Why Do Candles Turn Black?

Updated on December 10, 2022

Table of Contents

Why Do Candles Turn Black?

Candles are one of the most common household items, and they're also a great way to add some ambiance to your home or office space.

However, candles can be dangerous if not used properly. The wax burned inside them eventually dries out and becomes brittle, making it easier for the flame to spread across the candle's surface. This causes the candle to burn unevenly, leaving behind blackened drippings.

When lighting candles, these black spots on the wick are called "wick marks" caused by carbon dioxide and black smoke. They usually appear at the top of the candle, where the wick meets the melted wax. If you notice any black spots on your candle, don't panic! You can easily remove them by dipping the candle in hot water. Once the wick has been removed, allow the candle to dry completely before using it again.

Why Do Candles Turn Black?

The best way to prevent this problem is to use only quality, well-made candles. Make sure the candle you purchase is made with high-quality materials, such as paraffin wax. Also, keep the candle away from heat sources like radiators and stoves. These will cause fire and can harm the people you live with.

If you have noticed wick marks on your candle, try removing them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Be careful, though, because alcohol will damage the candle.


Candles go through oxidation during their lifetime. Oxidation occurs naturally over time but can also occur when exposed to air. When this happens, the candle begins to lose its color and smell. It may even start to smoke. Unburned carbon atoms also contribute to a steady candle flame but produce black smoke, which causes the candle jar black.

To avoid oxidation, store your candles in a cool, dark place. Avoid storing them near other objects that could cause the candle to get too warm.

If you want to extend the life of your candles, you can protect them from oxidation by placing them in an airtight container filled with vegetable oil.

Candle Soot

Candle soot is a mineral deposit found on the bottom of the candle. Candle soot is formed when the candle burns and releases carbon particles into the air. These particles settle onto the sides of the candle and form a layer of white powdery substance.

You can clean off the soot by gently wiping the candle with a soft cloth. However, don't rub the candle too hard because it might scratch the surface.

You can also buy special candle soot removers containing chemicals to dissolve the soot.

Causes Of Black Soot Deposits

There can be different kinds of soot deposits on an elegant. Well-crafted candle jar. Some of them are harmless, while others can be harmful. Here are some of the possible causes of black soot deposits:

Long Wicks

Sometimes, the cause of black soot deposits is long wicks. Long wicks are longer than 1 inch (2.5 cm). To reduce the risk of having black soot deposits from a candle flame, you need to trim the wick down to about 2 inches (5 cm) in length.

Causes Of Black Soot Deposits

Moreover, it's important to note that the shorter the wick, the more likely it is to catch fire. Therefore, cutting the wick short is better than leaving it intact.


Drafts are caused by drafts or currents of air that pass through the room. Breezes can blow out the candle flame of a burning candle wick. This is why you should always burn your candle in a well-ventilated area and place it in beautiful candle jars or a snuffer.

In addition, if you live in a cold climate, you should ensure that there isn't a draft coming from the windows. These will help to maintain the temperature inside the house.

Low-quality Candles

One of the most common reasons for black soot deposits is using low-quality candles. Low-quality candles often don't last very long. They tend to burn unevenly, and they produce less light.

You'll have to replace your candle wick sooner than usual. If you notice that your candle wax has started to burn unevenly, you should immediately stop using it.

When choosing candles, you should look for ones made of high-grade materials. It would be best if you also chose candles made of paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is known as one of the best types of waxes available today.

Low-quality Candles

Paraffin Wax Vs. Beeswax

Beeswax is another type of wax used in making candles. However, beeswax is much more complicated than paraffin wax. It doesn't melt quickly and tends to stay solid at lower temperatures.

Therefore, beeswax is not suitable for use in making candles. Instead, it would be best if you opted for paraffin wax.

The melting point of cheap paraffin candles is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38°C). This makes it easier to work with compared to beeswax.

However, paraffin wax candles are more expensive than beeswax. It also has fewer soot-producing candles than any other types of candle waxes. Moreover, it's challenging to find paraffin wax in stores. This is why you may want to consider buying beeswax instead. You can purchase such colored candles and high-quality candles.

Low Airflow

Another reason why candle soots can appear black is poor airflow. When you're burning a candle, it needs to be exposed to oxygen. Otherwise, it won't burn properly.

If you notice that your candle is starting to smoke, then this could mean that there isn't enough air flowing through the room. Make sure you open all the doors and windows before lighting your candle.

Remember that you shouldn't burn your candle for too long. The ideal time for burning a candle is between 20 and 30 minutes.

Wick Material

Some wicks are made of cotton, while others are made of paper. Cotton wicks are usually cheaper than paper wicks. However, they aren't as effective as paper wicks and jar candles.

Paper wicks are generally thicker than cotton wicks. As such, they allow more heat to escape from the candle. This means that you'll get a brighter flame.

It would be best if you tried to avoid using cotton wicks because they are prone to catching fire. Therefore, you should only use them when making small amounts of candles.

Wick Size

The size of the wick plays an essential role in determining how bright your candle will be and how it can be a clean-burning candle. Smaller wicks give off a smaller amount of light.

As such, they're better suited for decorative purposes rather than practical uses. On the other hand, larger wicks are better suited for functional purposes.

They provide more light, and they're able to withstand higher temperatures. However, they cost more than smaller wicks.

Is Candle Soot Unhealthy?

Although candle soot is harmless, it can still cause health problems if inhaled. Inhaling candle soot can lead to respiratory issues like asthma.

Is Candle Soot Unhealthy?

Moreover, it can also cause eye irritation. If you notice that you're having trouble breathing after using a candle, then you should immediately remove the candle from the area. Candle soots can also cause skin rashes.


To conclude, black luxury candle soot from candle jars can be caused by several factors. You should always check these factors before blaming the soot on something else. It's also important to remember that candle soot is harmless.

When lighting candles, always make sure that you have adequate ventilation. Also, don't leave your favorite candles unattended. This way, you'll prevent yourself from getting sick. Lone candle lights can also cause fire, damage your home or even injure you. These are not some common candle myths, so invest in a clean-burning atmosphere-enhancing candle.

So there you have it! We hope that you found our article helpful. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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