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My gel fuel{Sunjel),despite what anyone says, does indeed have an odor which makes me wonder just how "safe" it really is.Has anyone else experienced this?


try Jenson Company RealFlame Fireplace Fuel, it goes for about
$2.92 to $3.54 per can and burns very well!

Herm Calley

I actually feel Real Flame Gel has the odor versus SunGel. I had used Realflame for many years and over the past 2 years switched to SunGel. i was told to make sure you tear off the label and shake the can really good and there will be no smell...but people all smell things different. good luck


We recently purchased a FP with sunjel, and I agree that it has an odor! Any feedback I can get regarding this would help as I am kinda discouraged.
Thanks, MaryO


I love my sunjel. I have to say though the first few times it did have a little smell, but the Sunjel Company told me that there was a burn off from the insert. After my I think 4th fire there was no smell. HAng in there, We love our Sunjel fireplace.


Please stop posting the fake comments with links to online stores. I delete all promotional links.


I am a real flame user. Love it. I tried a new one fireglo because it was cheaper, boy ya get what you pay for! Stay with real brands!


I recently purchased a gel-fueled fireplace thru Sams Club (walmart). The fireplace is lovely, but the FireGlo gel-fuel that came with it has a very noticable odor, relatively small flame, and has a hard time staying lit. Is there another brand of fuel that might do a better job? Has anyone else run into this problem? Thanks.


I'm trying to decide whether to buy a sungel fireplace or a jensen. Any preferences?

Frank Salvador - Retailer

For years we have been getting requests for these Sunjel Fireplaces, and we have resisted until this year. We stocked both Realflame and Sunjel and our customers definately prefer Sunjel. Not to say anythng negative about Realflame, but the customers have spoken, and we listen. Just wanted to put our 2 cents in to help anyone who has questions about which brand the customers like better.

Greg Harrison

I purchased a martha stewart fire pit at kmart. What is the easiest way to have faux logs with jel fuel fire and do it myself? What should i purchase and where? Any help would be appreciated.
Greg Harrison


I've been going back and forth about purchasing a gel fireplace vs. an electric one. I've been able to actually SEE an electric one at the big box stores and feel their heat, which is impressive, however, they do not offer a white corner mantel, which is what I want. I've only been able to find them in the gel fireplace, but have not been able to find a dealer so I can actually SEE one lit. The gel ones are generally cheaper and I like the ideal of real flame, but I'm also concerned about the odor that people speak about. How strong is it, and how much heat do these gel fireplaces generate. I just wonder, in the long, run, if these are the most economical choice vs. an electric model. I'm looking for something to "cozy" up the room now and then when I'm watching t.v. and its really cold out. The room is a combined living/dining and is about 12x22, and the fireplace would be in the living room part, where the t.v. is. Any comments from people who have one or the other would be appreciated. Thanks.


Hi, I have a Jensen fireplace and I love it. I originally used the Realflame gel that came with it. It did the job but I did notice a smell and wondered just how healthy can it be. Then I read some positive remarks online about Sunjel so I tried that. I definitely prefer Sunjel. There is no smell (at least I don't notice it) and it burns more efficiently (there's none or hardly any left in the bottom of the can.) Now, it's just trying to find the place who sells it at the best price. :) Any suggestions?


Are there any physical stores that carry any brand of gel? All I find is online and the shipping on it is nearly 1/2 the cost of the actual gel.


Thought I would add a comment about odors from the various gel brands. I've noticed that pretty much all of the brands I have tried the amount of odor is related to how well I shake the can prior to burning. If I shake the can extremely well I experience almost no odor at all. There occasionally is a can that does give of an odor no matter what, but otherwise the well shaken cans don't.


We purchased a Real Flame fireplace in December from QVC. We also picked up the 24 pack of Real Flame Fuel. It certainly has an odor and the more you burn at once, the more noticeable it is (to me.) We ran out of cans, so I just NOW ordered more from Real Flame. Sadly, I then found a website stating that Sunjel and Crackling Flames are the ONLY fuels that produce LESS than 4 parts per million of carbon monoxide because they have tested them ALL! I wonder if it that is true and if it IS really safe to burn Real Flame? Aack!


DA - the brand of fuel that I have noticed has the least or no odor is Crackling Flame. I've tried about 6 different brands and this is in my opinion the best.


