What to Do If Your Candle Wick is Too Short? (Solution)

This is a guide covering what to do if your candle wick is too short.

The night’s young and you had decided to stay in on a Friday night. You’ve cleaned your living room, done the laundry and tidied up your wardrobe.

You decide now’s the time to take a break, a well deserved one albeit. You take out your favourite scented candle because what’s a good me time without lighting a candle, right?

Just when you were lighting your candle, you realise the candle wick is too short. Oh no? We’ve all been there and we can all agree that it’s a huge disappointment!

And a wave of sadness instantly washes over you.

But don’t let the blues overtake your mood just yet! We’ve got you covered!

If your candle wick is drowning, it doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy the scents of your favorite candle. There is a way out. You don’t have to throw it out just yet!

Read on to find out how you can fix a candle wick that is too short and even better, how you can prevent your candle wick from getting too short.

What Happens if Your Candle Wick is Too Short?

Are you a newbie wondering what’s the big deal if your candle’s wick is too short? If the candle’s wick is too short, why can’t you burn the candle?

short candle wick
short candle wick

The candle is likely to burn even if the wick is smaller than it’s supposed to be. However, the candle will not burn properly. What does that mean? It’s when the flame is unstable and it produces too much soot.

An unstable flame will ruin the aesthetic of the candle and too much soot is not good for your health. Moreover, excess soot will make the flame of your candle.

The matter of the fact is that there are no upsides to your candle wick being too short!

However, if your candle’s wick is too short, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer burn your candles! There is an easy fix!

Although, why does the candle wick become too short in the first place?

Why do Candle Wicks Drown?

One of the main reasons that candle wicks end up being too short to burn is called “tunneling.”

This is when wax builds up on the inner sides of the candle’s jar. Because the wax only melts from the middle.

This excess wax can melt during future burns, which causes the wick to be drowned in the refuse, thus shortening its height.

How to Fix A Candle Wick That is Too Short?

Back to the main question: what to do if your candle wick is too short? Do you toss the candle out or are there ways to fix the candle wick?

Here’s some of the ways your candle will be burning just how it should be burning right away! (You should buy a candle that doesn’t have a short wick in the first place):

How you can fix your candle wick depends on three factors:

  1. If you are able to light the wick.
  2. If you cannot light the wick at all.
  3. If the wick is submerged (under wax).

Here are the solutions to all three methods:

1. If you are able to light the wick

Light the wick and let the candle burn for approximately a half hour.

Monitor the candle closely to ensure that the candle is lit. If the candle doesn’t stay lit or is barely burning, extinguish the flame.

Additionally, remove some of the melted wax from the candle. You can do this by scooping out the wax since the wax will be melted.

Although, make sure the wax is not too hot because you will burn yourself this way.

Once you have removed some of the surrounding wax, light the wick again and let it burn for around half an hour- again.

This way the top most layer of the candle wax will burn away. After which, your candle will have an even layer of wax and it will look like a new candle.

Now, your candle wick should be the right size. So, extinguish the candle and let the wax cool down!

2. If you cannot light the wick at all

When you find yourself in this situation, you will need an alternative heat source to melt the candle wax above and surrounding the wick.

Alternative heat sources can include a hair dryer or a heat gun.

Use them to melt the wax around the candle wick! Wait for the wax to be melted enough so that you can pour or scoop it out.

Continue doing so until the wick is sufficiently exposed and you can easily light it!

3. If the wick is submerged (under wax)

This truly is a daunting situation for the wick is nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of throwing the candle out!

The procedure to fix this is similar to when the wick could not be lit. You will have to use an alternative heat source, such as a hair dryer or a heat gun to liquify the wax around the wick.

Once the wax around the wick is melted or softened, use a tool like tweezers to gently pull the wick out of the wax.

use tweezers on candle
tweezers candle

You must be extremely careful during this process, for wicks are often quite fragile and may snap or break!

After you have lifted the wick out of the wax, make sure it doesn’t bend right back over as the wax cools!

If your wick has this issue, it’s probably too long – make sure that you trim it to the correct length before lighting it again.

How to Prevent a Short Candle Wick?

There are two main ways to prevent a short candle wick (other than buying a candle with an appropriate wick length):

  1. Trim Your Wax!
  2. Melt the Top Layer of the Wax Completely

1. Trim Your Wax

The ideal length of the candle’s wick should be anywhere between ⅛ th to ¼ th inch before it is lit.

You can easily cut your candle’s wick using a clipper or scissor. However, make sure to be careful.

Since wicks are delicate and you could easily snap your wick.

2. Melt the Top Layer of the Wax Completely

When you light your candle for the first time, make sure to not extinguish it until the top layer of the candle wax is melted completely.

You can burn the candle up to four hours. But if burning the top layer of the wax is taking longer, you should extinguish the flame.

Why is this important? By doing so, you will prevent ‘tunneling’ from occurring.

This is a situation when the area close to and surrounding the candle wick melts and the wax near the sides doesn’t. This forms a ring of hard wax around the edges.

Why does this happen? As surprising as it sounds, candle waxes have ‘memory’. So if you don’t burn your candle wax all the way to the edges the first time, it will never melt across the candle’s diameter.

Resulting in tunneling. If you make sure that the candle wax melts across the diameter the first time, you will avoid tunneling altogether!

Final Remarks

Don’t let a wick get you down! A short wick isn’t a biggie and it is no reason that you should discard your candle.

You can easily prevent your wick from getting too short by adhering to a few precautions. And even if it gets too short, it can be fixed!

We hope this article was informative for you and the sight of a short wick doesn’t haunt you anymore!

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any more wick related questions.