Updated at: 26-07-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

One of the most important aspects of candlemaking is determining the proper wick size. Consistent burn times and smell throw are hallmarks of a well wicked candle. In other words, how long should a wick be?

Candles will last longer. Your home will continue to smell wonderful since the air and walls around you will be cleaner. The majority of cotton and wood wicks tend to’mushroom’ or split after some time.

Burnt-out material must be cleaned up. An untrimmed wick produces bigger and more powerful flames. It speeds up the burning of your candle, resulting in a lot of soot and smoke.

How Long Should a Candle Wick Be

Before each burn, we recommend trimming the wicks to 1/4 of an inch. It’s possible that when your candle burns, you’ll discover that the flame is a bit too high. Is it safe to use a candle with a flame that is more than half an inch in diameter?

The wick height should be checked. Put out your candle as soon as you see it starting to give off a foul odor and spew soot all over your house. For safety reasons, the flame’s height should also be brought under control.

Why You Should Always Trim Candle Wicks

Burning candles for more than four hours at a time is not recommended. Candles should be burned for at least an hour, according to most manufacturers. To ensure the candle’s durability, do not burn it for more than four hours at a time.

Burning a candle for more than four hours at a time can cause the wick to rise and the carbon to build up. Gasoline will be drawn into the wick at a faster pace as the wick seeks to consume more fuel than it was designed to. You’ll notice that your candle is starting to burn.

In the case of larger wicks, you may observe that the remaining wax has a lower concentration of perfume. This means that the wax to fragrance ratio has changed, and subsequent burns of your candle will not be as aromatic. In order to get the most out of your candles, you need regularly trim the wick.

What is ‘Mushrooming’ in a Candle Wick?

Once you’ve learned how long a candle wick should be, we’ll move on to the topic of mushrooming.

Leaving candle wicks unattended for a lengthy period might result in a carbon buildup on the wick. At the very top of your wick, you’ll see it. ‘Mushrooming’ is the term for this phenomenon, which looks like a mushroom growing out of a candle.

Your candle’s flame will become hotter as a result of the carbon buildup. It’s time for your candle to go out in the smog. Use it to determine when to cut your wicks!

What Are the Best Candle Wick Trimming Tools?

We’ll learn how to trim a candle wick now that we know how long it should be. Cleaning up after yourself when trimming your candle’s wick is simple, but it can be a pain. While you’re cutting your wicks, consider these ideas we’ve got up our sleeve. What tools are available to you?

Candle Wick Trimmer

To begin, it should be noted that a wick trimmer is a real utensil. These are great for removing soot and wax off your fingers and occasionally your arms. It prevents them from getting into your candle containers.

Finger Pinching

Is it possible to decorate your home with candles in every nook and cranny? With your fingers, you can remove the wick debris from the candles. However, a wick trimmer holster or fanny pack is a great idea.

Nail Clippers

Harder wicks like wood or those that are difficult to reach can be cut with toenail clippers. Do you think that toenail clippers are an excellent choice? Fingernail clippers have a curvature, but these aren’t as brittle.


When cutting wicks, a pair of scissors with a good blade could be useful. Just be sure to remove the wick debris from the wax before lighting the candle. While scissors work well with basic cotton wicks, they struggle with wood wicks.

How to Trim your Candle Wick

Trimming a candle’s wick is a straightforward task. Using one of the above-mentioned tools will make it much easier to get through these steps. You may want to keep a trash can and a paper towel on hand for wick debris cleanup.

Trimming Cotton Wicks

Trimming cotton wicks is a cinch. Squeeze or trim the wick of a solid candle to a height of 14 inch after it has cooled and become solid. Take caution not to trim too much. Remove the debris from the container and discard it in a waste bin.

Why You Should Always Trim Candle Wicks Before Lighting

They are easy to trim with cotton. To make a 14-inch-high candlewick, carefully squeeze or cut the wick from a cool, solid candle. Keep in mind that you don’t want to go overboard with your trimming. Recycle or dispose of any leftover waste from the container.

Trimming cotton wicks is a cinch. Squeeze or trim the wick of a solid candle to a height of 14 inch after it has cooled and become solid. Take care not to go overboard with the trimming. Empty the container and dispose of the garbage therein.

Moreover, it turns out that there is a lot more to enjoy candles than simply lighting them and allowing them to burn for an hour. Trimming the wick of your candles might help you get the most out of them.

How To Fix and Prevent Candle Tunneling • Armatage Candle Company

Why Trim the Candle Wick?

To avoid problems like black flames, flames that are too high, black smoke marks on glass candle holders, and wax that is burning too quickly, you should trim the candle wick to 1/4-in.

Wax, the fuel, is conveyed to the flame by the wick (the braided cotton). If the wick is too tall, it may provide the flame with too much fuel, resulting in excessive smoke and soot. To get the most out of the candle’s aroma and light, make sure the wick is set at the proper height. Additionally, a well-trimmed wick ensures that the flame maintains an equal shape. A “mushroom cap” forms on the flame when a wick is excessively large and carries too much wax to the fire.

