Candle Wick Looks Like A Flower? What is a Mushroom Wick?
My Candle Wick Looks Like A Flower
Have you ever noticed a little formation at the end of a cotton candle wick? It looks bulbous, black, and mysterious, often in the shape of a flower or mushroom.
For those that prefer wood wicked candles, obviously mushroom wicking won't be a problem... But as for our cotton-wicked friends, this curious occurrence is actually very common! These black caps are sometimes referred to as "mushroom wick."
They are relatively harmless (but should be trimmed away to ensure an even burn). Here's a little bit of information about this unique phenomenon; why they form in the first place; and what to do when you see one pop up on your own wick.
What Is a Mushroom Wick?
"Mushroom wicking" occurs from a buildup of extra carbon on the wick. When a candle flame consumes more wax than it can burn, it results in a bunch of quasi-reduced molecules that have no where to go once they've been drawn to the tip of the candle wick. They eventually build up there... So much so that they create little mushroom formations.
In other words, when more wax is sent to the wick than the flame can vaporize, you get a little mushroom wick.
There are several reasons why your candle might be sending too much wax - here's a few of them:
Mushroom Wick Reasons
Size of the Wick - a wick that is too long or oversized is a main cause for mushroom wicking. A wick that is too tall might result in a flame that is too tall for the surface area of the candle - too much heat across too little wax will create an uneven burn. Keeping your wicks trimmed and sticking with high-quality candles will mitigate this issue.
Excess Burn Time - candles shouldn't be lit for more than four (4) hours at a time. You might superheat the wax, causing a lessened overall burn time. Beyond that, carbon will inevitably start to gather on the wick, resulting in a mushroom.
Keeping your wicks trimmed and your candles burning for an appropriate amount of time will go a long way toward the extended life of your candle. Here's another blog about how to make sure your candles last longer!
How To Fix Mushroom Wick
You might think that a candle burns cleanest and hottest when it is standing straight up, but that actually isn't the case! Take a second to observe your candle after it's been lit for a while - is the wick standing straight up and down? Or does it have a bit of curl to it?
If your wick is slightly curved or bent, it will not mushroom. This is because the hottest part of the flame is the side of the flame - not the center as most would commonly believe.
Conversely, if your wick is straight - you are more than likely going to have a mushroom appear at the top of your wick. This is because the tip of the candle wick is not burning in the side of the flame, aka the hottest part of the flame.
Be sure to trim any mushroom wicks that appear before you re-light your candle. You may want to use a pair of tweezers to slightly curl the wick while it is cool, so it is curled appropriately when you light the candle again. We don't recommend messing around with a lit candle, but if you curl the mushroomed wick while it is still lit - you should notice that little black cap eventually burn away!
You do not want to light a mushroomed wick. If you do, it could cause the wick to crackle and pop, which will release soot into the air.
Try A Jackpot Candle Today!
Wood wick candles are also a lovely option for avoiding mushroom wick. Besides having a different size and surface area than their cotton wicked peers, they also burn with a very pleasant crackle, perfect for a soothing ambiance any time of day.
Regardless of wood wicks or cotton wicks, every single Jackpot Candles experience comes with a surprise ring or necklace (worth anywhere from $15 to $5000).