases, as long as you address the issues above, your kerosene heater should no longer emit any odors. However, if you did everything right and the smell is still driving you insane, here are a few tips that you might want to use.

  • Clean the Heater: You may give it a superficial wipe or you may give it a deep clean – but as long as you use the right cleaning products, you should be able to eliminate the smell. This works best if the kerosene has not already saturated; if it has, it might be slightly more difficult to take off. It is also much easier to work with if you are using a small, hand-held heater.
  • Use Paraffin Oil: If you can’t stop the smell from coming out, you need to remove it altogether. Deodorizing the kerosene by adding paraffin oil is likely one of the oldest techniques we have. Two parts kerosene to one part paraffin oil should be sufficient to deodorize the oil.
  • Mix Rubbing Alcohol: If you can’t get some paraffin oil, then you might want to use isopropyl alcohol – commonly known as rubbing alcohol. This method is typically used by campers to decrease the smell coming from their kerosene stove.

Multiple professional additives may be bought from the store as well. Certain manufacturers recommend particular kerosene deodorizers, so make sure to keep their suggestions in mind.


Final Thoughts

Clean, breathable air is important to all of us. This is why you should keep an eye on your kerosene heater. If you see that it’s becoming smelly, try the tips above to fix it.