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:

10 Ways to Boost Your Mood During Quarantine

Today in our shop, we launched a chic new room spray called Veil that eliminates smoking odors, which has made our time in quarantine just a little bit easier to bear. That got us thinking about fresh air, and how getting some of it every day, whether inside the house or out, has been saving our sanity in general. What other ways have we kept our spirits high — besides the obvious, lol — while stuck at home? Beyond smoking, and doing video chats with our friends and family every night, we've found a few things that have helped; here are 10 we recommend to boost your mood during quarantine.

1. GET FRESH AIR

Whether you’re working from home or binge-watching Netflix, it’s easy to get in the habit of not leaving the house at all during lockdown. But just breathing fresh air for a few minutes — and it’s *especially* fresh right now, minus all the cars and factories — can make you feel less cooped up, even if that means just sitting on the stoop for awhile. It’s also important to keep the air fresh inside when you’re stuck indoors for so long; our new odor eliminator, Veil, can help with that.

2. LAUGH AT INSTAGRAM

No matter how mad at the universe we are, every time we see an Instagram account like @sidewalkface, we can’t help but laugh. There are a million meme accounts out there, but something as simple as a random hole in the ground turned into a smiling weirdo will do it for us every time, especially when we smoke. If it’s anxiety you’re dealing with, the hashtag #oddlysatisfying — or the soothing animations of designers like @wannerstedt — work wonders, too.

3. FOCUS ON GOOD NEWS

Famed musician David Byrne started Reasons to Be Cheerful in 2017, but right now, it’s everything — a stream of news stories focusing exclusively on what’s actually going right in the world, instead of the bajillion things going wrong. Subscribe to the newsletter so you can get a weekly reality check in your inbox.

4. TAKE A HAPPINESS CLASS

Can you learn to be happy from a class? Yale thinks so: They’re offering a free online course called “The Science of Well Being” that features “a series of challenges designed to increase your happiness and build more productive habits,” and we think it’s worth a shot. Other potential inspirations include a series of three happiness classes led by a psychologist on Youtube, and an instructive documentary about a designer’s personal quest to find happiness (spoiler alert: it doesn’t exactly go as planned).

5. DO SOMETHING CREATIVE

Some experts are saying the key to getting through this time, emotionally speaking, may just be to distract yourself — to keep your mind busy with something other than worrying about the dumpster-fire situation we’re in right now. The best way to do that is by getting creative, and luckily there’s a ton of tutorials floating around right now that will teach you to make things at home. We're biased towards the Instagram Live DIY sessions that Sight Unseen is hosting every day this week at 2pm EST — yesterday’s with @blockshoptextiles, today’s with @likemindedobjects — but you can also try nail art, making a tiny chair out of household objects, or making a tiny room out of clay.

6. DANCE DANCE DANCE

If anyone won this quarantine (besides Purell and Charmin) it’s probably Ryan Heffington, the Los Angeles choreographer whose Sweatfest dance sessions on IG Live almost immediately went viral. The last time we joined one of his broadcasts, there were more than 6,000 other people dancing along with us, and Heffington’s moves are so easy that anyone can get into it. If you’re a little more skilled in the dance department, though, we highly recommend the virtual sessions of hip NYC dance class Moves, or just posting up in front of a mirror and turning on this playlist.

7. MEDITATE

You’ve probably heard it a million times by now, but take it from this monk: It’s great time to learn to meditate, or to devote more time to the practice. Meditation doesn’t work for everyone — if that’s you, see “distract yourself” above — but clearing your head, especially when your head is full of yucky stuff, is a great skill to have right now. There are countless gurus that offer meditation programs, from Sharon Salzberg to Tara Brach to Deepak Chopra and Oprah (lol).

8. BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS

We don’t know about you, but walking into a room with fresh flowers always makes us happy (bonus points for always feeling compelled to clean the room first). Don’t wait for someone to get them for you, get them for yourself! Plenty of bouquet-delivery services are still operating atm — including Urban Stems, Floom, and The Bouqs — but you can also opt for live plants that will stick around awhile (in chic planters, no less) via The Sill.

9. WATCH A COMEDY

Ok, this one’s a lil obvious, but hey, it works — nothing can banish a bad mood like 30-120 minutes of unbridled hilarity. TV-wise, our all-time personal favorites include Party Down, Parks and Recreation, and Broad City. Movie-wise, you might as well take it from the experts: Here are four lists of the “funniest movies of all time,” from Rolling Stone (#1 = Blazing Saddles), Indiewire (#1 = Sideways), The Guardian (#1 = Raising Arizona), and Forbes (#1 = Airplane). 

10. HELP SOMEONE ELSE

There are four chemicals in your brain responsible for making you feel super happy: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Exercise increases them; so does sunshine, and sex. But one of the most foolproof ways to give them a boost is by helping others. Yeah, it's cheesy, but it's also scientifically proven — if you go out of your way to make someone else happy, you make yourself happier in the process. Call someone who's elderly and alone. Offer to pick up groceries for a neighbor on your next trip out. Or — another spoiler alert — shop our upcoming 4/20 sale, in which we'll be donating part of our proceeds to a really good cause. 

Tetra's Guide to Staying Home — And Staying Inspired

As tempting as it is to want to live a normal life this week, in the long run it could put our friends and family at risk. So we're doing our part by working from home and only leaving to get groceries or take walks. Need a little extra motivation to stay in? We're here to help! Tetra's aim has always been to make beautiful products that help you feel calm, creative, and connected — even when you're smoking solo.

Shop our site to gear up for the coming weeks, then check out our five tips below for finding inspiration indoors.

1. ONLINE MUSEUM VISITS

One of the upsides of the current crisis has been learning just how much culture is available at our fingertips.

The temporarily shuttered Metropolitan Opera in New York is streaming free performances every night, a new Cooper-Hewitt museum show about the groundbreaking streetwear designer Willi Smith is accessible online, and Travel and Leisure just published a list of 12 museums that are offering virtual tours and exhibits on Google Arts & Culture. We'll be over here learning shit.

2. DESIGN DIYS

Most people will be spending their nights in binge-watching TV shows — our latest addiction: Ragnarok — but making things with your hands is a great way to slow down and stay centered. Order supplies online, light up your Balance Pipe, and fashion yourself:

—A Metamorphic Rock bookend by Chen Chen and Kai Williams

—A Hanging Sculpey mobile by Fort Makers

—An '80s planter made with $1 tiles

—A faux-concrete tissue box

—A Matisse cut-out "egg"

3. SMOKING SALONS

Missing the relaxing vibes of smoking with friends? We're planning to organize "virtual salons" with ours — group video chats where we can catch up and chill out together, even if we can't be together.

4. COOKING LESSONS

One thing we're actually looking forward to is hunkering down with our groceries and adding some new recipes to our repertoire. First up we're going to check out the just-released cookbook from Dimes, one of our favorite New York restaurants. There's also Alison Roman's new Nothing Fancy; it's focused on entertaining friends, but right now we're all about making huge portions for ourselves and freezing them.

For cooking with cannabis, we suggest advocate Mennlay Aggray's The Art of Weed Butter, or for a broader selection, the popular TV show Bong Appetit's cookbook.

5. VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING

If you've got extra time in the coming weeks and aren't sure what to do with it, consider using it to help others. Idealist.org has over 500 listings for "virtual volunteers" posted here, and you can view other ideas for organizations you can help in your pajamas herehere, and here.

Main image by Charlie Schuck