The Chronicle

Tetra Tutorial: How To Refill Your Wick Lighter

Our Tsubota Pearl wick lighters are best-sellers for a reason — they're stylish, they're made in Japan to the highest quality standards, and they're endlessly reusable and refillable. But how exactly do you refill one? Follow this easy step-by-step guide to refilling your Tsubota Pearl, Zippo, or similar cotton-wick lighter.

Here's what you’ll need:

• Lighter fluid (use Ronsonol, Zippo, or a similar fluid — NOT butane)
• A screwdriver

How to refill a wick lighter:

1. Remove the lighter body from its case. In most lighters, the metal chamber is housed inside a decorative outer shell.

2. Turn the lighter upside down to reveal a felt pad. If there is a screw in the felt pad, unscrew the metal screw.

3. Lift the felt pad with your fingers. If it's too challenging to remove, use a paperclip or a similar tool such as our Fog Pin.

4. Beneath the felt pad, you'll find cotton wadding material. Begin to slowly saturate the cotton wadding with the lighter fluid. Keep saturating until the top portion is damp or until the white cotton begins to turn gray. Be careful not to overfill!

5. Replace the felt bottom and the screw.

6. Slide the lighter body back into the casing.

7. Allow the fluid to soak for 45 seconds before turning the lighter right-side up.

8. Remove any excess fluid from the case and wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using the lighter.

9. Test your lighter to make sure the fluid has reached the wick. Careful: the flame may be bigger when you first refill the lighter.

How to refill a stick lighter:

Tsubota Pearl also makes wick lighters in a stick shape. The process is similar to refilling a standard-size wick lighter, but with a few minor adjustments.

1. Turn your lighter upside down and unscrew the bottom.

2. Pour the lighter fluid directly into the opening or use a small funnel to ensure better precision.

3. Begin to slowly saturate the cotton wadding with the lighter fluid. Add a small amount of fluid and then stop. Add a bit more and then stop. Keep repeating until the white cotton begins to turn gray. You will need to do this several times to properly fill the lighter but, be careful not to overfill!

4. Screw the screw back into the opening.

5. Allow the fluid to soak for 45 seconds before turning the lighter right-side up.

6. Remove any excess fluid from the outside and wash and dry your hands thoroughly before using the lighter.

7. Test your lighter to make sure the fluid has reached the wick. Careful: the flame may be bigger when you first refill the lighter.

Need a visual? Watch this video: