How to trim a candle wick

Candle-making is fun. Just like that, trimming candle wick can also be a good activity for those who adore candles and love keeping them perfect-looking. 

Undoubtedly, there is much more to enjoying candles than just lighting them and letting them burn, such as trimming candle wicks or preparing a wax. 

Moreover, did you know that you can get the most out of candles by trimming the candle wick? Not really?

Don’t panic!

Most people are perplexed about how to trim a candle wick. Therefore, we have put together a detailed guide for you. 

So, let’s get started. 

Do you know?

The winter holidays can also be called sailing holidays.

According to the National Candle Association (NCA), about a third of all candle sales (which, in the US, total about $3 billion annually) occur during Christmas. Interesting? That means $1 billion in flames is flashing over the winter!

Buy candles for Christmas now!

Why do you trim candle wicks? 

Before you adopt a way to trim a candle wick, it is crucial to know the reason behind trimming the candle wick. Below is a list of reasons to trim the candle wicks:

  1. Candles illuminate more after trimming the wick.
  2. The flame of a trimmed wick is a lot clearer and brighter than usual. 
  3. Shorts wicks give a cleaner burn
  4. Trimmed wicks produce less residue, keeping your jars and ceiling safe from soot marks. 
  5. Trimmed wicks give candles a longer life. 

And much more.

This is how you can make your candles glow for longer

Why do you trim candle wicks?

How to trim a candle wick

Many people are often confused about how to trim a candle wick or why it is even vital to trim a wick. 

No worries, we have managed to cater to all your problems. 

Utensils that can be used:

  • Simple scissors can be used to trim a wick, including candles that are in containers such as glass jars or votives. But after a few uses, the wick can be hard to reach. 
  • Another trick for trimming the candle wick is to access the wick with a nail clipper. You can also use a pair of wick trimmers explicitly made to cut candle wick. 
  • It can be with a candle cutter, which has a specific format to “catch” the burned wick and not let it fall into the candle, or with nail scissors. 

The wax has to be hard and dry to cut because if the wick or the rest of the soot falls into the melted wax, it is difficult to remove.

Simple tips that aid in trimming the candle wick super feasible:

How to trim candle wick

Some of the tricks every candle-lover should keep in mind are:

  • One of the facile and significant ways is cutting the wick of a candle each time the candle is lit so that only a tiny section of the wax remains.
  • This makes the flame more constant and stable while simultaneously causing less smoke.
  • It is advisable to reduce the candle wick length to 1/4 inch. It can help you prevent problems like black flames, flames that are too high, black smoke stains on the candlestick glass, and wax that burns too fast.
  • The wick is the woven cotton that carries (or absorbs) the fuel – which is the wax – to the flame. If the wick is too high, it can quickly supply much fuel to the flame, creating excess smoke and soot.
  • A wick at the right height will create an even, steady burn so you can enjoy the shine and scent for hours. A trimmed wick also gives the flame a beautiful, even shape. 
  • A wick that is too large will carry a lot of fuel (wax) into the fire, and the build-up of carbon creates a black “mushroom cap” on the flame.

An important tip for the use of candles is that, 

In the case of candles in glasses/containers, you should never light them only for a short time, and the ideal way is to keep them lit until the entire wax surface melts uniformly.

This is how you can avoid creating a “tunnel” of melted wax while it accumulates on the edges. When the candle is burned appropriately, the wax will wear out evenly without accumulated remains.

It is suggested to protect the flame against air streams as much as possible. Plus, the candles with multiple wicks should be chosen for larger areas so that tunneling can be avoided and heating of the surface can be carried out equally. 

How long should the candle wick be? 

Are you curious to know about the right candle wick length? Are you nodding your head yes? Here you go!

Gingerly, is one of the first things to know when you are learning how to trim a candle wick. 

For your information, the best length is ¼ inches. Oops! Cut the candle wick too short? It’s okay; we got you. 

Interesting Tip: If you cut the wick too short for it to light, you can expose the wick further by melting the wax around it with a lighter wand, then slowly pouring in the melted wax. Or use a slightly heated butter knife to gently cut the wax around the wick. 


What to do when the candle wick runs out?

Stop using the candle when you have ¼ of the wax in the bottom. If the wick comes off the bottom of the candle, blow out the candle and center the wick with tweezers. It is advisable not to let it burn for more than 4 hours at a time.

How to make the candle wick straight?

The wick must be dipped in paraffin – and to keep it in place, it must be attached to a small wire on top of the mold. Next, wait for one to two minutes and tap it lightly – without shaking the mold – so any bubbles come out. Two minutes later, repeat the beats.

When the wick burns out?

When the candle burns out completely: your request has been fully accepted. When the candle forms a kind of ladder on the side: it indicates that your request is approved.

Cutting the wick of a candle is not tricky. You can basically do it in any way you want. We mean, you’re making the candle for yourself. So why get into so much hassle? 

However, if you are a business owner, you must take care of all the tiny details because candle lovers are particular about their candles. 

Fun Fact: 96% of candles are bought by women!

How to trim a candle wick, and is it necessary?

Simply trim the candle wick with nail clippers or any scissors available. However, it is not necessary to trim the candle wick! The unlit wick must be at least 4mm high. Some candles come with the proper wick for their size; you will never need to cut them.

For others, we need to put a “stronger” wick to make sure it burns all over the side. In these cases, we recommend you evaluate the size of the wick every time you relight your candle.

In case of any doubt, light the candle and see if the flame is too high (over 2cm high); you can put it out and cut the wick a little so that the flame is lower. 

Note: Beware of cutting the candle wick too much because then your candle runs the risk of drowning in its wax and not having the strength to melt it enough to release the smell.  

When will we really feel the fragrance spreading?

It depends on the candle you purchased. There are candles you can smell in the first 5 minutes, while others can take around 30 minutes after the candle is lit. 

The candle needs to have the wax melted for its fragrance to begin to exhale.

My candle is not spreading any scent; what do I do?

A few things could be happening:

  • First, let the candle burn for at least 30 minutes to assess how much smell it gives off.
  • Make sure you have the candle lit in a suitable environment for it. It has candles that are for smaller environments. 
  • Check if the environment is closed. The more closed the place the candle is, the more effective it will be. 
  • The smell may be upstairs if your house has very high ceilings – the hot air rises. So, if your house has a mezzanine, the smell may be all upstairs.
  • Enter and leave the environment where the candle is lit. Sometimes the smell “travels” through the house. 

Other tips for lighting candles

  • Many candle makers recommend lighting candles for no more than four hours at a time.
  • Blow out the candle when two inches or less of wax are left. According to the National Candle Association, it applies to candles, pillars, and candles in large glass jars.
  • Tiny tea lamps will not light for more than four to six hours.
  • Many candle makers recommend putting out the flame with a snuffer or dipping the wick into the puddle of wax because blowing out the candle can create excess smoke.
  • Follow basic fire safety by never leaving a candle unattended.
  • Freezing candles are not recommended as the wax can crack. Instead, store candles at a moderate to cool temperature.
  • Do not buy wick candles with metal inside or braided instead of braided fibers. These wicks burn quickly, which is why you often see them on birthday candles.


We hope you found this brief guide on how to trim a candle wick helpful, and we have answered all your queries. If you still have any more questions, feel free to shoot them! 

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