Old antique lamps will often have oil that has accumulated inside. If the oil is not cleaned out, it can become a safety hazard. Also, if the oil is not cleaned out regularly, the lamp can look very unattractive. This is especially a problem if you intend to sell the lamp and want to get the best price for it.
Remove the Excess Oil
You can begin by first pouring out all of the old oil inside the antique lamp. Since lamp oil can be an ecological hazard, you should dispose of the oil in the same way that you would dispose of motor oil. To pour the oil out, get a funnel and a jar. Use the funnel to guide the oil so you do not spill it.
The Quick Method
Before you begin cleaning the oil lamp, put on a pair of latex gloves. You will need to determine if you want to use a faster or slower method of cleaning your lamp. The fastest method is to fill the lamp with gasoline, rotate the lantern to swish the gasoline around, and leave the gasoline to sit inside the lamp overnight. Then, you can pour the gasoline out. After that, you will want to replace the wick for the oil lamp. However, this approach will not clean the oil lamp to the level where you are ready to sell it.
The Slow, Thorough Method
If you want to clean the oil lamp more thoroughly, place it in a pot full of water and boil it for a few hours. Boiling the lamp will cause the residue to soften and will make it easier to remove. Then, you will want to use detergent and a brush to remove the rest of the residue. Detergent will emulsify the oil, which will make it easier to remove. Add one tablespoon of detergent into the reservoir of the oil lamp. Then, add hot water into the reservoir until the lamp is almost full. Screw the lid on and swirl the hot water around to allow the water and detergent to remove oil.
Use water to rinse the lamp and use the brush to scrub off stubborn residue until you have cleaned the entire lamp. Then, fill the reservoir completely with detergent and water and allow the lamp to sit overnight. In the morning, pour out the detergent and dry the oil lamp. These actions will not only remove the oil, but will also make the lamp look good in better condition to sell.
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