How To Burn Your Wood Wick Candle

How To Burn Your Wood Wick Candle

  Wooden wicks burn a bit differently than traditional cotton wicks do, and there are a few common issues that cause them to not stay lit.But don’t worry!

If you follow these steps, it should be smooth sailing and long clean burns from here on out.

1. The first burn is the most important

Did you know candles have a “memory?” The way you burn a candle the first time determines how the candle burns for the rest of its life! On the first burn, ensure you allow enough time (2-3 hours) to let the wax melt all the way to the edge of the container. If this doesn’t occur, something called “tunneling” can happen where a tunnel will essentially form, making it difficult for the wax around the wick to fully melt. At times, the tunnel can become too deep for the wick to “breathe,” and the candle will have trouble staying lit.  

This can be difficult to fully fix if this happens, but if it does, you can try these tricks:

  • Scrape out the tunneled wax with a knife, until the wax is even with the surface of the wick
  • If the wick is able to stay lit and tunnel isn’t too deep, let it burn for 4-8 hours for it to fully burn all the tunneled wax down and “reset” the memory of the candle. Flame height may dwindle but so long as it stays lit, let it burn! 
  • If the candle won’t stay lit because it is “drowning” in the wax (maybe the wick was trimmed too short), you can use a paper towel to soak up excess melted wax to allow more room for the wick to breathe. 


2. Trim your wick before every relight!

For best burn results, make sure to keep your wick trimmed to 1/8”- 1/16”. You can do this by breaking off the top black bits of the wick with your fingers! If you find that breaking the charred bits isn’t doing it, you can also use candle wick trimmers. (available on my website!) 

Other things to remember…

  • Try not to burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time! It reduces the life of the candle and the can may get too hot to touch.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Light candle away from anything flammable
  • It’s time for a new candle when about 1/2” of wax is remaining! 

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