Best Tiki Torch Fuel, Keep the Bugs Away!

Tiki Torches are super useful outdoor lanterns, providing light, ambiance, and (depending on the fuel) mosquito protection. Whether the torch is a modern metal Tiki torch or a kitschy bamboo style one, the type of fuel put into the torch will determine how well it burns, what the smell and smoke levels are, and how well the bugs are repelled. After a thorough examination of several types of Tiki Torch Fuel, we have determined that the Best Tiki Torch Fuel on the market is the Firefly Eucalyptus Blend Tiki Fuel. A 2017 study in the Oxford Journal of Insect Science tested several mosquito repellent products and found Eucalyptus to be one of the most effective substances at keeping mosquitoes away — much better than Citronella, which the study found did not do much at all.

As an additional plus, this Tiki Torch Fuel smells fairly mild, and produces a relatively low amount of smoke and soot. It’s a bit more expensive than the traditional Tiki Torch Fuels, but we feel the benefits this fuel offers make it more than worth the extra cost.

For a closer look at the Firefly Eucalyptus Tiki Torch Fuel, see below.

Runner Up Best Tiki Torch Fuel

The BiteFighter Tiki Brand Fuel is infused with Citronella Oil and Cedar Oil for insect-fighting capabilities. Though the study we quoted above doesn’t show much of an impact from Citronella on mosquitoes, our own experiences, as well as that of thousands of users, is that Citronella does help, sometimes significantly, in keeping the bugs at bay. Anecdotes are just that, of course, but regardless, the BiteFighter torch fuel by Tiki Brand hits a nice balance between price and quality. If the Firefly Eucalyptus is sold out, or you just don’t want to pay the extra coin for it, the Tiki BiteFighter is a good second choice.

For more information on this Tiki Fuel, see below.

Budgetary Concerns and Fuel Costs

With all of these fuels, the costs go down significantly per ounce when you purchase in bulk. Though the smaller quantities of fuel are easier to manage and store, it’s generally best to purchase the largest container you can handle, and store it for use, away from light and excessive heat. Properly closed, these fuels should last indefinitely in storage. They don’t typically evaporate, so there’s no major concern of losing fuel over time.

One aspect we quite like about the Firefly brand fuels is that you can purchase is 5 gallon jugs to cut down on the cost. The downside of this is that 5 gallon containers are difficult to manage, especially pouring into small receptacles, so please be careful. Spilling fuel is no joke!

Be sure you use a funnel if your jug is sufficiently heavy to make it difficult to work with.

Tiki Torch Fuel Product Reviews

There are two major brands of Tiki Torch Fuel, Firefly and Tiki Brands. Both of these have several different formulations of Tiki Torch Fuel, each with different features and price points. In this section, we will look at the to major types of fuel, examine the differences in the fuels, and pick our favorites.

Tiki Brand Fuels: Clear Torch Fuel, Tiki Citronella Torch Fuel, and BiteFighter Torch Fuel

Tiki Torch with Plenty of Tiki Torch Fuel

Tiki Torch with Plenty of Tiki Torch Fuel

Tiki Brand fuels are the biggest selling Tiki torch fuel on the market. The Tiki Brand is everywhere, and is the brand behind many of the typical bamboo Tiki torches found everywhere, and also the Metal Tiki Torches that are becoming more and more popular.

They have the primary brand name, and they advertise that their torches are most compatible with their fuels. Makes sense!

These fuels are sold in several formats, from individual 12 oz canisters (which will burn about 5 hours) to 1 gallon containers. We suggest sticking with the larger the sizes unless you’re just doing a one-off, as they are more economical in price.

Tiki Easy Pour System Helps Prevent Fuel Oil Spills

Tiki Easy Pour System

These jugs come with an easy-pour spout, which is essentially a small hole in the cap of the bottle that enables careful pouring of the Tiki Oil. However, some still find it difficult to fill their receptacles, especially if they are not wide mouth. If you are filling torches often, or don’t have a steady hand, it may be wise to pick up a funnel or Snap n Pour Torch Filling Accessory. snap-on funnels make filling torches very easy, and safe.

The Tiki Brand sells three primary types of Tiki Torch fuels, and we will touch on them briefly here.


Clean Burn Tiki Torch Fuel

The primary reason Clean Burn fuel exists is that it does not produce soot and smoke. It burns very cleanly, produces a nice flame, and is much closer to an ethanol-formula, with 85% of its ingredient make up coming from plant sources, as opposed to petroleum like most of the other fuels we will be looking at.

However, this fuel does nothing to combat mosquitoes, so the clean burning aspect is a significant downside to many.


Tiki BiteFighter Torch Fuel

Tiki’s BiteFighter formulation of their citronella oil is a mix of petroleum distillate (the primary fuel for the torch), citronella oil, and cedar oil. The Citronella and Cedar are designed to fight the bugs, sending mosquitoes, flies, and other nasties on their way.

