Easy Fixes For A Candle Wick That's Too Short

small candle burning out

Candles are a great way to change the tone of an indoor space. They provide mood lighting, a sense of warmth and fill a home with a pleasing fragrance that reminds us of beautiful memories. But sometimes, we run into problems with our candles that prevent us from enjoying their comforting pleasures.  

Every so often, a candle will burn improperly, and you'll end up with a candle wick that's too short to light. You might think that means your candle is defunct, and you'll need to throw out the remaining wax and get a new one, but that won't be necessary! Check out these useful tips for dealing with a short candle wick and making sure your candles always burn properly.

Keeping a Candle Wick from Getting Too Short

One of the main reasons that candle wicks end up being too short to burn is called “tunneling,” which is when wax builds up on the inner sides of the candle's jar. This excess wax can melt during future burns, which causes the wick to be drowned in the refuse, thus shortening its height.

You can easily avoid this with a simple preventative measure. The first time you burn your new candle, let it burn for a long enough time that the melted wax pools uniformly across the surface of the candle. This lack of irregularity will prevent tunneling and keep the wick from losing its height.

Fixing a Short Candle Wick

There are other reasons that wicks become too short besides tunneling. Even after implementing our handy preventative measure, you may still find yourself with a short wick on your hands. So what should you do when you find yourself in this situation?

If the wick is too short to catch a flame at all, you'll need to find a way to remove the surrounding wax and expose the part of the wick that lies below. If you have an alternative heat source, you can attempt to melt the wax in the center until it falls away from the wick. Also, you can physically scrape this wax out with a common household utensil.

If the wick does light but isn't burning the candle properly, you can allow the weak flame to burn for a short time, just long enough to melt some of the surrounding wax. Then, blow the candle out and remove the melted wax from the candle. 

This will free up some room for the wick to expose itself. But be sure to let the wax cool completely before you dispose of it.

What if the Wick is Too Long?

Unnecessarily long wicks can cause problems, like flames that are too large or excess soot production. To fix this, simply trim the wick with household scissors. keep the wick's length within the proper range of 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch, which is best for fire safety.


There you have it! Follow our simple preventative tips, and you shouldn't have to worry about short candle wicks anymore. If you do find yourself with a short candle wick, just follow our instructions to fix the problem. 

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