Zippo Maintenance

Replacing/Trimming the Wick:
Your Zippo cannot work without a wick, so maintaining is it important.

If the wick is looking badly burned at the Chimney (wind guard) try trimming it before replacing it. Get a pair of needle nose pliers (or anything that will grab it) and pull the wick straight up until you see clean wick. Cut the wick even with the top of the chimney.

If wick replacement is necessary, you must first remove all the cotton padding with tweezers or needle nose pliers, than thread new wick through the hole leading to the chimney. Make wick level with the chimney. Replace the cotton padding small chunks at a time, making sure to weave the wick back and forth so it goes through the cotton.

The flint is a likely culprit if your Zippo is not lighting, it is always a good idea to keep a few on hand if you a Zippo lighter frequently. To replace it you must remove the lighter assembly from the lighter shell. Locate the screw at the bottom of the assembly and loosen it. This can usually be done with your fingers but a screwdriver or coin may be required. You remove the screw and the spring, with a good shake any remnants of the old flint should fall right out (if any). Take the replacement flint and drop it in the hole, than replace the spring and screw, tightening it until finger tight. Put the assembly back in the shell. If it doesn't seem like the flint is getting hit, wiggle the striker. That should get it to strike the flint.

Some people put two flints in the hole when replacing flint's so when the first one runs out a replacement is already there.


Refilling a Zippo really shouldn't take instructions, but I will write them anyways.

Remove the Zippo's assembly from shell, see if your Zippo has a small hole on the bottom of the assembly for refilling. If there is no hole just lift the bottom part until you can see the cotton inside. Take the bottle of lighter fluid and saturate the cotton padding, be sure not to over do it. Over doing it can cause the lighter fluid to leak out.
The bottle of lighter fluid may have a 'safety nozzle'. If it does and you cannot open it with your fingers, you can use the Zippo's assembly to open it.

After you put the Zippo's assembly back in its shell, wipe the outside of the shell and clean hands to remove any excess fluid before trying to light the lighter.

Check out this forum thread specifically for discussing Zippo Maintenance on


Anonymous said...

Hey there!

Just to add something here, you don't need a coin or a screwdriver or anything to unscrew the flint holder screw, the edge of the lid of the case will work fine when slotted into the screw slot. One of the great things about Zippos is that they're almost entirely self-sufficient when you want to take it apart.

Unknown said...

Additional info for wick replacement

Xenomorph6 said...

My lighter wick has to be pulled up everyday because it burns so fast, why ?? My flame will be big then it quickly dies down....