This formulation does produce a good deal of smoke by design. It is the smoke that keeps the bugs away, and it is considered a positive aspect of this citronella oil. If you’re going to be burning this stuff in a lantern with a glass lid, then it will certainly get coated with soot over the course of several hours of burning. However, a quick clean with a wet rag will remove the soot from the glass, and you can keep using it.


Tiki Citronella Scented Oil Torch Fuel

The Citronella Scented oil formulation is made of a mixture of petroleum distillate (the fuel source), citronella oil, and lemongrass oil. This formulation is also designed to keep the bugs at bay, with a calming scent.

This torch fuel produces smoke and soot, and is not suited for indoor use, only outdoor. The smoke is what is supposed to keep the pests away, and the presence of smoke is a good thing.


Tiki BiteFighter Vs Citronella Scented Tiki Torch Fuel

So what’s the difference between the BiteFighter and the Citronella Scented formulations? The BiteFighter is formulated with Citronella and Cedar Oil, while the Citronella Scented product has Citronella and Lemongrass Oil. The Cedar Oil is designed to be more mosquito-repellent, while the Citronella Scented is designed to be slightly more pleasantly scented.

The difference in their mosquito-fighting capabilities is marginal. We suggest that if mosquitoes are your issue, just buy the cheaper one!

Firefly Brand Fuels: Safe and Green Eco Clean Torch Fuel, Eucalyptus Torch Fuel, and Citronella Torch Fuel

Torch Fuel Burn ComparisonTorch Fuel Burn Comparison

Torch Fuel Burn Comparison

Firefly Brand Fuels also sells three primary types of Tiki torch fuel, with some similar characteristics to the Tiki brand fuel, and some notable differences.

Firefly promotes their products as more heavily purified than their competitors, and also longer-burning. Their products still let off smoke and soot, due to the addition of citronella or eucalyptus essential oil, which are designed to keep bugs away, but the fuel itself is designed to burn pretty cleanly. Firefly advertises that it produces only 6% of the smoke and soot of their nearest competitor, so this stuff may well be better on your lungs, if you’re using your Tiki torches regularly.

There are obviously a huge number of variables that impact burn times, primarily wind and weather conditions, but it’s certainly helpful if it burns longer.

Firefly products are generally more expensive than Tiki Brand fuels, however Firefly does sell their Tiki Fuels in larger quantities, which will certainly impact the cost per ounce significantly.

Just be careful when pouring fuel out of heavy 5 gallon jugs!


Firefly Safe and Green Eco Clean Burning Fuel

The Firefly Safe and Green Lamp Oil is distinguished by its complete lack of petroleum products, and its clean burning attributes. This fuel is made from palm seed, and can be used both indoors and outdoors, which is unique among the fuels we are looking at today, and is rather helpful if you have lamps you may want to use should the power go out, or simply for indoor ambiance.

Note: this fuel is not the same as fuel for Ethanol Fireplaces, and should not be used as a substitute.

This formulation does not fight bugs, and it produces no smoke, soot, or odors to speak of. The green attributes of this are a significant positive, and the ability to use it both indoors and outdoors is a help for many, but one of the significant negatives is the price!


 Firefly Citronella Tiki Oil Fuel

The Firefly Citronella formulation features a petroleum base with citronella oil added to help keep the insects away. This formulation is different from the Safe and Green formula above, as it is made of petroleum distillate. Firefly advertises its Citronella tiki torch fuel as being significantly cleaner-burning than their major competitor (which would likely be Tiki brand).

The Citronella oil that Firefly makes is quite good, and nicer in our opinion than the Citronella oils that Tiki Brand makes. Of course, it is more expensive, but the cost is balanced by the cleaner burning product, and the (hopefully) longer-lasting fuel source.


Firefly Eucalyptus Tiki Lantern Fuel

This is the stuff right here. Firefly is the only company currently making a Eucalyptus-based mosquito repellent fuel, and they are regularly selling out of their formulation. As we mentioned above, in a recent 2017 scientific study of mosquito repellents, Eucalyptus was found to be one of the more effective insect repellent chemicals out there (DEET is the other major one). Interestingly, Citronella was not found to be very effective at all in that study.

The Firefly Eucalyptus formula has a few other great attributes — it is relatively clean burning, just like Firefly’s Citronella fuel, and it does not release much of an odor compared to the other fuels on the market. The eucalyptus is a mild, pleasant scent, and it does a better job of keeping the mosquitoes away than any of the other fuels. In our eyes, this is the Best Tiki Torch Fuel out there, bar none.

It’s a bit more expensive than the competition, but the price difference is not huge, and the Eucalyptus is a really great product.


Conclusion

Firefly Eucalyptus Oil, the Best Tiki Torch Fuel

Firefly Eucalyptus Oil, the Best Tiki Torch Fuel

All of the fuels discussed here will make your Tiki Torches look beautiful at night, twinkling in the twilight, and hopefully keeping the bugs away. After spending a good deal of time researching the effectiveness of these fuels, we feel that the Firefly Eucalyptus Tiki Torch Oil is the Best Tiki Torch Fuel choice for most users, assuming you’re trying to combat mosquitoes and bugs.

If you haven’t tried Eucalyptus oil for mosquito protection, you should!

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