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Judith Thompson

The downside of these fireplaces is that the fuel is expensive if you have to buy an entire case ($80) is the norm. I'd like to be able to buy just a few cans at a time so it doesn't hurt so much.


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i love this type of fireplace!!!!!


I agree with Judith Thompson. I have a gel fuel fireplace and I love the look of it. However, the fuel is very expensive. Thus, I am attempting to find a "recipe" so that I can make my own. I know alcohol and water are two main ingredients. Now if I can just find out what the base solids components are, I will be able to enjoy my gel fuel fireplace in my bedroom as much as I do my woodburning one in my livingroom.


I have been using 70% alcohol by itself. It burns for 1 hour. Use your old cans and it must be 70%. $ 1.32 for a 32 oz bottle at Wallmart. It will fill 3 cans.


I tried the 70% alcohol thing myself. There was a ton of soot and it burned so fast and with no crackle. personally I think it pays to eat the 3 or 4 bucks for the professionals to make it for us. I have tried a couple different brands and all are better than the homemade.

frank hintz

I tried this product and found I was getting headaches. I had a CO detector installed and it set of the alarm. I checked the combustion of this stuff and it is 10 times the EPA max level for CO. I found this stuff is not certified to any AGA or UL standard. I question how safe this is as a vent free product.



I recently bought a gel fuel fireplace. Love it, couldn't believe the heat it gave off, but as many are saying, the fuel is expensive. Has anyone found a "wholesale" way of buying the fuel?

Tom Fisher

70% Isopropyl Alcohol with pieces of candle wax give off good heat and makes a crackling sound


Has anyone else tried the candle wax and alcohol? I'm desperately trying to find a cheaper gel fuel alternative---want to have a fire anytime I feel like it! Any other recipes?


Hey Tom Fisher... about how much of the wax should i throw in the 16 oz. can?


I have a gel fuel fireplace in our living room as well as a wood burning stove in our family room. I also find it hard to spend $80.00 for gel fuel, I'd rather spend the money on wood for my wood stove. So, instead of using the gel fuel cans in the artificial fireplace, I use several tea light candles (the small ones in the metal cup), placed behind the front ceramic log, just for effect. It looks pretty and gives off a nice glow too. I'd also like to try the "recipe" for gel fuel, but I'm afraid it could be dangerous. And I also get headaches from the gel fuel.

I'm also curious about the candle wax and alcohol. Has anyone else tried it?


I really want to use my gel fireplace every night, but the fuel is sooo expensive. Anyone tried the alcohol and wax, or is there anything else worth trying? I was tempted to have Sunjel fuel tested so I can make it myself!


Is anyone else tempted to have Sunjel tested at a lab to see what they use to make it, especially thicken it? I think a lucrative business would be to come up with an INEXPENSIVE alternative!


Wanted to give you a warning: some crooks are selling the isopropyl alcohol tip for $5 - $10 on EBAY! They call it "gel fuel substitute tip". Don't fall for it.

Kathleen Love

Why can't we find out the components for gel fuel? I have a ventless fireplace but cannot afford to buy the gel fuel on sale in the marketplace as I am a senior citizen and have to watch every penny. I would like to try the 70 percent alcohol but is it safe??


I do not have a gel fp yet...have been researching online. The comments here regarding headaches has me seriously reconsidering. Does anyone else have info on this effect...?


When I tried the "Realflame" gel, my eyes stung a little and there was a slight odor, but no headache. I'll try the 70% alcohol tonight and report back. I've spoken with a few people who say the isopropyl alcohol alone is just fine.


I tried the 70% isopropyl alcohol and candle wax shavings in my fireplace last night. It was really good - the flame doesn't last quite as long as the manufacturers gel, but it's identical flame and heat.


The sunjel fuel is great, no smell. You can go to, they have it for 52.50 a case and if you buy two cases you get a free 49 wood incense for free.


Thanks Michael. Sunjel is great, I agree. I'm in Canada, and they won't ship the fuel across the border. Only a handful of "licensed" agents can sell the stuff here. It is a real cash-grab. Even a guy who sells the fireplaces here admitted that to me. Anyone from Canada find a cheaper way to buy Sunjel? A wholesaler, perhaps? Right now I have to pay $120 for a case of 12. $10.00 per bottle. Very expensive.

Tom Reynolds

My wife and I just purchased a
gel fireplace. We love it.I will
admit I get a little headache and
there is a smell when the cans are getting to the end. Ours is in
the basement and the odor travels up stairs.The price at is great except for the $20.00 they charge for shipping.We get our gel from Menards right now at $30.00 for a case of 12. The lowest price in a store.


I just ordered a gel fuel fireplace but I am worried it might set off sprinkler system or smoke detectors in my apartment. Anyone else have such devices with the fireplace?

Timothy and Jo

Lots of comments about gels. Only 2 gels have given me headaches, real flame and fireglo. sunjel, and crackling flames are both excellent. yes expensive, but i say if it is going to burn around our family i would rather leave it to the pros. that alcohol and candles can be very dangerous unless you are taking that to a chemist to try. I have a medical backround and just burning alcohol with candle wax can produce certain hydro carbons. sunjel has been making this for 20 years, i spoke to them and they gave me extensive lab results. there are certain things you should not do homemade receipes! it is not safe. Brand name is everything. over the internet it is a proven fact that real flame and fireglo are not good products, read anywhere about that. so we should all listen to each others experiences.
i bought my gel from weloveyourhome. i know 80.00 is pricey but we are all forgetting, this product is made safely in the usa not in some foriegn country with no regulations. everyone is talking about needing it cheaper, well if the brands like real flame and fireglo are made expensive and they are inferior, then how do you suppose making it cheaper and still have the quality of sunjel? just my two cents here on a saturday night without my wife and kids as they are christmas shopping! As a business owner I commend companies like the sunjel company. they are still around after all these years and making all condo and apartment dwelers cozy when nothing else was an option. I say what is 80 bucks when you maybe didnt have a fireplace all together before!
Timothy Sampson

Anna Drake

Hi I am planning on buying a fireplace and am wondering which style of logs look better. The birch look pretty but do they look fake with the flame?

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