The gentle crackle and unique flicker of wood wick candles make for a super cozy ambience, but they
can be a little tricky to burn if you're not used to them. Wooden wicks burn a bit differently than
traditional cotton wicks do, and there are a few common issues that cause them to not stay lit.
Here are a few tips to get the best results from your wood wick candles:
1) The first burn is the most important.
Give your candle enough burning time to develop a melted wax pool that goes all the way to the edge of
the container. This can take up to a few hours, depending on candle size. Candles have a Memory and
will always pick up where they are left off. Once a burning pattern has been established, it can be hard
to change. If you don’t allow your candle enough time to form a full melt pool a tunnel can start to form
around the wick. Eventually the tunnel will become too deep for fresh oxygen to flow in, and your
candle will have trouble staying lit for more than short periods of time. This melt pool can take 2 hours
or more to form, depending on the candle size, so wait to light up your new candle until you have some
time to burn it.
2) Keep your wood wick trimmed short and free of charred bits
For optimal burn, keep your wood wick trimmed to about ⅛”, and clean off any burnt wood from
previous use. Other than the tunneling problem, if your wood wick candle won’t stay lit it’s probably
because the wick is too long, or it needs to be trimmed clean of charred material. Remember it’s not
the wood fueling your candle’s flame, it’s the wax. The flame is drawing the wax upwards through the
wick, so if it’s not trimmed short and clean, the wax can’t make it to the flame.
3) How to fix a candle that’s tunneling:
First and best option: Give it a good long burn until all the wax is melted to the edge of the jar. The
flame height may vary when you do this, but as long as there is still a burn, it should continue to create a
melt pool, just be patient.
If your candle won’t stay lit because it is “drowning” in a wax pool, try using a paper towel or napkin to
soak up some of the excess wax, wait for a minute or so, relight your candle, and repeat until your wick
has room to breathe!
How to light a wood wick candle like a pro
You’ll want to light these differently from cotton wicks, but it’s very simple:
When lighting a wood wick candle, the best technique is to tilt it on an angle and let the flame draw
across the length of the wick (kind of like how you tilt a match after lighting). It may also take several
tries to get it lit! The heat from the flame needs to draw the wax through the wick before it will really
start burning nicely. When in doubt, give it another try - you get it going once, it should light up more
Your wick shouldn’t produce any soot or smoke. If you are experiencing any smoke from a wood wick
candle it’s usually because the wick needs to be trimmed and the burnt parts cleared out, or there is a