7 Mistakes You Are Making When Burning Candles

This is a guide covering mistakes you are making when burning candles.

Are you a candle enthusiast? If the answer is yes, chances are you have spent a considerable amount of money on candles!

Read this article to make sure you are making the most out of your buck!

For even if you have been burning candles for ages, there is a possibility you could be doing something not quite right.

Ask yourself the questions:

  • Are you burning your candle for too long?
  • When was the last time you trimmed your candle’s wick?
  • Where do you usually place your candles when they are burning?
  • Is there any particular way you store your candles?

If you are unsure about the answers to any of these questions, then you should check with yourself regarding your candle burning techniques.

7 Mistakes You Are Making When Burning Candles

Here’s a list of the seven most common mistakes you could be making when burning candles!

1. Not Setting The Memory Of Your Candle

Getting your first burn right is extremely crucial!

The size of the wax pool during the first burn sets precedent for all the coming burns.

This is because the subsequent burns won’t melt the wax beyond the initial wax pool created.

So how does one get their first burn right?

Make sure to burn your new candle for 1 hour for every 2.5 cm in diameter.

This way the initial burn will be long enough to melt the candle wax all the way to the edge of the candle.

As a result, you will avoid tunneling. Now what is tunneling?

It is basically when a candle burns hollow. In other words, the candle melts through the centre only while leaving the surrounding wax as it is.

fix candle tunneling
candle tunneling

2. Not Trimming The Wick Of The Candle

If the size of your wick is too long, your candle will emit excess soot and the flame will not be steady either.

On the other hand, a trimmed wick ensures that the flame is calm and steady.

So, what is the right wick size?

6 mm or ¼ inches. Before lighting the candle, if the wick seems too long make sure to trim it! You don’t need a special instrument to do this.

A scissor or nail clipper should suffice!

3. Placing The Candle Too Close To The Draughts

Firstly, what are draughts? They are areas where there is too much wind.

Placing burning candles in draughts or areas where there is an excess of moving air will disturb the flame.

Such areas include places underneath the fan or air conditioner and near an open window.

When the flame is disturbed and is not firm, it touches the sides of the candle jar.

As a result, there will be black marks on your candle container. It will completely ruin the aesthetic and no one wants that, right?

A very simple way to avoid this is to not place the candle too close to draughts.

And then you’re good to go!

4. Using The Wrong Container

A major part of the candle aesthetic is the container it’s in! But if the container is too small for the candle, this can pose problems.

The flame may start flickering and smoking. This will leave the container with black marks.

So, how to avoid that?

  • Make sure the container is sufficiently open from the top, so the hot air can pass out of the container.
  • Make sure to choose a container which is at least 3.5 cm higher than the candle itself. If you can’t find a larger container, choose a relatively smaller candle.

5. Placing Candles Too Close Together

To most, this doesn’t seem like much of a problem. Because placing multiple candles together looks aesthetic, doesn’t it?

However, you should avoid doing so when these candles are burning.

Make sure to keep a distance of at least 3 inches when the candles are burning.

Otherwise, the heat generated from one candle may lead to the others melting and warping.

6. Not Blowing Out Your Candles The Right Way

This is again an unexpected mistake that one can make while burning candles.

Blowing out your candle the traditional way is in fact the wrong way!

Because doing so leads to black ash particles settling on the surface of your candle. And nobody wants that, right?

Instead, you should simply cover your candle with the lid when you want to blow it out!

This will avoid any ash particles settling on the surface of your candle.

7. Not Storing Your Candles Correctly

Make sure to store your candles in a cool and dark place.

Also ensure that the candles have their lid on as this will ensure that dust and debris doesn’t settle on the surface of the candle.

Covering them with a lid also keeps the fragrance and scent of the candle intact.

How Long Should You Burn a Candle?

If you’re burning it for the first time then make sure to burn it for 1 hour for every 2.5 cm in diameter.

If the diameter of your candle is 5 cm, then you’ll have to burn it for 2 hours.

It is essential that you do this because otherwise it will result in tunneling.

As a result, your candle wax will only burn from the middle.

When you’re burning your candle from the second time onwards, it will be completely up to you how long you want it to burn!

What Happens if You Burn a Candle Too Long?

Burning a candle for too long will result in carbon being collected on the wick.

Consequently, the wick will become unstable and produce a very large flame.

This leads to the obvious question: how long is too long when burning a candle?

Four hours. If you burn a candle longer than four hours continuously it will only harm your wick!

Does the Type of Wax Affect How Long Each Candle Burns?


Since different candle waxes are made from different components, each type of wax has a different burn time.

Soy wax, along with beeswax, tend to burn the longest as compared to paraffin wax candles.

Final Remarks

We hope this article was informative for you.

Now that you know the seven common mistakes when burning a candle, you can easily avoid them and enhance your candle burning experience!

Feel free to write to us if you have any further queries!