Can You Use Diesel in a Kerosene Heater? The Comprehensive Guide

Diesel fuel is a popular choice for powering vehicles, but can you use diesel in a kerosene heater? In this comprehensive guide, we will clear up all the misconceptions and help you make the best decision for your needs. We’ll start by discussing the different types of kerosene heaters and then talk about safety and how to use diesel fuel in a kerosene heater correctly. By the end of this post, you will be an expert on using diesel in a kerosene heater!

Kerosene Heaters

There are two main types of kerosene heaters: convective and radiant. Convective heaters work by circulating hot air around the room, while radiant heaters emit infrared rays that directly heat objects and people in the room.

Kerosene heaters work by lighting a wick in the combustion chamber, heating the fuel until it becomes a gas, and then it heats the air through radiation or convection.

Is It Safe to Burn Diesel Fuel in a Kerosene Heater?

Diesel fuel is safe to use in kerosene heaters, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to use the correct type of diesel fuel and always add a fuel additive to prevent clogging.


You will need the following supplies to use diesel in a kerosene heater:

  • Diesel fuel
  • Fuel additive
  • Wick

Let’s go into more detail on each of these to ensure you have the proper equipment.

Diesel Fuel

There are two types of diesel fuel: diesel 1 and diesel 2.

Diesel 1 can be used in all types of kerosene heaters, while diesel 2 should only be used in radiant heaters. This is because diesel fuel can produce more fumes than kerosene, and radiant heaters have better ventilation to dissipate the fumes. Diesel 1 is what we recommend to use if you need to use diesel. You can get diesel fuel at your local gas station.

Fuel Additive

A fuel additive is necessary to prevent clogging and corrosion in your kerosene heater. Some examples are kerosene additives, isopropyl alcohol, and diesel fuel additives. There are many different types of fuel additives, so be sure to ask your local hardware store for the best one for your needs.


The wick is the part of the kerosene heater that absorbs the fuel and produces heat. Investing in a high-quality wick will ensure the heater works better. There are two main types: fiberglass wick and cotton wick. Fiberglass wicks are more durable and can be used with all types of fuel, while cotton wicks are best used with kerosene.

How to Use Diesel in a Kerosene Heater

Now that we have all the supplies, it’s time to learn how to use diesel in a kerosene heater. The most important thing to remember is the ratio of fuel to fuel additive for it to burn correctly. For every pint of diesel, you should add 5mL of isopropyl alcohol, kerosene additive, or diesel additive.

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You can also mix kerosene fuel and diesel with a recommended ratio between 1:3 to 1:5.

Why Don’t You Always Use Diesel?

A kerosene heater draws off the fuel from the wick to evaporate it. Diesel fuel doesn’t evaporate as well as kerosene.

Burning diesel fuel is also not as clean as burning straight kerosene. Diesel burns cleaner with fuel additives, though.

Diesel also burns at a higher temperature than kerosene which can cause incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion can cause a build-up of carbon and lead to the wick clogging.

Safety Tips and FAQs

Before using your kerosene heater, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Here are some additional safety tips and FAQs to keep in mind:

Can you use a kerosene heater indoors?

Yes, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and always ventilate the room. Burning kerosene or diesel fuel can release toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Carbon build-up and other gases can cause harmful fumes if not ventilated properly.

Also, keep the heater away from any flammable materials as that can be a fire hazard.

How can you prevent fumes from building up?

Open a window or door to ventilate the room. Do not use the kerosene heater in a small, enclosed space.

What should you do if you can smell fumes?

Stop using the kerosene heater and ventilate the room immediately. If you experience nausea, dizziness, or headaches, seek medical attention immediately. Also, remember never to leave a kerosene heater running when you’re sleeping.

How can you make the wick last longer?

Make sure to give the wick time to soak up the fuel before igniting it. You can also trim the wick to the proper length to prevent it from burning too quickly.


We hope you found this comprehensive guide helpful! Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a kerosene heater and be aware of potential safety hazards. With proper precautions, you can enjoy the warmth of your kerosene heater during the cold weather all winter long!

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