Hi Paul,
my wife and i tried the real flame and experienced the same thing. we thought it was us at first and we had relatives over for easter and my sister in law said she uses sunjel and said it was far less odor then what we were burning so i am going to try it next. my sister in law is way picky so i tend to believe her.
i would think real flame is safe, they couldnt really sell it if it were not, but i say if yuo are going to burn something why not have it be the most enjoyable and when there is an odor it is not 100% enjoyable. Ohh, a buddy of mine tried fireglo and said it was terrible so save your 80 bucks.


I find this site extremely informative. I purchased a gel fireplace last year and after reading about the various gels, I went with Sunjel and experienced no odor. However, I have only burned Sunjel, so I can't say I've compared. Recently checking online for the upcoming winter, I ran across a new kind of cartridge gel that doesn't use cans. It seems to be cheaper, by Everlog. Has anyone used this? The testimonials were impressive. Also, has anyone ever burned just plain 'ol sterno in their fireplace? I found a good deal at the local party store and it seems to be the same kind of alcohol gel, but is it? Where else can you buy this stuff other than online? Does anyone know? I bought my last case from Sunjel directly and they ship for free, but wondering if any big box places carry it that would be more convenient and possibly cheaper.

Paul Heath - NYR4BBS

I have both a fuel gel fireplace in my home and I sell combination sampler packs on eBay for people to try out for themselves and see which one they like best. Here are some things I've learned about the five types of gels I've worked with and from what my customers have told me. All the gels can have some odor. If it is really bad it is probably an old can. These are only good for about 1 year, then they get runny and have a nasty odor when burnt (I use those in my outside chimnea where I won't smell it). Most of the time they also put off an odor when they get down to about 1/2 inch of material in the can. I usually just put the lid back on when it starts happening to snuff the flame, then toss that last little bit. As someone else mentioned, it also helps to either shake or stir the product before lighting it. These are not meant to add anything to - I tried it once and smoked up the room (tried some scented oil - not good idea). The odors that they do put out are not supposed to be harmful, but they can be unpleasant, so shake or stir, try to use them quickly (rather than storing long), and close them when it gets unpleasant. Also, in response to the question of kind of fireplace - I don't think it matters, and you can certainly use any of the gels in any of the fireplaces, as long as it is designed to be safe with fuel gels. Don't just use in a wood box without an insert for example - the cans get pretty hot and if they contact something flammable it would be bad. The fireplaces made for gels (or a regular fireplace that is clean and has no wood or other materials in it - like my chimnea) have inserts that separate the gel cans from other stuff. And don't just put them out in the open, they can easily tip over if bumped and burn other things you don't want burned.
My eBay ID is NYR4BBS, if you want to check out my sample packs.
Hope this has been helpful, and enjoy the glow :-)
Paul Heath - NYR4BBS


Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I'm looking for a gel corner fireplace and it sounds like from the foregoing we'll be avoiding FireGlo and going with Sunjel.


I was watching a decorator on HGTV put in a gel fireplace and was shocked! The smell in mine was overwhelming and it is outside sitting in the snow now. On the show they bought some kind of fir tree smelling pellets to use with it. Do these go inside the can?


I found Sunjel in my local Target store in the lawn and bbq department. Everyones question about price, Target is very expensive 4.99 each. It seems like if we contacted the manufacturer directly we could get the best pricing, anyone have a phone number for them?


I have a realflame fireplace, and cannot use it. The smell is so strong, especially upstairs above my fireplace right where my kid's room are. I can't imagine it is same. I don't want to buy a whole case of sunjel and end up with the same situation. I am now looking for tealight logs (I bought one and it is too big, and I don't like the "ember" one I find that is smaller) or electric log sets. They have tons of flameless candles out, I'd like to maybe use those.

Pat Steinberg

I purchased a Real Flame Fireplace from QVC about seven years ago. Without a doubt there is a noticeable odor emitted from the Real flame gel. Sunjel has far less odor. Has anyone noticed that when you take the labels off the cans there is a glue residue left on the cans? Could the glue be causing an odor? Also, for a bit of a change, I put a hundred strand of clear twinkle lights behind the logs. The effect is charming and takes less time than lighting candles or using gel fuel.

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