What is the Shelf Life of Paraffin Lamp Oil?

by Susan Tysonby

Wondering how much paraffin lamp oil to buy for the looming winter, but don’t want it to expire before the last snowflake falls? Not to worry – our experience (with Firefly Pure Paraffin lamp Oil, that is) is that the oil will last indefinitely, if stored in a sealed container. Be sure to always properly replace the cap on the container to ensure maximum shelf life (not to mention safety). If the cap is not tightly secured on the bottle, the oil’s shelf life will be reduced significantly by evaporation, which makes it thicken and become unusable.

What if you find a bottle of candle and lamp oil in your basement – how can you tell if it’s still good to use? The clarity of the oil is a big indicator. If it’s still clear, it should be safe to use. If the paraffin lamp oil itself looks cloudy and thick, it may be past its prime, and should be tossed.

Paraffin lamp and candle oil should be stored at room temperature. Protect it from freezing – the liquid paraffin will become solid at about 15 degrees F, which will significantly decrease its shelf life once it’s thawed.

When in doubt, properly dispose of your old paraffin oil and purchase a new supply – there’s no reason to sacrifice safety and possibly gunk up your precious oil lamps and candles!


Susan Tyson

VP Marketing at Firefly Fuel, Inc.
VP of Marketing at Firefly Fuel, Inc - An innovative, eco-friendly company supplying refillable oil candles and green fuel to homeowners, restaurants and resorts.
  • Lynda Bottos

    Liquid paraffin starts to solidify at a much higher temp than 15F…i had a hurricane lamp sitting on the floor in our greenhouse, where we had space heaters, where the temperature dropped to about 25F on the ground, and the paraffin froze (plants were on shelves where temperature was around 40F due to heat rising), It was soft frozen, but still a solid; the flame extinguished.

    Since my thermometers are for reference and are not calibrated, it would be good to know at what exact temperature liquid paraffin becomes unusable as it begins to solidify…I’ve read anywhere between 20F and 28F…is there a known temperature?

    • http://www.FireflyFuel.com Susan Tyson

      In answer to the exact temperature Paraffin becomes unusable, I don’t know to the degree. If you are looking for a clean-burning fuel that doesn’t freeze, I would suggest Firefly CLEAN Lamp Oil.

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