How To: Light A Candle In a Jar When The Wick is Hard To Reach
Wick Too Low?
Ah yes, a brand new candle... The pristine, even layer of wax at the top. The fresh and exciting new smell. The unburnt wick just waiting to be lit. There's nothing quite like snagging a new candle friend.
You light it up and let it burn for an hour or so. And then you light it the next day. And then again on the next, NEXT day. All of a sudden, your wick is a bit low in the jar. Your regular lighter method isn't working... Now what?
For those of us with dainty hands, you might not have any trouble reaching the wick... But since everyone's hands are different, you might simply have a tougher time fitting your whole fist into that jar. The good news is, you won't have to scorch your hand anymore - here are a few simple tips you can use to try to reach that tricky wick:
Disclaimer:using a flame to light a candle always carries an inherent risk for a burn. Be very careful when using these methods!
Flip the Candle Upside-Down
The flame on a lighter will always burn upwards... Which is why when you try to light a too-low wick, you often end up feeling too much heat from the lighter on your hand.
A simple way to avoid this unpleasant sensation is to flip the candle upside down before you try to light it. The flame and its heat will naturally carry upward toward the wick, making it that much easier to ignite.
This tip is perhaps the most important because it can also be combined with any of the other useful methods listed below.
Note: once the flame has been lit, be sure to flip the candle right-side-up ASAP, as this method could possibly drip liquid wax on your hand or clothes as the candle around the wick melts.
This one is a given! A regular lighter will typically do the trick, but an extra-long, "BBQ" lighter (typically used to ignite the charcoal on a grill) or a lengthy "fireplace match" is an excellent way to reach the bottom of a candle jar. Simply angle the match or lighter so that it is adjacent to the wick and hold the flame next to it until it ignites.
Alternatively, if you have a long "taper candle" (like something you'd see in a candlestick), you could light that first and use the taper candle's flame to light your wick.
If you don't have any fireplace matches, BBQ lighters are extremely affordable and easy to find at any gas station or department store - just make a run to the nearest convenience store (and grab yourself a much-deserved snack while you're at it).
Different Lighter Technique
With a "regular lighter," most of us use our thumb to flick the flint and start the flame. It's certainly a tried-and-true method for most uses, but there's actually a different way to hold the lighter that can help it get a bit further into the jar.
Grab the lighter near the bottom by pinching it between your thumb and middle finger. Then, use your index finger to flick the lighter on.
Since you don't have to ball up your fist to use this method, it may give you just a bit more reach when it comes to getting at those stubborn, low wicks.
This alternative holding technique can also be used with matches, but with a slight variation. instead of pinching the match with your index/thumb, try holding it using the tips of your middle and ring fingers. You'd be surprised at how much extra reach this method provides!
Make Your Own Match
No lighters in sight? Ran out of matches? There are a few alternatives you can use to get at that hard-to-reach wick.
Open up your pantry! An on-the-spot match might be hanging out in your kitchen cupboards. A piece of uncooked spaghetti makes an excellent, impromptu match. It's long, flammable, and can certainly help to reach the bottom of a candle jar.
If a noodle isn't available, you can also try rolling up a piece of paper. Make sure the paper is twisted tightly so that it becomes dense - this way, it will burn slowly, giving you more time and accuracy as you use it as a tool to transfer a flame. A great method for twisting is to spin the ends of the paper in opposite directions until it won't roll anymore.
Note: be sure to have a bit of water on hand (or stand next to a sink) to extinguish any flames as soon as you're done.
No Lighters on Hand?
What happens if you don't have any lighters in your house? There are lots of ways to light your eucalyptus candle without a lighter - check them all out here.
Have you ever had a scented candle that burns down the middle while leaving a ring of wax around the sides? It's called candle tunneling, and it can certainly contribute to a wick that's out-of-reach. For tips on how to prevent candle tunneling, check out this helpful blog here.
Sometimes, even after our best efforts, a wick is just too short to light. It happens to the best of us! But not all hope is lost... If you've ever run into a stubborn wick that just won't ignite, here are some helpful tips for you.