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How to Clean a Carbide Miners Lamp

Christopher Godwin

Carbide lamps are commonly used by miners to light their way inside a mine. Today, they are commonly used as backup lighting devices, as they require no electricity and can provide enough light to escape a potentially dangerous situation. Carbide lamps are also used in home decor and to provide lighting for cabins and areas without electricity, and they are often considered attractive for their antique, collectible quality. While cleaning your lamp isn’t difficult, it will require a basic knowledge of which parts are which for proper cleaning.

Carbide lamps are commonly used as backup lighting sources by miners.

Step 1

Disassemble your lamp completely, removing any bits of used carbide. Rinse the lamp assembly with distilled water or clean tap water to remove any debris.

Step 2

Isolate the burner tip from the lamp and visually inspect it for blockages.

Step 3

Remove any blockages with a special tip reamer made for cleaning carbide lamps. If you do not have one available, you can use a soft wire brush that is the appropriate size.

Step 4

Scrub all parts of the lamp under warm running water with a toothbrush to remove any built-up soot inside the lamp.

Step 5

Rinse and scrub the retainer and filter plate with the toothbrush.

Step 6

Inspect the drip mechanism, gas tube and inside threads to make sure there are no lime deposits. If there are, scrub the area with a 50:50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Rinse the items again with warm water.

Step 7

Place the parts of the lamp on a clean towel to air dry. Reassemble the lamp once it has fully dried.