How To Fix a Clogged Torch Lighter

It happens to the best of us, and the worst of us as well. Despite your careful handling of your preferred cigar torch, it has become clogged and will no longer fire. Do not despair – instead, follow these simple steps to get your lighter back in action.

1. Make sure your lighter is properly fueled

If your lighter is out of butane, it can’t light. Fill your lighter’s fuel tank completely with high-quality butane (99.9% pure is recommended). You’ll know it’s full when the intake valve begins to sputter and reject excess butane. Here are a few quick tips for getting a proper fill:

– Before filling, turn your lighter’s flame height adjuster (often marked with + and -) all the way down. This will allow for a thorough fill.

– DO NOT SHAKE the butane can before filling. This will stir up the air in the can and can possibly cause air pockets that will hinder your lighter’s ability to fire.

– Hold the butane can straight up at a 180° angle and press down firmly while filling. This will help prevent pesky air pockets.

Hold your butane like this while filling

2. Clean your lighter’s jets

Even lighters that come with a protective cap on top can become clogged with pocket lint, tiny tobacco scraps, and other debris. Get yourself some canned air like the kind you would use to clean a computer keyboard and give your lighter’s jets a couple of quick air blasts to free up anything that may be clogging them. Then, take a q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol and gently swab the jets to eliminate any remnants.

Use canned air, aka “duster” to clean out your lighter’s jets

3. Bleed and Refill

If your lighter still refuses to light after following the two steps above, it’s likely that you’ve got air pockets in the fuel tank that are hindering gas flow. You’ll need to “bleed” the fuel out and refill it carefully to prevent any air from entering the tank.

To bleed your lighter, hold the fuel ignition button down on your lighter until the lighter is completely empty. You’ll know it’s empty when you no longer hear the “hissing” sound of air escaping.

Next, take a wooden match, pen, or anything else with a fine tip that you can press against the filling valve on the bottom of your lighter. Press the filling valve in to expel any remaining fuel or air in the lighter’s tank. Again, listen for any hissing to stop to ensure that the lighter is completely empty.

Finally, refill your lighter with good butane using the methods described in step one. As long as your torch is free of debris and fully filled with no air pockets, Your lighter should be good to go. If not, there may be a mechanical problem or defect in your lighter and you may want to contact the manufacturer. Many of the top cigar lighter brands have very accommodating policies for repair or replacement if necessary.  

Keep this quick guide handy to keep your flames burning strong and get the best performance from your torches.


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