Why Does My Candle Have Black Smoke?

Updated on November 24, 2022

Table of Contents

What Causes Black Smoke From Candles

When the candle wick is overly long, black smoke is produced. Candles can also smoke if the candle is too hot, unclean, has been burning for too long, or if a manufacturing error occurred.

Compared to natural waxes, black smoke occurs more frequently with paraffin wax.

The built-up soot may create smudges on your wall or ceiling as well as on the class candle holder or container.

Here are some factors that cause a black smoke from candles:

The Wick Is Long

The Wick Is Long

In most circumstances, an excessively long wick prevents the wick from drawing wax to the top. This wick might emit more smoke and soot as it burns.

This can be fixed by cutting the wick after each candle use. With a pair of scissors, cut the wick off at the wax, about 1/4 inch away.

The Candle Is Very Hot

If a candle is burned too long, the wax will become liquid, become heated, start to evaporate and burn more quickly.

More wick is exposed as a result of this process, which causes it to distort and produce an uneven flame.

While the candle is still burning, take care of this by trimming the wick with a pair of scissors to restore the flame to a reasonably normal state. Just be careful not to let the charred wick remain in the wax.

Simply blowing out the candle and trimming the wick is another option for fixing this issue; the candle will burn normally the following time you use it.

The Candle Contains Dust Or Dirt

Your candle can have accumulated dust or debris if it has been a while since you last used it.

Even though it may not seem like much, dust and debris that collects on candles when they are left outside in your home can affect how they burn. As a result, the candle may burn with soot on it.

After each usage, replace the lid on your candle once it has cooled to avoid this problem in the future.

If the candles are smaller and lack a lid, you can put them in a bag and store them until you need them once more.

The Candle's Fragrance

The Candle's Fragrance

The candle may be smoldering because of the aroma that was utilized in its manufacture.

It's possible that the candle producer utilized the incorrect scent, color, or quantity. Additionally, certain scent oils just burn with more soot than others.

It isn't much you can do in this case besides refrain from buying that particular brand of candle in the future.

The Candle Has An Excessive Amount Of Fragrance Oil

The candle may burn unevenly and emit soot while burning if the candlemaker applied too much fragrance oil to improve the aroma throw.

High fragrance-load candles typically require a long wick, which might result in soot or smoke while burning. When trying to get a better hot aroma throw on a candle, a trade-off is made.

The Candle's Wax Material

When combining the wax to make the candle, the maker might have used the incorrect ratios. Additionally, it's possible that they combined the incorrect wax, fragrance, or wick.

A variety of wax blends are frequently used in candles. The improper blend may have been utilized by the manufacturer, causing the product to unintentionally burn off more quickly than the wick.

Another unfortunate circumstance is when you are helpless.

However, it is a good idea to stay away from paraffin wax if you want to prevent wax from producing soot in the future. Because it is a harder wax, burning it requires a hotter wick, which almost always results in more soot.

The Candle's Wick

Candle wicks must be properly packed, much like wax.

Wicks come in a variety of varieties, and they must be matched to the particular wax mixture being used. Then there are circumstances where candles may contain more than one wick.

You can have this issue if you purchase your candle from a hobbyist or a bargain candle manufacturer.

A Draught Is Present Where The Flame Is Exposed

A draught can make the candle's flame burn unevenly, which can lead to the candle's production of black smoke.

It could be a good idea to move your candle if it is currently located next to a heater, air conditioner vent, or fan.

Once the candle's flame has stabilized, less smoke should be produced.

It's Been Too Long Since The Candle Was Lit

This is essentially the most frequent and likely cause of black smoke coming from a candle.

When a candle burns too long, several things might happen at once that result in black smoke or soot.

Too much heat from the candle accelerates the evaporation and burning off of the wax. More of the wick is exposed as a result of the wax burning off and draining. When the wick is exposed, it deforms and creates an uneven flame.

It's a perfect storm that will result in a candle that emits black smoke.

You might not realize how particular candles can be. The result of insufficient burning time is wax tunneling. which is where your candle develops a hole in the middle.

Preventing Candle Black Smoke

Preventing black smoke is pretty simple to do, and everyone who enjoys using candles should develop this practice.

How do you put out a candle's flame? Maintaining a trimmed wick after each use and according to the manufacturer's recommended burning procedures, such as minimum and maximum burn times, will prevent a candle from smoking. Additionally, while the candle is not in use, replace the lid and keep it out of the path of draughts.

Health Issues With Candle Black Smoke

Is candle smoke dangerous? Candles' black smoke might be hazardous. Hospitalizations have occurred in some instances as a result of candles emitting black smoke while people are asleep. You may unknowingly breathe in the black smoke that fills the room. These incidents are normally quite uncommon, though. But they certainly make the candle dangerous.

What Causes The Candle Jar To Turn Black?

This is carbon in action when you have been burning a candle for a while and start to notice that there is black creeping up the edges of the jar. The amount of carbon produced by flames increases with flame size.

The lack of oxygen is the cause of the dark color you can see in the jar. The jar only generates that amount of carbon without receiving the required oxygen flow, and it burns up. The updraft of those hot combustion-related gases starves the flame of oxygen and impedes air diffusion.

This gives the interior of a candle that charred, black appearance that might become common.

How Can The Blackening Of Candle Glass Be Avoided?

Fortunately, soot creation may be prevented before it ever begins. There are several methods you can take to do this.

The first is to trim your candle's wick to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch before each burn (make sure the candle has completely cooled before doing this). Initially, you can do this with scissors, but you might want to invest in a wick trimmer so you can keep doing it as the candle burns out. The flame is kept tiny and uniformly formed by trimming the wick, which helps to stop incomplete combustion.

You should also recenter the wick if it shifts while burning while the wax is still soft. To nudge it back into position, use the wick trimmers or another instrument. Avoid using your fingers to avoid self-burning.

The candle should also not be placed near vents, draughts, or other objects that could cause the flame to splutter or burn unevenly. The candle should be placed in a safe spot where it won't be disturbed. Candle flames naturally bobble, but if the flame is really going in and out or isn't shaped evenly, try moving the candle to a different spot.

How Do You Clean A Black Candle Glass?

Even with all of your efforts, soot may still form on your soy wax candle. It is best to regularly clean your candle glass if it is going black to prevent soot buildup. It will be more difficult to clean the area the more soot there is.

Blow out the flame and allow the wax and container to totally cool before cleaning the candle. To remove the soot, dampen a paper towel and rub it over the area. Rubber alcohol will cut through the buildup if the soot is particularly difficult to remove. Before lighting the candle once more, allow it to dry.

You can also use soap and water to remove the candle wax if the candle has already been completely burned out and you want to reuse the jar. The candle wax must first be taken out of the jar (check out the linked guide for instructions on how to do that). To remove all of the soot, soak the candle container in some soapy water and then wipe it with a soft cloth. Before using the container again, let it dry.

Never panic if the soot ring around each of your candles is black. It is simple to avoid and remove this ugly buildup. Use the advice below to maintain your candles clean and in good condition.


Candles are an important part of any home decorating scheme. They add warmth and ambiance to any room. However, they can also create problems when used improperly. No one wants a candle that emits more soot than scent. But that could be avoided if the candle is burned properly.

If you follow these tips, you'll be able to enjoy your candles safely and effectively.

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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