Do you Need Special Fluid for Tiki Torches?

Tiki Torches

Tiki torches are a great way to light an outdoor gathering for backyard barbecues or set the mood for a summery festive. According to, the ‘Tiki’ decoration tradition was influenced by the Polynesians and began as early as the 1930s. It gained the highest popularity during the mid-20thcentury. They are made with different materials, including bamboo or cane and metal, and can either be small for table display or atop a shaft meant to be positioned in the ground. Although they come in different styles, including gaslight and solar-powered torches, oil or fuel tiki torches are the most popular. So, do you need a special fluid to light the fuel tiki torches? Here is a complete review on whether you need special fluid for tiki torches.

So, Do You Require Special Fluid for Tiki Torches?

You can light tiki torches with two types of fluids; citronella oil, paraffin oil (also referred to as kerosene), or a combination of both. However, most tiki torches retailers offer ‘tiki oil’ to use in tiki torches. But you don’t require to purchase the offered ‘tiki oil,’ which suggests that the tiki oil is a special fluid. There is no special fluid for tiki torches other than the two generic types of lamp oil used in lighting tiki torches. Tiki torches are conveniently fueled with paraffin oil, citronella, or a combination of the two. According to Garden Guides, paraffin oil is a good option for tiki torch use due to its minimal scent and long burn time. On the other hand, citronella oil has a particular scent effective in deterring the accumulation of mosquitoes around the tiki flame that might bother those using the light of the torch.

Purchasing Citronella/ Paraffin Oil

The most convenient way to get oil for your tiki torches is by buying paraffin lamp oil. The cost of the oil depends on the quantity you purchase. You can buy citronella or paraffin oil at most hardware stores, sporting goods stores, and home improvement stores. Ace Hardware and Cabela’s Amazon are common paraffin lamp oil retailers.

How Do Tiki Torches Work?

Depending on the design, some tiki torches are linked to a gas line and quickly turn on and off via a simple switch. Solar-powered tiki torches produce a fake flame that lights up through the energy gathered from sunlight. The most famous tiki torches light up through fuel or oil variety. The torches are designed with a reservoir at the top that holds fuel or oil. The fuel reservoir is filled with either paraffin oil or citronella oil, and the tiki torch is lit with a lighter or a match. Most individuals stick the tiki torches into the ground to provide light. If you do this, ensure to force the torches about six to eight inches into the ground to remain upright.

How To Light Tiki Torches

To light a tiki torch, start by pouring the proper torch fuel into the receptacle of the torch over the wick straight from the bottle. Be careful not to pour fuel on any other part of the torch, clothes, or skin. Tiki torch bulbs or funnels are readily available at home goods stores and can help fill the tiki torch without making a mess. Purchase a funnel whose stem snugly fits with the fuel opening of your tiki torches and pour the fuel in the funnel carefully to avoid spillage. Ensure to recap the fuel bottle immediately to prevent the spills. Avoid overfilling the fuel tank by maintaining eye contact with the fuel level when filling. You can now light the tiki torch after the torch’s fuel receptacle is filled. It is recommendable to use a butane lighter with a long stem to light the wick of the tiki torch. This will help avoid burning your hands by getting them close to the flame-like you would when using a smaller lighter or a match.

How To Put Out the Tiki Torches

When you want to put out the tiki torch, you will use the snuffer cap, which has been designed with the torch. Dropping the snuffer cap over the flame deprives it of sufficient oxygen and eventually goes out. After the frame goes out, take the lid off so the wick can cool down and dry out. The amount of time it takes for your torches to cool down will depend on how long they were lit. Hold your hand closer to the torch to feel whether it’s still giving off the heat. After the wick cools down, cover the tiki torch with the snuffer cap and leave any remaining fuel carefully inside the torch while you store it for your subsequent use. But ensure the lid is on tight to prevent any leaking or spilling of the fuel.

How To Store Your Tiki Torches

Tiki torches should be stored in an upright position when not in use. Ensure your torch is firmly ventured into the ground if you want to keep them outside. If you keep the tiki torches in a shed or garage, secure them with a rope to ensure they stay upright. Also important to note is that you should store the torches away from any fire source or where there may be an open flame. If you have concerns about the tiki torches lighting accidentally when you are not using them, you can pour out all the remaining fuel before storing them. When storing them outside, keep a close look at the weather forecast because temperatures below zero degrees Celsius can freeze the fuel in your tiki torches. If the temperatures get that lower, you should empty the fuel reservoirs of the outdoor tiki torches or take the torches inside to a less cold area.


That’s It. You don’t need special fluid for tiki torches. You can readily use paraffin oil, citronella oil, or a combination of both, which are readily available in the stores, and you will be good to go. Tiki torches are perfect for decorating outdoors for a themed birthday party, backyard BBQ, or even an outdoor movie night.

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