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Candles are an excellent way to add a soothing ambiance to any room. They can set the mood with a relaxing aroma, a flickering light, and even add a subtle crackle to your space if you're burning a wood wick. Candles give the look and feel of comfort and sophistication to any space - if you see a scented candle, you're sure to know that the room it's located in was meant to be lived-in.
Lighting a candle seems like it would be an easy thing to do... And while striking a match or flicking on a lighter is relatively simple, there is more to burning a candle successfully than just igniting the wick.
If you've ever noticed that your candle is burning a little too strongly (aka your flame is too high, flickering, or otherwise acting erratically), there's probably a simple solution for you. This blog hopes to answer the question, "Why Is My Candle Burning Too High?"
In order to figure out why your flame might be burning too high, it's important to understand how candles work on a scientific level.
When you light the wick of a candle, the high temperature of the flame melts the wax around it. In a process called "capillary action," the melted wax is drawn up the thin cotton wick and essentially becomes the fuel for the burning flame. As the wax is expended for fuel, it vaporizes. This vaporization releases the fragrant essential oils into the air - which will fill your room with the smell of your favorite aromas.
A nicely balanced process of capillary action will result in a smooth candle burn. If your candle is burning wildly, you probably just need to make a slight adjustment to your candle to get it back into equilibrium.
For a more scientific look at how candle science works - check out this blog: Candle Science: How Do Candles Work?
Even the best scented candles can have issues with a wild flame! You are looking for a medium-sized (a few inches at most), consistent flame that moves only subtly. If your candle flame looks a little "out of control," in any way, it could mean that the flame is burning a little too hot.
Some signs that your flame might be too hot: the height of the flame is very tall; it's growing and shrinking in size erratically; the flame is flickering consistently; or it is emitting black smoke. If you start to see any of these signs, snuff your candle immediately and let it cool off.
Not only is an erratic flame considered a fire hazard, you are probably also significantly lowering the life of your candle. There is definitely a proper way to burn your candles - learn how to make your candles last longer here.
Once your candle has cooled down, it's ready to be fixed.
There are two likely scenarios to explain why a candle might be burning too hot. First (and less likely) is a manufacturing error. Wicks that are too big, too wide, or installed improperly may cause your candle to burn too bright. This is mostly an issue with lower-quality candles, and if this is the case, it might be worth simply replacing the candle
Note: you'll never experience this with Jackpot Candles products - our candles are made with high-quality, pre-measured wicks for a perfect wick experience.
More than likely, your wick is just too long. If you notice some "mushrooming" or "flowering" at the end of your wick, this is a tell-tale sign that your wick is just a bit too lengthy. The ideal wick length is 1/4", so take a pair of nail clippers or a wick trimmer and snip your wick to that length. You may have to re-trim the wick every time you light it, but ensuring your wick is at 1/4" is a good way to enjoy a clean, controlled burn every time.
Do you have the opposite problem? Is your candle wick too short? Check out this blog on how to fix a candle when the wick is too short.
Having a tough time reaching the wick in the bottom of the jar? Here's a blog on how to light a wick that's hard to reach.
Wooden wicks are amazing, but they require a slightly different approach than their cotton-wicked contemporaries. Check out this Wooden Wick Guide for more info on how to get the perfect crackle!
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