How to Trim a Candle Wick

Candles in containers, such as glass jars or votives, can have their wicks trimmed with a pair of scissors. However, after a few uses, the wick can become difficult to access. Toenail cutters are a handy tool for getting to the wick. A set of wick trimmers designed for difficult-to-reach wicks can also be used.

What to Do if the Wick is Too Short?

A wand lighter can be used to melt the surrounding wax and slowly pour out the molten wax, exposing more of the trimmed wick. Alternatively, you can use a butter knife to carefully remove the wax from the wick’s area.

Other Candle Burning Tips

  • Candles should be burned for no more than four hours at a time, according to several manufacturers.
  • When only two inches of wax is left on the candle, it’s time to put it out. According to the National Candle Association, this applies to taper candles, pillar candles, and candles in large glass jars.
  • Small tea lights have a limited lifespan of four to six hours.
  • Blowing out a candle can produce a lot of smoke, therefore many candle producers advocate using a snuffer or dipping the wick in the wax pool to put out the flames.
  • Of course, basic fire safety precautions include never lighting a candle alone.
  • To avoid breaking the wax, avoid freezing your candles. Lightly chilly or room-temperature candles are best for storage.
  • A metal wick or fibers that are twisted rather than braided should not be purchased for use with candles. Because they burn so quickly, these wicks are commonly found on birthday candles.

Here’s why your candle causes soot marks — and how to prevent them

The proper way to burn a candle isn’t something everyone is aware of.

• The wick should always be trimmed.

Is there anything more frustrating than purchasing a new candle only to see the glass jar turn a dark, smoky shade? That ugly smoke stain may be avoided with one simple step: Always trim down your cigar or bong’s flame.

When I worked for Yankee Candle, this was the most crucial piece of advice I gave to customers, and I still follow it in my own house.

Start by trimming the wick to 1/4–1/8 of an inch in length, every time you burn.

When the candle goes out, it becomes more difficult to reach the blades far enough into the jar with scissors, therefore I prefer to use nail clippers.

But if you’re a serious candle fanatic, you might want to invest in a wick trimmer. To put it another way, see them as a specialized set of scissors. It’s possible to get a trimmer online for under $10.

Trimmed wicks make for a clean burn.

But if you’re a serious candle fanatic, you might want to invest in a wick trimmer. To put it another way, see them as a specialized set of scissors. It’s possible to get a trimmer online for under $10.

And you’ll avoid smoky candle jars, too.

You may, however, want to invest in a wick trimmer if you’re really like candles. To put it another way, they’re like a special set of scissors designed for the job at hand. Trimmers can be purchased online for as little as $10.

For this particular candle, though, we made a point of trimming the wick every time it was lit:

Despite the fact that wick trimming is only a small element of correct candle burning technique, it is an essential (and simple!) way to get more out of every candle you purchase.


What happens if candle wick is too long?

Too much time spent burning a candle will eventually lead to the wick “mushrooming.” An unstable and deadly flame will then be produced by the flame. Your candle will also begin to smoke and emit soot if it is left unattended. By following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can avoid this.

How long should a candle wick be CM?

A 0.5-1cm wick trimming will keep the candle’s flame at the proper height. Wax will be overburned if your wick is too long. Wicks that are too short will either not light or will be completely submerged by the melting wax.

Is Your Candle Wick Mushrooming? Here's How to Fix It | Taste of Home

Can a candle wick be too short?

If the candle is burned long enough, the wicks may get too short for various reasons. It’s possible that you trimmed it too short, or that you bought it that way. In addition, the wick can fall off when it is hot and fragile, therefore care must be taken.

How much should you trim a candle wick?

Every time you light a new wick, cut it to a length of 1/4–1/8 inch. When the candle goes out, it becomes more difficult to reach the blades far enough into the jar with scissors, therefore I prefer to use nail clippers.

Why can you only burn a candle for 4 hours?

Carbon will build up on the wick if you light your candle for more than four hours at a time. Because of this, your candle may smoke, the wick may become unsteady, and soot may sputter out of the container and into the air.

How long should a candle burn?

For the most part, candles should not be used for more than four hours at a time. After extinguishing the flame, wait two hours before relighting the candle. Keep the flame at least three feet away from any moving air.

How do I know what size wick to get?

There should be no flickering, the melt pool should extend to the container’s border, and it should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inches deep. The wick should burn cleanly with little carbon accumulation, mushrooming, or soot.

How many wicks should I use?

After a 3 inch broad container, you’ll typically add one wick each inch. So, two wicks are needed for a 4-inch jar. 3 wicks are needed for a 5-inch jar.

Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick?

A toothpick is a good choice for the candlewick because it’s little and easy to work with.

What is candle tunneling?

In order to avoid tunneling, only a little amount of wick wax should melt at any given time during a candle’s burning. Instead of the wax melting evenly across its surface, the flame appears to burrow into the candle, forming what looks like a narrow, vertical tunnel; hence the name.