Introduction: Emergency Backup Fluid for Zippo Lighter

About: I like to make things

Just got my Zippo back from headquarters after having it refurbed due to a bad hinge.  Having not carried one for years now, I am reliving my youth (bought this lighter at a garage sale for something like 50 cents probably 20 years ago) and relearning some old issues.  Every lighter runs out of fuel at some point.  And although Zippos give you a bit of a window, (doesn't light, close it and let it sit, get another light or two out of it) it will eventually stop lighting altogether.  Let's hope this is not when you need it most!  You can always carry a tin of lighter fluid with you at all times, but that's a bit cumbersome.  Here's another idea.

This is pretty basic, but a really good thing to have around if you've ever carried a Zippo lighter (or knockoff, I guess. . .) for any length of time. 

Let's get started!

Step 1: Obtain the Necessities

I have a sample of some eye drops that I got from (conveniently enough) the eye doctor that was just sitting around and not being used.  This seemed to me to be a small and easily carried/stashed container that would be able to hold some extra fluid and be simple to dispense into the lighter when needed.  I've already peeled off the label, as I am not advertising for any specific company or product. But how to get the fluid inside?

Oh, yeah.  You need some lighter fluid as well. . . 

Step 2: The Teardown

Unscrewing the cap on the eye dropper reveals a seam where the delivery device is mounted into the reservoir.  This is golden pay dirt.  It is removed rather easily on this particular model.  Just grasp the tip firmly and pull off at an angle.  Really.  It just pops right out.   No tools required.  Your particular eye drop container may be different and more difficult to access, but I'm sure you can figure it out.  If not, there is most likely an instructable for how to remove the tip of an eye drop container.  (just kidding, or am I?!? ; )

Dump any remaining contents and rinse everything out thoroughly.  Then let it all sit overnight to allow all the water to evaporate out, leaving you with a clean container.

Step 3: Fill Er Up

The pictures here make this description obsolete.  But obsolescence has never stopped me before!  

Once your eye dropper is dry, open the Zippo (preferably) lighter fluid and pour some in.  You don't need a ton.  This is just for emergency usage.  Once you have a sufficient amount inside, reinsert the tip.  Screw the cap back on and you're golden!

Store this in your locker at work, the glove compartment of your car or wherever else you might need it and you are all set. 


Oh, wait. . .  

The caveats.  If you are still reading, that is. . .

Step 4: I Know, Really I Do!

Okay, I don't have a lot of warnings. . .

I know there are people out there who will freak out about this.  I know they mean well and I appreciate their concern for my wellbeing.  However, I have researched this a bit and have found nothing that is of great concern.  I don't hold any degrees in chemistry, but as far as I can tell, Naphtha (lighter fluid) will not dissolve plastic.  As well, leaving this in a hot car should not be an issue either.  Yesterday (when it was about 95 °F outside I took infrared measurements of the internal temp of my truck's dashboard.  It reached 140 °F.  The autoignition temperature for Naphtha, according to it's MSDS is 437 °F.  A significant window if you ask me.

I'm sure I'm overlooking something here and I'm equally sure I will be told about it in short order, but I'm okay with that.  I don't mind thoughtful criticism.  Just be nice, okay?  =)

Oh, and don't do any of this ever if you are under 18, etc., etc.  And need I even mention not to get this confused with your normal eye drops?  Nah, you're smarter than that, right?  Right. . . ?

Cheers!  For real this time. . .