Don't Drink Lamp Oil Or You'll Die

Lamp oil manufacturers have issued a new warning: don’t drink lamp oil. The TV says someone died recently after doing so. Not sure what the story is, but like other household products, it’s important to keep them in their proper containers. For instance, some colored lamp oils can look like cranberry juice. Here are some other poisons and the foods they can look like.


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  1. eekfuh says:

    yum… lamp oil taste with a strawberry after taste!

  2. scerwup says:

    It’s good advice!!!!

  3. grandzu says:

    Also do not use cranberry juice in your lamp.

  4. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I know someone who drank clear lamp oil thinking it was water. They had had a bit of alcohol…

    To be fair, I was sober and had walked by the bottle on the counter 4 or 5 times, thinking it was water too.

    I’m not sure what the best strategy is, but saying lamp oil in reasonably sized print is a start.

  5. sporks says:

    I have three rules with lamp oil:
    1) Keep the lamp oil under the sink.
    2) Keep the lamp oil in the original bottle.
    3) Don’t drink it.

    Voila! These easy rules I live by have prevented me from mistaking my blue lamp oil for powerade or other blue drinks. And when the power goes out, there’s always a lamp ready to be fueled up.

  6. Lamp oil, rope, bombs?

  7. TechnoDestructo says:

    How much lamp oil is dangerous?

    Does it taste bad enough that you would have to be deliberately trying to drink lamp oil to drink enough lamp oil to harm yourself?

  8. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    It’s simple natural selection, folks. If someone is, well, if someone is to drink lamp oil and die, whether intentionally or not, that is their fate and we need to just accept it and move on.

  9. says:

    does it have a fowl smell that you’d notice before drinking?

    i really have no idea. it could be odorless, but it seems like the type of thing that may have a poor smell

  10. 44 in a Row says:

    Okay, helpful hint. Duly noted. Now, what about the electric fence? Should we, or should we not, whiz on it?

  11. MBZ321 says:

    Regardless of people’s stupidity, the problem is companies bottle products in containers that make them look like juice, etc. Fabulouso cleaner comes to mind..

  12. ouphie says:

    My friends have used lamp oil to blow fire when we run out of Everclear. Works, but I hear it tastes terrible.

  13. ajmccoll says:

    Wait, people still use lamp oil?

  14. Considering the taste of other oils, I just can not imagine somebody of an adult age and sound mind actually chugging back a bottle of lamp oil. That leaves children and the feable or impaired.

    Ok, now we know to keep lamp oil out of the reach of children and feable.

    Impaired can drink all they want. Helps eliminate the bad genes.

  15. Difdi says:

    At a local grocery store, I once noticed they had put a pallet of liquid solvents (like pine sol, but various colors and scents) in a very bad place. Immediately left was fruit juice. Immediately right was bottled soda pop in various flavors and colors. Directly above the solvents was rice milk. On either side of the rice milk were kool-aid powder and iced tea.

    Nobody at the store could understand why I thought this was incredibly bad product placement. Cleaning supplies colored and scented like beverages…surrounded on all sides by beverage products. But it was over five weeks before the store moved the display.

  16. bobbleheadr says:

    Many lamp oils smell sweet. It seems every year or so a kid is on the news dead or dying from drinking it (from a lamp).

  17. Mr_Magoo says:

    @MBZ32: I agree; whoever came up with the Fabuloso packaging wasn’t thinking clearly:

    Hey! Why can’t I insert a picture?

  18. dwarf74 says:

    I have a lot of friends who breathe fire.

    No, really – in the social circles I used to run in, about half of everyone tried it out at some time.

    You can breathe fire with any number of substances. Everclear works, but it’s also pretty runny and can light your face on fire pretty easily.

    The most popular firebreathing product of choice – at least among my friends – is lamp oil.

    Now, nobody drinks it. But they do fill their mouths with it. And I could see a circumstance where they might accidentally.

    I dunno, that’s the best I can come up with.

