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Why Does Candle Flame Flickers? Here’s Our Answer!

  • Written By Candace 
  • Updated On
  • 6 min read
Why Does Candle Flame Flickers

How To Fix Flickering Candle Flames

If you have lit your favourite candle, only to find that the flame is flickering more than usual, you might be wondering if it’s the type of candle you’ve chosen, or even if there’s special candle magic behind it. 

Candle flames typically flicker due to the airflow around them, however, they can also be influenced by the size of the trim wick and burn time of the candle.  

We’ve put together a short guide down below which will take you through reasons as to why candle flame can flicker, how to stop candle smoking and flickering if there are any meanings to these candle flame behaviours and a few essential safety tips for your burning candle. 

Read our article about how can you light a candle without a lighter.

Why Does a Candle Flame Flicker? 

As we mentioned above, the flame of a candle typically flickers due to the airflow inside of the room, but there are a few other reasons as to why your candle smoking and flickering might be happening. 

  • Larger candles wick – One of the main reasons for flickering your candle could be that you are not using the perfect-sized wick, a wick that is too large for your candle will not burn properly and produce an oversized flame instead.
  • Unclean candles – If your candle makers wax has impurities or objects inside it can cause flame flickering in your candle. 
  • Lots of air – In drafty rooms, candles will often have increased flickering as the airflow will be higher, same goes for rooms that have fans in and air conditioning units, all of these can contribute to air circulation in the room and an uneven flame.

How Do I Stop a Candle Flickering? 

If you find candle flickering annoying or dangerous, their several things you can do to try and prevent the flame from flickering so much, we’ve listed a few ways down below. 

  • Keep your candle clean – Over time, excess soot can build up in your candle and clog it up, causing an uneven flame, try to keep your candle clean by using its lid or wiping it out now and then after the candle cool.
  • Use a wooden wick – A wooden wick is more stable than a cotton wick, this stability will likely reduce flickering as there is less movement for the flame.
  • Try a smaller wick – If you’ve made your homemade candle, next time try and use a smaller wick to see if this makes a difference with the level of flickering.
  • Move it to a different room – If you’ve tried the above and your candle is still flickering, it might be worth switching it to another room that is less drafty or that doesn’t have a fan/air conditioning.

Are There Meanings Behind Candle Flickering? 

There have been many superstitions that candle flickering can have some meaning behind the different types of flicker, this comes from ancient Roman times but still are interpreted today in the modern world. Do you think Does Scent Affect How A Candle Burns? Check out here!

We’ve listed a few main types of candle flickerings and their meanings down below if you feel like digging further into the reason behind your candles dancing flame. 

  • Crackling flame – Cracking flickering flames could show negative communication as well as opposing forces.
  • Flickering flame directions – A flame flickering towards the north shows a physical presence, to the south shows great physical energy, to the east shows the brain of your spell is working and to the west says the depth of the spell is working. 
  • Fast burning – Fast burning even candles show a smell is working, but if burning unevenly then it could mean a spell is not working.
  • Weak flame – A small and weak flame might show that the timing of something in your life is wrong or off.
  • Popping flame – Popping flames are usually a negative sign that someone could be talking about you.
  • Dancing flame – A dancing flame is said to show whether or not a spell is going to work, less dancing might indicate the spell has a smaller chance of working.
  • Very tall flame – This flame is said to be very good and is an indicator you can push through obstacles and reach goals.

Safety Tips For Flickering Candles 

Although flickering candles are common and not anything serious to worry about they can cause issues if the flame gets out of control or if safety precautions are not taken around the candle. 

We’ve listed the most essential safety tips for using a flickering candle in your home down below.

  • Keep it where you can see it – One of the best safety tips for a flickering candle is to not let it out of your sight, never leave a candle burning in a room where you are not present to avoid any accidents.
  • Light the candle at a distance – Always light your candle with a long match to prevent burning yourself and never throw them away while the matching amber is still red as this could cause a fire if there’s any tissue in your bin.
  • Trim the wick – Make sure you trim your wick to 1/4-inch to keep the flame under control.
  • Suffocate the flame – Never blow your candle out, instead suffocate it with the lid to stop wax from spluttering.
  • Don’t burn for too long – Only burn your candle for 3-4 hours max, over this time can cause the candle to smoke or tunnel which can make flickering flames worse. Read this article for further explanation of Why Can’t You Burn Candles For More Than 4 Hours.

Last Words 

Overall, candle flames flicker due to the wick and airflow, to prevent them from flickering so much try trimming the wick or moving the candle to a different location to see if the flickering is reduced. Moreover, we have also written a separate blog post about Why Is My Candle Flame So Small, if you are confused about whether your candle flame is flickering or small.


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