Properly caring and doing regular maintenance on your Coleman propane lantern, will extend its functionality for many years. After all, the iconic Coleman lantern has been around since 1914 so there is no question about it is durability.


Besides keeping your lamp looking shiny, the cleaning process provides other benefits. For instance, a clean lantern runs much more efficiently and casts more light. As a general rule, you should inspect and clean lanterns after each camping trip or before storing them.

Globe and outer surface

Warm water and a mild soap such as dish detergent work best for wiping down the globe and the outside of the lantern. It is also important to clean out the burner area as well since bugs are usually attracted to the warm and soft light of a camping lantern. Besides insects, a wooded campsite is filled with leaves or other debris which can get inside the lantern.

After you have cleaned your lantern, allow it dry before putting it away. This helps prevent rust or other damage.

Mantles and connecting valve

After each use, you will also want to give the mantle a quick inspection. Check for any cracks, tears, or other disfiguring marks, and replace them before your next camping trip. Most Coleman propane lanterns feature a replacement insta-clip mantle. Next, Inspect and clean the connecting valve for the propane canister before putting your lantern away.

Fuel tank

Besides propane, Coleman lanterns use several other fuel sources including gasoline, kerosene, and white gas (Coleman fuel). Compared to a lantern that uses a propane tank, the cleaning process for lanterns that uses a fuel tank involves more steps.

First of all, always remember to empty the fuel tank before storing it for periods more than a couple of weeks. Fuel, especially unleaded gasoline, can build up inside the tank resulting in less efficiency. On the other hand, if you have already stored the lantern with fuel inside, you will need to clean the tank before using it.

The best way to do this is by rinsing it with a small amount of alcohol or fuel. Fill the tank to about 75 percent capacity, prime the tank, open the valve, and close it again, then light the lantern and you are ready for use.

Preparing for long storage

At the end of each camping season, you should do a thorough inspection and clean each part of the lantern very well. Check for the presents of any spider webs or cobwebs that may have accumulated around the burner. If present, you should disassemble the lantern and clean out any tubes that may have become clogged. A small wire bottle brush should be sufficient for getting this task done.

Once your lantern is clean, dry and you have replaced any necessary parts, it is ready for storage. To prevent insects or debris from getting inside and clogging up openings, store it in an airtight plastic bag. When camping season rolls back around, give the lantern a quick inspection to ensure no bugs have gotten in. If it was stored properly, your Coleman propane lantern should be clean and ready to use.

Final thoughts

Maintaining your Coleman lantern after each camping trip or before storage takes less time than unpacking! Proper care will ensure a long-lasting camping lantern for many years to come. On the other hand, if you find these steps too time-consuming, Coleman also carries a line of fluorescent lanterns.