How to Prevent Soot From Burning on Candle Wicks

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Keeping a candle from producing a lot of soot is a simple task.
Keeping a candle from producing a lot of soot is a simple task. (Image: candle image by Amjad Shihab from Fotolia.com)

Burning scented candles around your home helps highlight seasons as well as mask unpleasant smells while the house airs out. Burning candles is also an effective way of lighting a house during a power outage or creating mood lighting. One issue you must be aware of when burning candles is soot production as it is a sign of a candle that isn't burning properly. Soot can leave unpleasant black stains on walls, ceilings and anything near a candle. Take the proper measures to prevent this unnecessary mess.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Measure the wick of the candle. Trim the wick down to 1/4 inch before lighting it.

Retrim the wick down to 1/4 inch each time you relight the candle.

Place the lit candle in an area that doesn't have a breeze. The flame of the candle should be allowed to keep its teardrop shape as it burns. If the flame of the candle is flickering a lot, it should be blown out, moved to a still environment and relit.

Burn the candle for only four hours at a time, not all day long and certainly not until it's completely gone. Candles allowed to burn for too long end up burning on longer wicks and with high flames increasing the soot production. Follow the instructions specific to a particular candle, which should include the amount of burn time.

Burn candles that aren't in jars. The candle needs good air flow, not a draft, but just open air, to prevent soot production. Candles in jars get less and less open-air as they burn farther down into the jar. Thus, jar candles produce more soot as they burn.

Extinguish a candle that isn't burning properly. Allow it to cool. Take measures to ensure it burns properly before relighting the candle.

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