Can You Use Diesel in A Kerosene Heater? [Top 3 Kerosene Heaters]

Can you use diesel in a kerosene heater?

Imagine a snowy night and just when you get the kerosene heater you realize you’re running out of kerosene. You check again and find some diesel in a gallon just behind your truck.

Or maybe it’s just a cold and while you can step out to get more kerosene, you don’t intend to spend all that money and you’re not even sure you’ll get some as kerosene is getting increasingly hard to find and more expensive by the day.

Then you ask the crucial question, “Can I use diesel in my kerosene heater”?

Yes, you can use diesel in your kerosene heater for the simple reason that the typical kerosene heater is built to accommodate different types of fuels.

Though you can use diesel in your kerosene heater, you need to be careful about how you go about it, because different types of diesel will give you different results and using the wrong one may affect your health and your heater as well.

We’ll tell you all you need to know about this as you read on, including how to safely use diesel in your kerosene heater.

Top 3 Kerosene Heaters

What Fuel Can Be Used in A Kerosene Heater?

Ideally, the recommended fuel for kerosene heaters is kerosene, specifically K-1 kerosene. This is a high-quality fuel that burns well and burns very clean too.

While lesser quality fuels like diesel, or even some alternative oils like vegetable oil may be used in some way, they may cause some problems if not done the proper way.

It is true that any type of diesel can be used in place of kerosene, but you’d need to consider a few things and use them properly. Specifically, it is better to use Number 1 diesel than any other type, because it is the closest to kerosene in terms of similarity.

ULSD heating oil or vegetable oil is another option. Long before kerosene was invented, people used vegetable oils for powering their lamps.

It is quite easy, clean, natural, and non-toxic. However, you’d need to be sure your heater is one that can run on vegetable oil.

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

Can you use diesel in a kerosene heater? what happens if you use?

It is quite safe to use diesel fuel in a kerosene heater if you do the right thing.

For instance, using Number 1 diesel is better because the paraffin wax has been taken away, making it burn cleaner than other types like Number 2 diesel.

This makes it move up the wick better and you won’t have to worry about gelling in the cold. Using the wrong kind of diesel may cause some problems.

This is because diesel burns cooler and is likely to release much more carbon which may affect your health. There’s also the issue of viscosity and the inner lining of your heater may be affected.

Another way to safely use diesel in a kerosene heater is to add some additives. Adding additives will ensure it burns cleaner and doesn’t destroy the wick too quickly. Some recommended additives include;

1. Isopropyl Alcohol

This should not be lower than 91% in purity. You’ll find them in most stores and pharmacies, usually beside the hydrogen peroxide bottles. Add 5ml of Isopropyl Alcohol to every 1 pint of diesel for best results.

2. Kerosene Additives

This is another option originally made to be mixed with kerosene for cleaner burning, but they can be a useful additive for diesel as well. Each Product should have recommended quantities on the bottle, so you should do as directed.

3. Kerosene

This is, perhaps, the best thing to do. Kerosene is about 3-4 times more expensive than diesel and mixing both fuels for your heater may just be the best way to save cost.

You can fill ¾ of the heater tank with diesel and fill the other ¼ with kerosene or do a 3:1 ratio mixture before adding it.

If it’s a lantern-style heater, be sure that it’s a wick you’re burning and not a candle, because a candle will burn much faster. This is important whether you’re using kerosene or diesel.

However, it is best to use 100% cotton wick when burning diesel in your kerosene heater, because it burns pretty well and you’re able to trim off the tip in the event it’s covered up in carbon. Fiberglass and other materials may work well when burning kerosene, but not diesel.

Top 3 Best Kerosene Heaters

1. Heatstar Forced Air Kerosene Heater

Best Features

This forced air kerosene heater is beautifully designed for effectiveness and convenience. With sturdy wheels and carry handles, you can decide to pull the unit from one place to another or, if you’re feeling up to it, do some lifting.

The design is such that it allows for focused heating which easily spreads around the space. It is also great for outdoor and commercial use with as much as 175,000 BTU capacity. On a full tank, this unit will give you as much as 10 hours non-stop and can cover spaces up to 4,250 sq. ft.

It can be powered by either kerosene 1 and 2 or diesel 1 and 2. You may also use JP-8 and home heating oil. This means convenient options for when your choice of fuel isn’t available. What’s more, there’s an overheat protection feature for enhanced safety.


  • 175,000 BTU
  • 4,250 Square feet
  • Multiple fuel options.
  • 42 x 18 x 22 inches in dimensions
  • The item weighs 60 pounds.


  • Freedom to choose from multiple fuel options.
  • Has wheels for easy transport.
  • Good coverage
  • Large heating capacity.
  • Comes with a thermostat for temperature control.


  • Quite pricy.
  • Also quite heavy.

2. Mr. Heater 70K BTU Kerosene Radiant Heater

Value for Money

Mr. Heater is a known brand in the propane and kerosene heating industry. This is due to their resolve to always combine efficiency and quality for homeowners around the world.

This kerosene radiant heater packs 70,000 BTU in heating capacity, making it a worthwhile investment.

But that’s not all, this heating unit was designed to burn kerosene, but it can also burn diesel just in case you run low on kerosene and get some more or you just want to save some cost on running the unit.

You may also choose to mix both diesel and kerosene on a 3:1 ratio for clean burning.


  • ‎13.25 x 22.25 x 25 inches in dimensions.
  • Weighs 40 pounds.
  • 70,000 BTU.
  • 1,750 sq. feet in coverage.
  • Top non-heat carry handle.


  • Great heating capacity.
  • Carry handle for easy transport.
  • Can use either kerosene or diesel, or both.
  • Burns clean.
  • Low noise operation.


  • No wheels.
  • Not the cheapest product.

3. Dyna-Glo Workhorse 50K BTU Kerosene Heater

Best Price

This Dyna-Glo Workhorse is a beautiful piece of brilliance and at an unbelievable price. With a non-heat handle at the top, this is one heater you can take anywhere and use anytime as long as there’s fuel in the tank.

It is a 50,000 BTU capacity forced air heater that’s built to heat up spaces as large as 1,200 sq. feet. This unit can be used both indoors and outdoors for industrial purposes.

It should only be used in places with proper ventilation. Although recommended to run on 1-K kerosene, this unit can also be powered by diesel 1, diesel 2, fuel oil 1, fuel oil 2, Jet A, and JP-8.


  • 1,200 sq. ft coverage.
  • 50,000 BTU heating capacity.
  • Weighs 26.9 Pounds.
  • Dimensions at ‎31.8 x 16.3 x 13.2 inches.
  • Multi-fuel options.


  • Not so heavy
  • Carry handle for easy transport.
  • Quite portable.
  • Fuel choice convenience.
  • Good heating capacity for its price.
  • Very affordable.


  • Cannot be used in residential places.

Final Words:

If you ever had doubts about kerosene heaters and whether you can use other fuels, such as diesel, to run them, this post should’ve cleared all doubts. For emphasis, you can use diesel in a kerosene heater, especially if it is Number 1 diesel.

You can also use other types as long as you blend the diesel with kerosene or mix it up with additives like Isopropyl Alcohol or kerosene additives.

These products reviewed here are examples of kerosene heaters that can run on other fuel sources apart from kerosene. There are many more on the market, but you can make your choice from our list because we have carefully selected them based on tests and verified user reviews.

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