EASY DIY Waterproofing a BIC and Zippo Lighter


Having a reliable source of flame is important in everyday life as well as when you’re outdoors. If you’re planning on being near water or might get heavy rains, it’s important that you take a few precautionary steps to waterproof your lighter that’s in your pocket.

Let me show you a simple way to DIY waterproof your BIC and Zippo lighters at home, and I’ll show you two products you can purchase if you just want a cleaner looking hack.

How to Waterproof a BIC Lighter

Waterproofing a BIC lighter at home is a simple process if you have a spring clamp (Amazon) in your garage. Simply remove one of the protective rubber caps at the end of the jaws and place it over the head of your full-sized BIC lighter.

The fit is very snug and will prevent you from pressing the butane toggle in your pants, and will keep your lighter waterproof for all intents and purposes.

Image showing how to DIY waterproof a BIC lighter
Remove the rubber cushion from a large spring clamp and place it over your standard size BIC lighter to keep them waterproof.

A downpour will not effect your lighter with this cap on it, and it will even be able to withstand a prolonged period under water.

I tested a lighter under water while aggitating the situation for 10 full minutes and the lighter still worked on the first attempt.

How to Waterproof a Zippo Lighter

A Zippo lighter is just as easy to waterproof at home. All you need for this little hack is an old bicycle inner tube. Cut a section out that is about 2″ and another that is 1″.

Slide the 2″ piece around the ligher’s sides. When that is done, stretch the 1″ piece around the top and bottom of the lighter.

Image showing how to use old bicycle inner tube to waterproof a Zippo lighter
Wrapping two pieces (criss-crossed) of old bicycle inner tube works great for waterproofing a Zippo lighter.

This will not only significantly decrease the evaporation of the lighter fuel in your Zippo’s reservoir, but it will protect it from being submerged for short times as well.

When I tested this for 10 minutes, I never got it to work. However, I could almost always get it to light after being completely submerged for up to 1 minute. This method will definitely work for even the heaviest rains.

Will a BIC Lighter Work When Wet?

A BIC lighter will not work if the rotating striker becomes wet. The wet striker will not allow sparks when the striker is ground against the lighter’s internal flint. Since the ignition area is exposed, care must be taken to keep a BIC lighter dry.

How to Dry a BIC Lighter That Got Wet

While we all wish that we had a blowdryer in the woods when our lighter gets wet, that’s not going to happen.

To dry a BIC lighter that has gotten wet, grab the lighter from the bottom between your finger and thumb and shake it vigerously in a whipping motion to expel any water inside the ignition area. Blowing inside the ignition area with your mouth or placing the lighter under ones arm pit for warmth can also speed up the evaporation process. The lighter should be functional again within 5 minutes.

Will a Zippo Lighter Work When Wet?

A Zippo lighter is naturally water resistant due to the shell that it is kept in. With the shell closed, the lighter is protected fully from rain but not being submerged for more than a few seconds in water. Once water has saturated the wick enough, the lighter will cease to function.

How to Dry a Zippo Lighter That Got Wet

If you have a miltitool or pair of pliers on hand, you can get a Zippo back up and running faster than a BIC!

To get a Zippo to light after getting wet, open the shell and pull the internal lighter out and dump out any water that has collected in the fuel reservoir. Place the lighter back inside the shell and pull the wick out 1/4-1/2″ with a pair of pliers to expose wick that is still saturated with lighter fluid.

After a strike or two of the flint, your lighter should flame right up.

Tools to Keep your Lighters Waterproof

If you don’t like the look of the clamp’s end cap on your BIC lighter, there are sleeker options on Amazon that you can easily set up. Clicking on the picture will take you to Amazon to check the current price.

For the Zippo, you’ve got the option below with a rubber o-ring seal to keep out water. I’m not a fan of the shell catch that blocks your thumb from getting a good spin of the striker, but if that doesn’t bother you then checking out this product might be what you’ve been looking for.

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Robert Van Nuck

Robert lives in central Michigan and enjoys running, woodworking, and fixing up small engines.

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