My Candle Wick Is Too Short! How to Fix a Short Candle Wick
Candle Wick Too Short?
We've all been there. You've just finished cleaning or you're ready to set the mood. You head over to light up your favorite scented candle and you come to a sinking realization... Your favorite candle's wick is just too short to light.
Hitting that little nub over and over with a flame or lighter is going to get you nowhere... But does this mean that your candle done for? Not necessarily!
There are a few methods to try to rejuvenate that pesky too short candle wick.
Trim Your Wick!
Did you know that it's important to trim the wick of your candle before you light it? A candle wick should be somewhere between ⅛” and ¼” before it is lit. Obviously, this blog is about preventing short wicks, so be careful not to trim the wick too short right from the get go! You can always use some of the methods that we'll discuss later in this blog if that happens, but try your best to avoid it.
Jackpot Candles come in wood wick AND cotton wick varieties. Both of these wick types should be trimmed to the same length. Most individuals use a small pair of scissors or nail clippers to trim their wicks, but you can also invest in a specialized wick-trimming tool if you want the best for your candle burns.
For more tips on how to perfectly burn a wooden wick - check out this blog!
Melt The Top Layer of Wax Completely
Once the candle is lit, make sure you burn the candle for enough time that the top layer of wax melts completely. You can burn the candle for up to four hours, but you should extinguish the candle then (leaving a candle lit for more than 4 hours can cause the wax to overheat). By ensuring the top layer has completely melted, you'll avoid something known as "candle tunneling." You might recognize candle tunneling if you've ever seen a candle that has burned in a hole down the middle of the candle while leaving a hard ring of wax around the edges.
Believe it or not, candle wax has a memory. If you burn a candle and do not let it melt all the way across the top, it will continue to burn down where the first burn's diameter ended. Once this process occurs, it's pretty difficult to cancel out - and you'll end up wasting a bunch of wax in the long run! Not only will you get less burn time out of your candle, but this can also significantly affect the quality and life of your candle wick.
Last but not least, make sure the candle is in a safe and secure place, away from fans, windows, or drafts. Flickering candle flames can also cause an uneven burn, resulting in tunneling, excess soot production, or an extinguished candle (which is especially bad if the top layer of wax hasn't melted yet).
Be sure to always trim off the "lumpy bits" at the top of your candle wick - these bulbous growths will promote an uneven burn that flickers wildly. Ensuring your wick is neat and proper will result in a hassle-free and pleasant burn experience so that you get the most out of your scented candle.
How To Fix A Short Wick
Even if you've followed our aforementioned advice to a tee... You might still have a candle in your collection that needs a bit of wick-fixing. If your wick is too short and you'd like to attempt to salvage it, try some of these methods (depending on the status of your wick).
First, determine if you can still light the wick:
If you can light the wick - Light the wick and let the candle burn for approximately a half hour. Monitor the candle closely (keep it on your desk or next to your bed while you're awake). If the candle doesn't stay lit or it is having a hard time in general, extinguish the flame and remove some of the melted wax from the candle, either by pouring it out or soaking it up with a paper towel (melted wax is hot! Be careful not to burn yourself). Now that some of the was has been disposed of, light the wick again and let it burn for a similar amount of time. You'll want to let the candle burn until that first layer of wax is totally melted around the top of the candle (to prevent tunneling). Once you've achieved an even layer of melted wax around the wick, extinguish the candle and let the newly-melted wax cool around your now appropriately sized wick.
If you cannot light the wick - Find a tool like a hair dryer or a heat gun and use it to melt the wax around the candle wick (be careful, hair dryers can make quite a mess). Once enough wax has melted around the wick, pour it out onto a disposable surface and repeat the process until the wick is long enough to use. In a worst-case scenario, you can soften the top layer of wax using a lighter or hair dryer and use something like a spoon to scrape the top layer of wax off.
If the wick is submerged - It happens to the best of us! Sometimes a candle wick gets accidentally submerged in wax and then there simply isn't enough of the wick exposed to be efficiently lit. As with option number two, use a heat gun or other device to liquify the wax around the wick. Once you have effectively melted/softened the wax around the wick, use a tool like tweezers to gently pull the wick out of the wax - be VERY careful during this process, as wicks are often quite fragile and may snap or break! Once the wick has been lifted out of the wax, make sure it doesn't bend right back over as the wax cools! If your wick has this issue, it's probably too long - make sure that you trim it to the correct length before lighting it again.
Don't Let A Wick Get You Down!
A short wick isn't a big deal! Using these easy tips, you can save hours of your candle's burn time by rescuing a short wick from a dire situation. Good thing too, because Jackpot Candles need to be burned for hours in order to reveal their surprise - a foil-wrapped jewelry treat!
There is a surprise inside every one of our 100% soy wax creations! Our candles and bath bombs all come with a hidden, jewelry surprise. Each surprise will be valued anywhere from $15 to $5000!