Why Does My Candle Burn Black Smoke?

Why Does My Candle Burn Black Smoke?

Nothing is worse than lighting a candle to set the mood only to be greeted with black smoke rising into the air—talk about a vibe kill

While this smoke might be pesky, there are simple steps you can take to enjoy your go-to candle again. Here are a few tips and tricks to help maintain candles you already own and some helpful information when picking out your next purchase.

  • Just like us, candles don’t like to be too hot. Maintaining a healthy candle temperature is key when it comes to the amount of smoke it produces. A good rule of thumb so things don't get too hot: Only burn your candle for four to six hours at a time.

  • Trim the wick after each use and be sure to dispose of wick trimmings properly. Your wick should be trimmed to ¼ inch above the set wax at all times. Good wick trimming habits will also help your candle last longer.

  • Candles deserve a break too. While we know it’s tempting to keep your candle lit all day, try not to burn it for extended periods of time. This will give the candle a chance to cool down and prepare for the next burn.

  • If your candle is set in a high traffic area of your house (like an entryway or kitchen) check for dust or debris before lighting. It might sound silly, but debris or dust can get caught in the wick or the wax, leading to a smokey burn.

Trim Your Wick

If your candle is producing a lot of black smoke, the length of your wick is likely the culprit. When the wick is too long, a candle will burn too quickly and an imbalance of heat and fuel will produce a larger flame with more smoke and soot. 

Just like we cut the grass, our hair, and our nails, we must trim our candle wicks regularly to get the best performance and quality. 

We recommend that you trim your wick every time you burn your candle. Trimming your wick is a simple and quick habit that will ensure a cleaner burn from your candle. Your wick should be trimmed to ¼ inch above the set wax at all times.

Need some starter tips? We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to use a candle wick trimmer like a pro.

why does my candle burn black smoke

Avoid Drafty Environments

The flick of a flame is certainly soothing and beautiful—not to mention it's an important part of the candle lighting aesthetic. However, if the flame is moving too much, you shouldn't be surprised to see an abnormal amount of rising smoke.

Be aware of the flame's movement and try to avoid excessive flickering or blowing in the wind (or heat or air conditioning). Instead, keep your candle in a cozy corner that isn’t breezy. Turn down any fans, close your windows, and enjoy your candle as it burns cleanly and calmly.

Scent (Sometimes) Equals Smoke

Excessive smoke and soot can sometimes be a sign of a poor quality candle. Some candle companies go a bit overboard when adding fragrance oils which might make your candle smell great, but can cause it to burn irregularly in the long run.

This is when purchasing a quality candle comes in handy. You might be buying a candle for the aesthetic, scent, or maybe to help brighten a space. Whatever the case is, choosing a quality candle might ensure that it will produce less smoke. If you're not sure what to look for in a candle, start here.

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