  19. chutch says:

    @44 in a Row: If you must, I would suggest standing a few feet away. I wouldn’t though. :)

  20. jusooho says: To answer your question, no it does not smell like chicken.

  21. ChuckECheese says:

    @Mr_Magoo: You can insert a picture. Just follow these directions: [] For all you Mexican cleanser-lovers out there:

    does it have a fowl smell that you’d notice before drinking?

    No, it doesn’t smell or taste like chicken. It smells more like kerosene or diluted charcoal lighter.

  22. ShadowFalls says:

    People also need to take into consideration that some people have a lack of the ability to smell things.

    Seriously though, unless you blind and can not smell, and your taste buds are shot, at some point you should know its lamp oil, in the least, spit it out…

  23. whatdoyoucare says:

    Isn’t there a child proof lid on the containers? Wow! That bottle of Fabuloso really looks like juice.

  24. buyer5 says:

    Helps with fiber irregularity

  25. madog says:

    no sympathy. The first step in my plan for Eden is to remove all warning labels to thin out the population. Not that the really stupid ones pay attention anyway but the only reason they have warning labels such as this is because some jackass did something really stupid and either lived to sue or had one of their stupid relatives sue after death. Hemmorhoid cream should NOT need a “do not ingest” warning let alone Lamp oil. The name alone should stand as directions that the product is intended for lamps only.

    While I’m on the subject, there shouldn’t be any seltbelt laws either. Stupidity, followed closely by greed, is the leading cause of suing.

    “well if only someone had told my kid they needed to wear a seltbelt then they wouldn’t be in a coma. Someone other than me is to blame!”

  26. factotum says:

    No wonder my Cosmos have been tasting weird lately…

  27. Skankingmike says:

    In the peoples defense; they thought that, like Olive Oil, they squeezed small lamps of their juices and were trying to avoid trans-fat laded oils.

  28. cmdrsass says:

    I only use 100% organic whale oil in my lamps. It’s both flammable AND delicious!

  29. PHX602 says:

    Damn, what a handy piece of information. I suppose tomorrow the Consumerist will tell me running a meth lab out of my guest bedroom is probably hazardous to my health.

    Personally, I blame American Airlines for making the lamp oil look like cranberry juice.

  30. PHX602 says:

    And Bank of America too.

  31. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    But the real question is, were they doing it to try to get high?

    /doesn’t know if lamp oil gets you high, but some Darwin Award candidate may think it does…

  32. Mp3dog says:

    Here’s an idea:

    What if all the manufacturers adapted the same universal standard when packaging potentially poisonous fluids? For example, using triangular shaped bottles for things like lamp oil. That way, everyone would immediately know that it wasn’t a drink.

  33. PHX602 says:

    They do something similar with road signs. See how well that works?

  34. Overheal says:

    thats a tough one alright. cant fault the lampoil guys for that warning i guess.

    might not look very fashionable on the bottle but they should put some big labels on it for hazourdous liquids and such.

  35. forgottenpassword says:

    what is lamp oil? Do you mean kerosene? Because I remember back in the day kerosene came in only a green color when it wasnt in the regular clear color (no color).

  36. joemono says:

    Maybe it’s time to start making all drinkable products one color, and all non-drinkable products another. Gin, diet coke, milk, water – these would be green. Anti-freeze, lamp oil, red bull – these would be red.

  37. legwork says:

    Looks like cherry-flavored gasoline. Yummy!

  38. veronykah says:

    @madog: I completely agree. After going to EMT school and seeing what happens to you if you don’t wear a seatbelt and LIVE I have never failed to buckle up.
    I completely agree with you that if people decide they don’t want a face and don’t want to wear their seat belt or feel the need to drink something labeled LAMP OIL…be my guest.

  39. Ben Popken says:

    @ChuckECheese: Mmm, pour up a big pitcher for the neighborhood!

  40. mac-phisto says:

    whatever happened to mr. yuck stickers??!? mr. yuck would’ve told you not to drink lamp oil!

