The preferred way to fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the Chanukah Menorah is to use pure olive oil and wicks of cotton, for the resulting light is pure and clear; it also commemorates the Menorah in the Holy Temple which was lit with olive oil.

Nonetheless, other types of oil and wicks may be used, provided that they give a steady rather than a flickering light. Similarly, one may use candles made of wax or paraffin.

The holder used for lighting the lights should be attractive, and made of metal or glass which is polished and clean. An earthenware holder can be used only once when it is new, for once it has been used, it becomes unclean and ugly and becomes unfit to be used again. One may re-use the wicks. Similarly, one may light using the oil or paraffin that remained from the previous day.