Why Is My Candle Flame So High?

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Candles add ambiance to any space, making a house feel like a home with their warm, glowing light. These delightful decor pieces also have a way of promoting relaxation and calm or providing stimulating energy when you need it. Sometimes, though, they don’t always burn as expected. 

If you’re wondering, “Why is my candle flame so high?” or noticed your candle burning down the middle, here's what you need to know about candles, how they burn and what you can do to keep your candle’s flame in check. 

Learn How to Fix a Candle Wick with Our Guide!

High Candle Flame

When you light a candle, the flame’s heat melts the wax in and around the wick. A candle wick is typically made from absorbent twine, such as braided cotton or other cord or string types, which uses capillary action to draw the melted wax up the wick to deliver fuel to the candle flame. 

wyoming candle

If your candle flame looks like it’s burning too high, this may be because it’s burning too hot. When you have a strong flame, it appears very tall or it could flicker or smoke. If you see any of these signs or feel the flame is out of control, extinguish the flame immediately to eliminate fire hazards. Even if this exaggerated flame doesn’t spark a fire, you likely will burn through your candle much faster than you intended to. 

Once you’ve put out the high flame, it’s time to investigate. There are two primary reasons your candle flame may burn so high. One is the wick isn’t the proper width because of a manufacturing issue. Unfortunately, if your wick is too thick, it may require replacing the candle with a better one. Luckily for you, when you replace it with a Homesick candle, our wicks are just the right diameter!

A second reason for a flame that burns too high is the wick is too long. Here, the fix is simple: 

Trim the wick. You can easily trim a lengthy wick with our convenient wick trimmer, complete with a custom cloth bag for storage for a safer and cleaner burn. For an optimum, controlled burn, keep your candle’s wick trimmed down to ¼ inch. Remembering to trim it before you light it each time helps ensure you’re controlling the amount of fuel to the flame for a safe, slow burn. 

Use a Wick Trimmer to Easily Fix Your Candle!

The next time you give a friend a candle or send a special thank you candle, include a wick trimmer so they can enjoy their soothing, scented candle for even longer!

Smoking Candle

Another common issue with burning candles is excess smoke production. If you’ve properly trimmed your candle wick to the correct height, a draft might be to blame for this unwanted smoke. Sometimes a draft or burst of air can cause your candle to smoke as it burns, which reduces the air quality in your home. 

When a rush of air makes the flame flicker in and out, this can also cause your wick to fuel the candle inconsistently by drawing too much oil from the candle wax. When this happens, you may get a buildup of oil in the wick and the candle won’t be able to burn it as fast as it's being drawn in. When the flame grows again, it burns too much fuel and causes the candle to smoke. 

chicago candle

To rid your candle of any smoke, simply move it away from open windows and doors, fans and vents to limit drafts. 

Candle Wick Is Too Short

While sometimes your candle wick being too long can be the issue, in other cases, it’s a short candle wick that can be problematic. If you’re having trouble lighting your candle because the wick is too short, knowing how to fix a candle wick will have your candle flame burning in no time. 

If you’re able to light the wick, let it burn for 20 minutes or more while checking on it every so often. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself by melting enough wax, you may need to remove some wax. 

If you can’t light your candle at all, using a heat gun to melt the wax around the wick and carefully pouring out the hot wax gives you more wick to work with. Similarly, if the wick is completely buried, you must melt down the surrounding wax. 

The Takeaway

The glowing light and enjoyable scents of candles make them a welcome addition to any space, but if they aren’t burning properly, they can become fire hazards and affect your indoor air quality. You can help your candle burn cleaner and safer by keeping the wick trimmed, positioning it away from drafty areas and preventing a buildup of wax.