  41. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Let me add my “Gee what an insightful story” comment to get my post count up as well.

    Personally, I sautee in olive oil, but to each his own.

  42. mike says:

    All these warnings and cautionary tales are preventing Darwin from doing his work.

    We really need to weed out the stupid in the gene pool.

  43. Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen says:


    I was just thinking about Mr. Yuck, but you beat me to it.

    Didn’t they used to use a skull and cross bones for poison stuff?

    Never-mind. People would probably think it was pirate juice or something, and drink it.

  44. Also, do not attempt to eat the lamp that contains said lamp oil.

    That would also be bad.

  45. EdnaLegume says:

    I didn’t realize there was even a product designed to lubricate lamps. Is there a problem with lamps getting dry and somehow losing their lighting function? Or do lamps just like the taste?

  46. Manok says:

    I was at walmart the other day with my wife and I saw bottles of cleanser that looked like sport drinks (the colors were simiilar and th epackaging was like a sport bottle. I told my wife some kid is gonna drink that stuff, not sure why they packaged it like that.

  47. Ben Popken says:

    @madog: Tone it down a bit.

  48. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @mac-phisto: Don’t know about you but it instantly reminds me of Green Jelly.

    (Obey The Cow God, BTW)

  49. Angryrider says:

    “This cleaning product looks just like the cheese you put on spaghetti!”

    I’m pretty sure a five year old can tell the difference between cleaning product and cheese. By that age, he/she should be able to read the word “cheese” off a can. At least my family doesn’t use either product.

  50. My mom drank furniture polish as a kid, thinking it was milk. What in the world kind of furniture polish was that? They had to pump her stomach. Fun.

  51. pileofmonkeycrap says:

    Then what do I do with this wick sticking out of my ass?

  52. I still love lamp.

  53. PinkBox says:


  54. theblackdog says:

    @linus: Lamp Oil == Gene Pool Chlorine?

  55. MayorBee says:

    @Angryrider: That wasn’t cheese or cleaning product. It was PedEgg shavings. Sorry you had to find out this way.

  56. MrEvil says:

    Whatever happened to putting poisonous stuff like lamp oil or Ronsonol in the old rectangular can?

    I know, you’re a freaking dumbass if you drink something without first reading its label. However, these lampoil and cleaner companies are getting a little over-zealous with their marketing. They must think that if they put their product in a beverage type bottle that your thirst will entice you to buy it. A bit irresponsible if you ask me.

  57. Peeved Guy says:

    @MayorBee: Now THAT is disgusting (as well as hilarious).

  58. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Nobody at the store could understand why I thought this was incredibly bad product placement.

    @Difdi: That’s scary. No one at all? Please tell me there were only a few employees in that day.

  59. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @EdnaLegume: I can’t decide whether or not you’re just being funny.

    @mac-phisto: I remember those!

    Seriously, the list freaks me out a bit:
    Soap, Minute Maid Juice
    Whose soap? Even liquid soap doesn’t have the consistency of water. Once you pour it how do you mistake the two? (Not to mention I’ve never seen a soap bottle look like a juice bottle.)

    Comet Cleanser, Kraft Parmesan Cheese
    That one just gives me bad images in my head.

  60. goodpete says:

    As has been said before in comments, lamp oil is often used in fire breathing because of it’s low burning temperature and reluctance to ignite in liquid form (So you don’t light your face on fire so easily).

    I’ve used it in fire breathing for years and I haven’t died yet, but I’ll tell ya, the stuff doesn’t ever taste good and gets much worse with age. I can’t imagine drinking it in any amount. Even the small amount that works it’s way down can make you burp up nasty fumes for hours. Anyone who drinks it in large quantities is looking to die or get cancer or something…

  61. chrisjames says: It tastes like chicken too.

  62. Shutaro says:

    @grandzu: No wonder my lamp won’t light… Smells delicious, tho.

  63. katylostherart says:

    i wonder if the introduction of blue raspberry lead to a lot of windex related deaths.

