So I have a decorative lamp with a fiberglass wick. Worked fine at first, but now it’s all clogged up with carbon and won’t soak up oil anymore. My google-fu failed on what I’d thought would be an obvious subject. Anyone?
You need a new wick. IMO.
Trim off the carbon glotted part. Continue to do so as needed until its to short to use. Then, as was said, buy a new one.
Blow-torch should clean it up.
Probably also fuse the glass. My vote for new wick!
(Piranha solution might do the trick; but that’s nasty stuff. Also, most likely more expensive to cook up!)
BTW what is good about a fiberglass wick versus a cotton or Kevlar wick?
Well, in theory, fiberglass wouldn’t disintegrate from heat, so you wouldn’t have to trim the wick. Unfortunately, as the OP has learned from practice, soot will still pile up…
Asbestos might be a better choice of material, and would resist the blowtorch treatment. Is it still legal to get in the US?
Reading about that, and about related compounds such as Caro’s Acid, in which the words “corrosive”, “explosive”, “strong oxidizing agent”, “highly unstable”, “dangerous”, “violent reaction”, “aggressive”, etc. repeatedly appear makes me suppose that the cliche of the chemist occasionally blowing up his laboratory are based on these.
Heh. I remember from my college years when I searched the litterature for a means to develop the TLC of a particular kind of substance, and happened upon a recipe involving conc. sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate, with the disclaimer (in italics; although in very small letters!) “Caution! Manganese heptoxide!”
To this day, I haven’t the slightest idea as how, exactly, to exert caution (and the book didn’d give any hint!); but I hastily decided to try other means…
According to Wikipedia, it’s an unwanted byproduct of reacting sulfuric acid with potassium permanganate. Key words are “decomposes”, “explosively” “ozone”, and “spontaneously ignite”.