What to Do When Your Candle Wick Is Too Short? (Save Your Candle)


How your candle burns will determine how much you will enjoy it and how long it will burn. However, when the wick is too short, you will not enjoy the benefits as you wish. Is that a sign that you need a new candle? No, don’t toss that candle yet. 

When that candle wick is too short, you can either purchase a new wick and replace it. Alternatively, you can make a wick from twines or braided cotton threads. Also, you can simply burn the top of the wax for 20 to 30 minutes, and pour out the melted wax to expose more of the wick.

The best length for a burning wick is between ¼ and ⅛ inches. Any longer, and it burns too much with a lot of soot; any shorter, the melting wax will drown the flame. Fortunately, you have options to save that short candle wick from drowning. Read on.

What to Do When Your Candle Wick Is Too Short

Tips for Fixing a Candle Wick That’s Too Short

Whether you’re lighting them for aromatherapy, or to brighten your mood, candles are slowly becoming an essential part of many homes. One of the best ways to add warmth and aroma to your home is by lighting scented candles

Unfortunately, your candle may have other ideas. What will you do if the wick is too short? Whether it is a defect from the manufacturers or a DIY gone wrong, you need to know how you will solve such problems without losing your candle. 

Here are some tips that you can use to fix that short candle wick to the desired size.

  • Allow the wick to burn for around 30 minutes first to check the height. Sometimes the problem works itself out. 
  • If the flame is still weak after 30 minutes, put out the candle. Pour out the melted wax onto a paper plate for proper disposal. Alternatively, soak the melted wax using a cotton swab or paper towel.
  • There will be a new indent formed around the wick that was burning, which in turn would expose more of the wick. Light up the candle again and confirm again after 30 minutes. If you like the results, let the candle burn to the edge until the wick is too short before repeating the process.
  • In a case where the wick is too short to light, use a heat gun to melt the top wax. 
  • Scrape out wax at room temperature using a butter knife to expose short wicks.
  • Trim your candle top if the wick is too short.

How to Fix Candle Wicks That Are Too Short

If you try the above tips and don’t get anywhere with your wick, don’t throw in the towel yet. The following are some of the things that you can do to fix a candle wick that’s too short. 

Trimming Your Candle

Undoubtedly, when lighting the candle, you might be distracted by the fragrance. Trimming the candle is a delicate but crucial process. The wick plays an important role, not only in lighting but also in releasing the candle’s original scent.

The following are reasons why you should regularly trim your candle from the top to expose the wick.

Prevent Incomplete Combustion

The combustion process relies on the candle wick’s condition. The burning flame is responsible for melting the scented candle wax and turning it to water vapor and odorless carbon dioxide. If the wick is too short, the combustion will not be complete, and the candle will end up drowning the wick. 

Longer Lasting Candle

Trimming the candle will expose the desired wick length. In such a case, the candle will burn at an average rate, shortening its life cycle. If you trim the candle and make the wick too long, you should also trim the wick for optimum results. 

Cutting a candle is an uphill task that will demand special tools such as candle wands. It is a candle cutter capable of solving wax spillage, submerged wicks, and low light level. 

Replace Your Candle Wick 

Before you replace the candle wick, recover the used wick. The wick recovery task is different if the wax is either melted or hardened. The best part about this is that you can use household supplies. These include the following.

  • Scissors
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Apple corer
  • Spoon
  • Knife
  • Replacement wick (twine/cotton thread)
  • Hairdryer
  • Lighter

Even though you can get a homemade wick, it is advisable to buy quality candle wicks for a better experience. Besides, they come in different sizes and lengths. 

How to Recover a Wick from a Melted Candle 

In a scenario where the candlewick disappears, yet the wax is pliable, use needle-nose pliers to fish it out. Candles with high sides often drown the wick because of excess wax. You can then go ahead to trim the candle sides using a knife, scissors, or candle cutter.

How to Recover a Wick from a Hardened Candle

Suppose the wick is buried underneath hardened wax, use a hairdryer or lighter to melt the wax. Pour the excess wax to expose the wick. Once again, you can use the needle-nose plier to get it out.

On the other hand, you can use the apple corer. Push it down around the wick and cut the wax to the bottom. Twist it gently and lift it to remove the slug of wax and wick.  

Replacing the Wick

Replacing a candle wick is a multi-step task that you should reserve for a candle with sentimental value or an expensive candle. The type of wax used in the manufacture of the candle influences the work required when replacing wick. 

Usually, it’s possible for you to see the candle wick at the bottom of the candle. Before you begin the process, place a metal plate or sticker that you can peel off at the bottom of the candle. If necessary, you can carve out a slightly wider hole at the candle’s bottom with a knife. Remove the old wick through this hole and thread the new wick through the same opening.

There are three types of wax used in candle making namely;

  1. Paraffin – most commonly used
  2. Palm wax – is very hard
  3. Beeswax – is very sticky and can be messy

It has also become possible to get different candle recipes from locally available substances such as kitchen soap. You can make your special kind of candle with a distinctive fragrance from the comfort of your home.  

Related Questions

Here are a few FAQs and answers on candle wicks. 

Why is my candle emitting a high flickering flame? 

If you see a high flame that is flickering, it means that the wick is large for that particular candle. Keep trimming it till it gets between ¼ or ⅛ inches. If this does not work out, you should consider replacing the wick with slightly smaller ones.

Why is my candlewick breaking off? 

Candle wicks break after they burn for too long. Carbon builds on the wick, making it more brittle as it continues to burn. The quality of the material used to make the wick also matters in how brittle the wick becomes.

You should also consider lighting up the candle from a distance away from the wick. It will help in stopping it from snapping.

Why did the wick fall over? 

When the wick is too large for the candle, it burns too much, and then it begins to carbonize. It will then curl over in a mushroom shape. When this happens, there is an extra unburnt wick that falls over into the melt. Eventually, it will affect the burn, and the candle will also look unsightly.

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Welcome. My name is Gege. I am a professional freelance lifestyle writer. Over 1.5 million fans take my lifestyle advice and use products from my recommendations.

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