  64. bellhop68 says:

    Orange Fabuloso. It’s a floor cleaner that looks and smells so much like juice it’s hard to resist.

  65. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    This was probably some newbie trying to do fire breathing and failed. Also: since when is lamp oil red?

  66. jharrell says:

    When I was younger I always got these confused:

    # Diet Pepsi, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer
    # Genesee Cream Ale, Seven Up

    Poison control helps keep your kids out’a the liquor cabinet.

  67. temporaryerror says:

    For fire breathers out there; I’ve seen a demo video on a how-to website that advises using corn starch for breathing fire (think: almost empty grain silos exploding…). That seems like it would be a MUCH safer way to breathe fire than both lamp oil and everclear. It’s only flammable after it leaves the mouth…

  68. mac-phisto says:

    @Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen: you’re more right than you know. supposedly, a study found that youngsters were actually drawn to skull & bones, but most were repelled by mr. yuk.

    & for a more elaborate history, visit []
    (you can even listen to the “mr yuk theme song”)

  69. Imakeholesinu says:

    They shouldn’t put labels on things like this. Common sense should tell you not to drink it as it is lamp oil and FLAMMABLE.

  70. Javert says:

    But can I eat the floaty stuff from a lava lamp? It always looks so tempting…

  71. Trai_Dep says:

    And: never use lamp oil in your bong. Ever!

  72. pschroeter says:

    How do you drink/eat stuff that smells and tastes bad? Urine looks like lemonade, but I think it would be hard to get someone to drink it.

  73. RvLeshrac says:

    @Ben Popken:

    But… (s)he’s right. Much like the “do not lift this over your head to trim the hedges” warnings on lawnmowers, we have entirely too many warning labels on products today.

    It really is no wonder that we’ve lost all sight of ‘personal responsibility’ in this country.

    I’m all for a “Toxic”/”Poison” label on items that are toxic, but it should not then be necessary to inform people that you aren’t supposed to drink/eat/inject toxic/poisonous products.

    This is precisely WHY the Darwin Awards were created. The human race would NEVER have reached its current level of technological advancement without natural selection. We’re dumbing down humanity by expending such a large amount of effort protecting those without common (any?) sense from themselves.

  74. This is just one more reason we should go back to using hemp oil in our lamps.

  75. camille_javal says:

    I’m all for a “Toxic”/”Poison” label on items that are toxic, but it should not then be necessary to inform people that you aren’t supposed to drink/eat/inject toxic/poisonous products.

    I’m not clear on your complaint. It should not be necessary to inform people that you are not supposed to drink/eat them, and to do so intentionally is pretty stupid. But that’s not the same thing as saying, hey, maybe manufacturers shouldn’t be putting such substances in bottles that can be easily mistaken for food products (and these cases very often involve small children just looking for juice).

    This is precisely WHY the Darwin Awards were created.

    You do realize that the Darwin Awards are mostly a woman with a website and books, and some unrelated (often half-fictitious) emails, and not an actual panel of people, right?

  76. RvLeshrac says:


    Yes, but hopefully their ubiquitous nature has at least done SOME good.

    As far as my complaint… there are only so many efficient ways to package items. Companies spend millions of dollars making their products stand out when placed next to products from competitors. It should be up to the consumer to intelligently handle safety concerns with (legal) toxic materials.

    “Small children looking for juice” is a key point – that’s why billions are made from the sale of “child-proofing” products like cupboard and drawer locks/ties, outlet covers, etc.

    I’m not saying that the consumer holds 100% of the blame in 100% of cases – I’ve come close to slicing holes in my hands when opening pop-top tins and “anti-theft” plastic packages – but we’re teaching consumers to intentionally act stupid because, hey, you probably won’t die, and you can get tons of money by suing the company that made the product!*

    *Full disclosure: I really, really, really want someone to sue over those stupid plastic packages, only because I want them to go away. Thieves just bring a razorblade, while I have to dull a good pair of scissors on the crappy plastic for ten minutes!