Candle Glass Turning Black? Here’s How to Fix It
Candle connoisseurs know firsthand that the appearance of a candle is just as important as its scent. Whether you’re gifting a candle or treating yourself to a new one for your home, if the vessel it's in doesn’t quite match your vibe, you probably won’t be sold (regardless of how much you love the scent.)
The same concept rings true once you’ve brought a candle home. You want the vessel to look clean, polished, and pretty, even after you’ve burned it. Some candles can produce a black, sooty look after being lit. This appears as a smokey residue or dark ring along the inside of a candle jar.
If your candle glass is turning black, try these easy habits to combat it. Plus, follow our tips for getting rid of it when it does occur.
Why Is My Candle Jar Turning Black?
If you’re a candle snob like we are, then you’ve likely heard the word “soot” thrown around. In simple terms, soot is a black smoke that’s released into the air while you’re burning a candle. It’s made up of tiny carbon particles that are excreted from a candle flame when incomplete combustion occurs.
Before you worry about your candle, it’s important to note that incomplete combustion can happen for a number of reasons. The candle type and improper candle care are the two main culprits.
Incomplete combustion happens when the flame melting the wax and the rate of the wax fueling the flame aren't in balance. If wax is drawn into your candle flame faster than it can burn, incomplete combustion occurs. This means you’ll likely see black smoke rise in the air and soot form inside of your vessel.
This is why it's crucial to take the proper steps to have a clean burning candle. Choosing the right type of wax, maintaining a healthy wick length, properly extinguishing the flame, and keeping your candle's flame from flickering are all habits that will ensure a cleaner burn.
How to Clean Your Candle Jar
If you haven’t kept up with candle care best practices, you might notice that your candle jar is turning black. While this can easily be cleaned up, use it as a sign to implement better habits so you can enjoy your favorite candle for a longer period of time.
To clean black soot off of your candle jar, follow these steps:
- Extinguish the candle flame by using a snuffer.
- Wait until the wax has completely cooled and hardened, then use a damp paper towel or washcloth to gently rub the soot off.
- If you run into a particularly stubborn spot, use a small amount of vinegar or rubbing alcohol to tackle the mess. Be mindful of keeping the wet cloth away from the hardened wax.
- Let the jar dry before lighting your candle again.
How to Keep Your Candle Jar From Turning Black
As we touched on above, the most important steps you can take to avoid your candle jar from turning black are simple candle care habits (which you should be doing anyway.) Go through this checklist every time you you light and extinguish your candle to avoid a soot problem:
- Trim your wick regularly.
Before you light your candle, make sure that the wick is trimmed to ¼ inch above the set wax.
- Use a candle snuffer.
When you’re ready to extinguish your candle, use a candle snuffer rather than blowing out the flame. This will prevent wax and soot from being blown onto the sides of your candle jar.
- Keep your candle away from drafts.
If there’s a draft that’s causing your candle’s flame to flicker, whether it’s an open window or an air conditioning vent, it can compromise the way it burns.