Do I Need to Trim My Wick?

If you're asking, "Do I need to trim my wick?," the answer is yes. At 1502 Candle Co., we can admittedly get a little intense about candle care. But it still surprises us how many of our customers don’t know that you should trim your wicks. This simple habit can extend the life of your candle and more. Read on for the why and how behind wick trimming…


Why Should I Trim My Wick?

There are a handful of reasons why this is a good idea:

Minimize Soot

Have you ever noticed dark, sooty streaks creeping up the side of your glass apothecary jars and other containers? This is the most obvious reminder your favorite candle could use a little love. The excess fuel caused by too-long wicks can cause the flame to flare up, leaving unsightly streaks on your candle containers or even the wall or other objects nearby. Obviously this is more than a cosmetic annoyance - in cases of tapers or pillars, it could even be a fire hazard.

Protect Your Air Quality

We carefully choose our ingredients because they are phthalate-free and environmentally friendly. Our candles are also safe to use around babies, pets, and people with sensitivities to smoke. That said, if long wicks create sooty residue, imagine what kind of debris they’re releasing into the air.

Prolong the Candle’s Life

Long wicks can cause the candle to burn unevenly, disrupting the “memory burn." (This is simply a fancy name for allowing the wax to melt to the edges of the container on the first burn.)

Trimming your wick allows for a cleaner burn and can even save you money.

According to the National Candle Association®, trimming your quick once every couple hours of burn time could maximize the candle’s lifespan by as much as 25%!

When Should I Trim My Wicks?

Each time you go to light a candle, make a habit of checking the wick length and trim as needed. Also consider:

  • The first burn: Before you burn a new candle for the first time, trim the wick to one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch. 
  • Flame height and smoke: If the flame is taller than one-half inch or the candle is putting off a good amount of smoke, the wick needs trimming. In that case, put out the candle immediately.
  • Mushrooming: The ball-like clump of carbon buildup that accumulates on the end of your wicks is known as a “mushroom.” This excess fuel will inevitably cause soot, smoke, and flare-ups so remove it whenever you see it forming.

How Do You Trim Candle Wicks?

Early on, you can usually use scissors. As it becomes more difficult, you can use nail clippers but we recommend investing in a wick trimmer (yes, there are actual gadgets specially made for this!). Some candle lovers simply use their fingers to pinch off the top of the wick but this can be messy and also cause the wick to break off too close to the wax. 

A light skin toned hand holds a black pair of wick scisors to cut the wicks of an apothecary jar

Help! I Cut My Wick Too Short

It happens! Wait until the wax hardens, then use a spoon to gently expose the wick a quarter inch. Then remove wax at the same height all the way to the sides of the container.

Contact Us for Questions, Accessories, and More

If you have questions about candle care, have tips of your own, or want to learn more about our wick trimmers, contact 1502 Candle Co. online or call us today

March 10, 2021 — Emily Tongg
Tags: candle care

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