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Can You Mix Kerosene and Diesel? (Quick Answers)

Some people might have accidentally mixed kerosene and diesel and wonder if the mixed fuel can still work. There might be other people wondering if it is alright to mix them. 

Since it is quite dangerous to work with such fuel oils it is important to be well informed about them before you start mixing them and using them. 

Can you mix kerosene and diesel?

Both kerosene and diesel are very similar and it is completely alright to mix both of them. There are a few advantages in doing so as long as you are aware of doing it properly and knowing where exactly to use the mixed fuel. This is because using it improperly can harm certain engines as well. 

Kerosene and diesel are made up of almost the same components. Both are the same type of diesel fuel except kerosene is the number one fuel oil and diesel is the number two. 

The only place where they are not similar is the fact that kerosene is lighter and also contains smaller amounts of energy. Kerosene also burns drier because of the addition of certain additives. 

Mixing both of them can lead to certain advantages such as in the colder months, the mixture of the two fuel oils can actually make the cold temperature handling better. Not only that, but kerosene also has fewer amounts of carbon imprints and it burns a lot cleaner. 

Mixing of the fuels can help to reduce emission rates and as a result, it will hurt our environment less.

However, you must note that certain engines cannot tolerate kerosene if you are wondering about putting mixed fuel in your engine. Unless it is approved, it is not a good idea to use it in your engine because it can end up hurting the injector pump. 

Can you mix kerosene and diesel in a heater?

When it comes to a torpedo heater then it is suggested to not mix kerosene and diesel in it. These types of heaters are more suitable for using kerosene fuel oil only because it is light and as a result, it evaporates easily too. This also helps the fuel to burn well. 

However, when diesel comes into play, it is heavier than kerosene. Because of this, it does not end up evaporating as well. As a result, it might end up burning all the wick that you did not intend to burn. 

Alongside that, diesel does not burn clean which can result in toxic fumes that might be harmful to you. However, if certain additives are added it can help with the viscosity of the diesel fuel oil and help it burn better.  

When it comes to forced air heaters, you can try and mix kerosene with diesel as it can help thin out the diesel oil and might work just as well as kerosene itself. 

However, you must be very cautious about the ventilation because diesel does not burn clean and the exhaust fumes will be very toxic for humans if the ventilation is not proper. 

What happens when you mix kerosene and diesel?

There can be a few outcomes when you mix kerosene and diesel, but it solely depends on the way you are using the mixed fuel. 

Cutting down on emissions:

One advantage of mixing kerosene with diesel is the fact that kerosene burns cleaner than diesel. Instead of just using diesel oil, if kerosene is added in then the overall emissions will be much lower. 

The carbon footprint will be lower and it will be better for the overall environment. 


During colder months, kerosene can be mixed with diesel to make the cold handling temperature of the diesel fuel oil better. On top of that, it is also cheaper and cost-effective to use kerosene instead of a cold flow polymer. 

Burns drier:

Despite the advantages, it is also important to note that kerosene burns drier. It is also much lighter than diesel and as a result, you might be getting less from your fuel. 

Mixing fuels for torpedo heater:

If you are mixing the two fuels for using it in a torpedo heater then you should note that diesel fuels are not as light as kerosene. 

They do not evaporate or burn well and they might end up burning the wicks which you do not want to burn. Diesel has to be injected through a fuel injector to burn well. 

Toxic fumes:

If you are mixing diesel with kerosene for heaters and engines that are meant for kerosene then you must be aware of the toxic fumes that diesel produces.

This can be very toxic and poisonous for humans and only be carried out in areas that are ventilated properly. 


Nowadays you can mix both fluids and add them inside your engines. However, it must still be approved for your engine. This is because kerosene might strain the fuel injector of your diesel engine and harm it. 

You might need to add additives such as lubricants to be safer. 

How much kerosene do I mix with diesel?

It depends on the purpose you are using it for. Most people opt for it during the winter months to make the cold weather handling better. It is also dependent on how bad the cold is. If it is average then the mixing ratio can be eighty percent diesel and twenty percent kerosene

If it is very cold then the ratio can max out to a 50-50 ratio. Mixing in kerosene is a good practice because it burns cleaner and the emissions produced will be less toxic and better for our environment. 

How to mix kerosene in diesel?

There are certain steps you can follow to mix kerosene with diesel in your engine to get the best possible outcome.  

Check the fuel content:

It is very crucial that you are checking the amount of fuel that is present in your vehicle. This will help you to figure out how much fuel that needs to be added and also the ratio. 

Figure out the ratio:

It is also very important to find out at which temperature your vehicle works on. This can help you figure out the ideal kerosene and diesel ratio for your vehicle. 

For example, if the temperature is anywhere minus ten degrees then the amount of kerosene added is also less. The ratio for that tends to be eighty percent diesel and twenty percent kerosene for the best outcome. 

Check the labels:

Do not make assumptions based on the color of the pump handles and ensure to check the labels before adding in your fuel. 

Add in the fuel:

You can then mix in your fuel accordingly once you have properly checked the pump handles. 

What burns cleaner diesel or kerosene?

Diesel has a much higher BTU value than kerosene has. Even then, it is said that kerosene burns cleaner. This means that it has fewer toxic emissions and it is much better for our environment.

Kerosene is cheaper than diesel too but many opt for diesel because kerosene is lighter and you do not get much out of your fuel. 

However, mixing the two is not a bad idea because the overall emission is not as toxic as burning just diesel and you get more out of your fuel in that way as well. 

How can you tell if kerosene is in diesel?

To test that you must have a plastic and clear bottle of pure diesel fuel with you. Then take your other sample which you are suspecting might contain kerosene it and put some in a plastic and clear bottle. 

You must shake both of the bottles properly and keep them on top of a table. You must look carefully at the color of both as well as the disintegration of the bubbles that are being produced. 

You must note that pure diesel oil will be very dark in color. You must also be aware that since pure diesel has a higher oil content and it is much heavier, the bubbles that are produced after shaking the bottle will stay for a while. 

If your sample has kerosene in it then you must note that it is lighter and also contains less oil in it. Therefore, the bubbles go away quicker. Additionally, it will also be much lighter in color compared to pure diesel fuel. 

You can compare both of the bottles and as long as you have a bottle of pure diesel oil you can always compare both and figure out if your sample has kerosene in it or not. 

Final thoughts:

Kerosene and diesel can be mixed and it is a very efficient way to use during the winter seasons. It is good since it reduces emissions and works just as well for cold handling. However, it is also important to be aware that you cannot use it in certain engines and heaters as it can be harmful.