Bleed and Clean Your Butane Lighter With This Easy Guide
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Butane lighters are a preferred choice among many smokers. They produce powerful flames, are adjustable and are even often windproof. This is a handy benefit to take advantage of when you live in windy Wellington and don’t want to spend countless minutes trying to light up.
Butane lighters can also be refilled, which means they are a much more eco-friendly option than their single-use, non-refillable counterparts. Then there’s the fact that they’re perfect for Sticky Bricks and Dynavaps and are available in a myriad of different shapes, sizes, colours, and styles. You could own dozens of butane lighters and still have none that look the same.
But what you may not know about butane lighters is that you need to ‘burp’ or ‘bleed’ them and perform maintenance regularly. Learn what’s involved in that straightforward process below.
What Is Bleeding?
And we’re not talking about the injury kind of bleeding, either. Bleeding regarding butane lighters is when you get rid of old fuel and air that can build up over time and with frequent use.
You may notice that you need to bleed or burp your lighter when it’s flickering and sputtering. When you can no longer flick the lighter to enjoy a clean, powerful flame, it’s time to start burping. We’re still talking about the lighter, by the way.
What You Need to Burp or Bleed Your Lighter
You won’t need an arsenal of complicated surgical equipment to bleed your butane lighter. Instead, you’ll just need one tool: a screwdriver. Fossick through your tool shed to find one small enough to fit into the filler nozzle at the bottom of your lighter.
When you’ve got one, you can hold the lighter upside down, depress the filler nozzle with the screwdriver, and wait until you hear a hissing sound. This ‘hiss’ is the sound of air leaving the fuel reservoir.
Once that step is out of the way, you can remove the screwdriver and shake your lighter. Put the screwdriver back in, listen for more hissing, then remove the screwdriver and shake the lighter again. Repeat this process until you no longer hear that hiss. You’ve successfully removed the snake.
How Often Should I Bleed My Lighter?
A common question we’re asked after people read about the importance of bleeding lighters is how often you should actually do it. If you can see through the lighter to notice when the fuel level is getting low, you usually need to bleed it when it gets low on fuel.
However, if you don’t have a way of knowing, pay attention to the quality of the flame. When it no longer burns smoothly and almost seems a little bit erratic, it’s time to whip out your screwdriver and put it to work.
Do I Need to Clean My Butane Lighter?
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to clean your butane lighter from time to time. All you need for this task is compressed air, a clean cloth, and a matchstick. If you don’t own an air compressor, you can purchase compressed air in cans from most hardware shops.
Don’t forget that safety comes first! Before you begin, turn down the flame so that if something happens to ignite your lighter while you’re cleaning it, there won’t be a huge flame to contend with.
You can then start the cleaning process by pressing down on the butane valve on the top of your lighter with the wooden end of your matchstick. This butane valve is where you usually see a flame. By pressing down on it, you’re letting out excess air. Repeat this step at least twice.
Now, you can move on to cleaning the combustion chamber. Use your freshly purchased can of compressed air or air compressor to blow lint, dust, soot, and general grossness out of the combustion chamber. You may need to repeat this process a few times, inspecting in between, to make sure you’ve cleaned everything out.
Lastly, use your cloth to wipe down all surfaces of your lighter to make sure it’s free of dust, dirt, and debris. You can also refuel your lighter at this point with high-quality butane fuel.
How to Choose the Best Butane Lighter
There may come a time when you realise you don’t have the best lighter for your needs. You may have discovered it during the burping process or even when you went to clean it. Could it be time for an upgrade? If it is, here are a few helpful criteria to consider before you hit the ‘buy now’ button.
Most importantly, is the butane lighter you’re looking at a safe one? Read through each butane lighter description to see if any safety features jump out to you. Remember, butane is a highly flammable hydrocarbon, so safety is not something you want to skimp on.
No one wants a weak lighter. While hunting for a new one, pay attention to the flame adjustment options. Some of the best butane lighters allow you to adjust them to enjoy a small or large flame.
Whether you have one or more burners in your butane lighter, you want them to be reliable. Read reviews about your butane lighter of choice to be on the safe side if you’re unsure.