How to Refill Disposable Bic Lighters

It has one basic job and when it fails to flicker it can be frustrating. Instead of throwing out a lighter that works well but has run out of fuel, consider the inexpensive act of refilling your Bic lighter. The company may say it isn't possible, but the basic build of a lighter makes it relatively easy to refill. Save money and give the landfill a bit of needed room by filling the disposable lighter and giving it a chance to light up another day.

Handle lighters
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How to Refill Disposable Bic Lighters

Tools You Need

Before you start, gather your tools and empty your lighter. Give the wheel a few good spins with your thumb to empty the lighter of any excess fluid before you begin. Bic lighters feed on Butane, which is relatively easy to pick up at any big box grocery store or corner convenience store. A tack or pushpin will get the lighter open to receive the butane. Three tiny rubber grommets, found at big box home improvement stores, seal the project. A pair of small nose pliers will assist you in completing this fairly quick and easy task but you can get by without them if necessary.

How to Refuel

Insert the pushpin or tack into the lighter valve, a small circular indentation, at the bottom of the lighter. Turn it right side up and push it down on a hard surface, such as a counter top or table. The bottom of the lighter should pop out. Careful with this step because some fluid may be left in the lighter and run out once it is opened.

Grab the butane and place the grommets over the nozzle. It will take all three to get the seal you need so that butane doesn't spill or spray out when you are filling your Bic lighter. Holding the lighter upside down, fit the nozzle of the butane bottle on the lighter valve you exposed at the bottom of the lighter. Push down gently for no more than five seconds. Your lighter should be filled in that amount of time. It's difficult to tell as the butane is buffered by the grommets. You'll need to act fast in the next few steps. Quickly remove the butane bottle and cover the valve with your thumb to keep it from spewing out. Stick the pointy pin back in the hole at the bottom of the lighter. A pushpin is better to use than a tack because of its handle, however a tack will leave a smooth bottom on your newly filled lighter. You can cut the top of the pushpin off with pliers if you need, but it's not necessary for the operation of the lighter.

It should only take a few minutes to fill your flickering little friend with fluid and save a little cash in the process.

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at