Why Candle Won't Stay Lit? Find Out Here!

Updated on July 15, 2021

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Why Candle Won't Stay Lit? Here Are Some Possible Reasons To Fire Em Back Up!

When trying to set a cozy mood using jar candles, the last thing you want is the stress of being unable to light the wick and ruin the mood. 

Why Candle Won't Stay Lit?

Why your candle won't stay lit? More often than not, the barrier between some cozy ambience and yourself is the candle wick. Wooden wicks are especially difficult, even if they are environmentally friendly.

Jar candles, although easy to enjoy and relax to when scented, can take some effort to actually light and prepare. 

Wood wick candles are the last eco-conscious craze, but they do require some consistent candle maintenance. Largely because charred material quickly builds up around the wick itself.

Candle size can also influence your candle lighting, but issues with candles come as a result of many different factors. 

Luckily for you, your fellow candle lovers are here to help. Whether you're using wooden wicks or a more traditional candle wick, jar candles or metal tin candles, we have solutions for any issues that may arise. 

So if you have candle questions, we can answer them. Why exactly won't your candle light, and better yet how exactly can you fix the problem?

Your Candle Wick is Too Long

If you want a natural burn to your candle, then you will need a wick of appropriate length. A healthy candle does not have a wick that is over extended. 

It can be very hard to find an optimal burn if you light candles with extra long wicks. This is because they tend to blow out quite quickly. 

Wood wick candles, which are already harder to catch with a flame, can have shorter burns with longer wicks since they blow out very fast. Providing quite a challenge for you to light it. 

If you can't catch the wick alight a single time, then trimming the wick may be your best solution to the problem. The wick may also be difficult if the candle has been unlit for long periods of time. 

Age can degrade a candle quite a lot, especially if exposed to hot and dry conditions, or direct sunlight in some cases. 

Saving a future candle for later use is not suggested, as you will get the most of a candle by burning it as soon as possible. 

Your Candle Wick is Too Short

Another problem preventing clean burns is actually the opposite of the one we mentioned above. Maybe the wick for your candle is far too short. 

Candles with shorter lifespans can be extended by trimming the wick so there is less combustible material left between the flame and the wax below it.

It’s best to trim your wick just before burning so there is enough wax for the flame to engulf completely each time you light your candle.

This is an easier alternative to other lifespan extending methods, such as keeping your candle cool which is hard during the summer season.

Your Candle Wick is Too Short

However, this common practice can lead to the wick being shortened far too much, making it very difficult to light the candle itself. 

If you can't light the wick to your scented candle for an optimal burn, see if you have enough visible wick. 

Jar candles with a short wick will prevent the early stages of melt with the wax, meaning that you won't be melting wax to reveal more wick anytime soon. 

Even if you could manage that, the wick burns at a similar rate to the wax melt pool, preventing you from recovering much combustible material. 

Common Fixes to Candle Lighting Problems

If your wick is too long, then the simplest solution is also the easiest. That's right, grab some wire cutters and get to trimming it down. 

This is also a solid solution for other wick issues, such as the build of charred material around the wick preventing combustion. 

Charred material is material that has already burned, but clings to the wick. Since it has already burned, it won't burn again and prevents your candle from being lit. 

Another problem with jar candles and a wick that is too short, is that the melt pool can actually drown the flame when it does light. 

This mostly happens when the flame has been lit for a while, in smaller candle sizes with harder waxes which are designed to burn for longer. 

Candle tunneling is your best solution for short wicks, as candle tunneling is exactly what it sounds like. You dig out a small section of wax to expose more wick. 

However, candle tunneling doesn't always stop your wick from drowning in the wax melt pool, leading to more shorter burns. 

Common Fixes to Candle Lighting Problems

Spotting Problems With Your Candle

Determining if you need candle tunnelling or a wick cut is fairly easy, but there are other issues less easy to quickly identify. 

Lighting your candle on a safe surface is important, but if the entire surface of your candle is messed up then you will still have problems lighting it up. 

Wicks can become too hot if they’re not long enough to burn down completely. The shortest safe candlewick is about three times longer than it is deep.

Another safety issue with candles happens when you place them on surfaces rather than in holders or on windowsills.

An uneven surface can cause excessive heat underneath the base of the flame resulting in melting wax and warping wooden furniture or other objects below your candle’s height.

Spotting Problems With Your Candle

Also keep an eye out for charred materials and the appearance of black smoke, both indicators of problems with lighting the candles. 

It’s always better to be safe than to deal with any negative consequences caused by your flame’s lack of maintenance.

Consider using a long enough wick whenever possible to keep your candles safe and strong. A wick that is too long can easily be cut after all. 

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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