DIY: Kerosene Lantern Scent Additive

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Kerosene burning lanterns are becoming more popular, both indoors and outdoors. Kerosene is a petroleum-based fuel that can produce an unpleasant odor while it burns. Using the highest grade kerosene available will decrease the odor but not completely eliminate it. Adding a scent or fragrance to the kerosene in your lantern can mask the odor plus add a little atmosphere to your environment.

Fragrant Oils

If you are going to add a fragrant oil to your kerosene lantern, you must make sure that it is 100 percent oil and oil-soluble so it will mix and burn with the kerosene. Water-based fragrances will simply sit on the surface and foul the kerosene. Shop for fragrant oils that are used to make candles and soaps because they are usually 100 percent oil with no additives. Some potpourri essential oils are also pure oil.

Fragrant oils can vary in strength, so begin by adding only a few drops to the kerosene in your lantern. Add more if you need to, but never more than one teaspoon of fragrant oil to eight ounces kerosene.


Never use red tinted kerosene in your lantern because it is of a lower quality, producing more fumes. For outdoor use, in addition to adding a scented fragrant oil, add a few drops of citronella essential oil to ward away insects.

A product called Kero-Klean that can be found at home improvement centers keeps the wick clean, cuts down on odors and is available with the addition of a fragrance.


Kate Carpenter

At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and Web content for several well-known marketers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.