So you have your brand new Zippo lighter. It gleams in the sun. It clicks open and shut with ease and that familiar sound of American quality. It's yours, all yours.
Now you just need brief instructions on how to fill it and replace the flint or the wick.
If your Zippo sparks multiple times without lighting, or you've never filled it before, you need to add fuel. Open the lighter and pull the internal case out by the windproof screen. Try to do this a few minutes after you've last had it burning, so you don't scorch your fingers. On one side of the internal lighter is embossed:
FOR BEST RESULTS
FLINTS AND FLUID
ZIPPO MFG. CO. BRADFORD, PA
On the other, a warning to keep away from children and to wipe your hands clean of inflammables before you light your lighter, and the text LIGHTER DOES NOT SELF EXTINGUISH. CLOSE LID TO PUT IT OUT.
The underside of the lighter is a dense felt pad. On one side is a brass screw, which holds both the pad and the flint in place. To fill the lighter with fluid, pry the pad up with a flat object or pull some loose threads with your fingertips. You'll be able to see cotton underneath and possibly the end of the wick. Pour in lighter fluid until the cotton turns dark. If you overfill, the fluid can spill out.
To replace the flint, unscrew the brass screw (your fingers should be sufficient) and pull it out gently. On the other side of the screw is a spring, and on the end of the spring is a brass plug. If anything remains of your old flint, turn the lighter right-side up and tap it against a desk or table, and the old flint should fall out. Turn it over again and drop a new flint in the hole. Replace the spring and tighten the screw back up hand-tight.
The wick of your Zippo is cotton string, bound up in thin copper wire to give it some strength and malleability. After a few months the top part of your wick will probably be blackened with the fires of justice. This makes it much harder to light. Zippo has anticipated this problem, however, and has provided you with extra length for your wick within the body of the lighter. To trim and lengthen your ailing wick, first remove the brass screw and flint from the lighter and set them aside. Then pull the felt pad completely out, followed by the cotton. It will come out in pieces easily with a pair of tweezers, or a flathead screwdriver in a pinch. When the cotton is gone the wick will be readily apparent. Pull the wick out; it will slide easily through the hole in the top. You can trim off the burnt end with a pair of scissors, and slide the wick back through its guide hole. It may be necessary to roll the end of the wick between your fingers to cohere it enough to fit through the hole, but avoid licking it as you would thread in order to thread a needle; this wick has lighter fluid on it, remember.
Pull the wick through until the top is just below the wind screen, then fold the excess wick into the body of the lighter. When repacking the cotton, remember not to push the wick all against the top of the lighter. Thread it through the small pieces as you replace them. When all the cotton is in, replace the felt pad and the flint. Test your lighter a few times to make sure you are satisfied.
Treat your Zippo with care, and it will return the favor with years of loyal service.