Why Won’t My Woodwick Candle Stay Lit?

Keep your crackle candle lit

Why is it that every time I try to light my woodwick candle, the darn thing goes out? Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? I’ve tried lighting it from different angles, and even going so far as to hold the flame to the wick for what seems like an eternity, but still no luck. It’s starting to feel like this candle just doesn’t want to keep lit. But why? Well, the answer is that crackle wick candles can be notoriously tricky to burn.

Don’t worry, in this article we’ve highlighted the main reasons that your candle might not be staying lit & how to tackle them!

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Why won’t my wood wick candle stay lit? (Trim your wick!)

If your wooden wick candle keeps going out, there are a few reasons that might be happening and there are a few things you never have to say “my candle won’t stay lit” or it “won’t work”!

First, make sure the wick is trimmed to about 1/4 inch. If the wick is too long, it will be difficult to keep the candle lit. It’s actually such a common issue we’ve written a full blog on the topic of trimming your wooden wick.

Second, check the surrounding area for drafts. If there is a draft, it can cause the candle to go out.

Finally, make sure you are using a lighter or matches to light the candle – if you use a stove top or other heat source, it can damage the wick and cause it to go out.

Preparing a wooden candle wick

There might be another reason that your wood wick candle keeps going out, and it’s all in the preparation.

When you first receive your wood wick candle, or if you’ve had it for a while and it’s been sitting, the wood wick may need to be prepared before you try to light it. This is because the wood may have absorbed moisture from the air, making it difficult to light.

To prepare the wood wick, clean off any burnt wood and hold a lighter or match close to the wood (but not touching it) and let the heat of the flame dry out the wood for a few seconds. You should see some sparks coming off the wood – this is normal. Once you’ve done this, the wood should be ready to light.

What is candle tunneling? (Your wick was trimmed too short!)

Your previous burn of the candle it may have been staying lit but the wax wasn’t melting evenly, you may have experienced what’s called candle “tunneling”, and this can cause issues when you come to re-use your candle as the sides are full of melted wax that drips onto the flame and hence your candle will have trouble staying lit.

This happens when the wood wick doesn’t get hot enough to melt the soy wax around the wick, so it starts to tunnel down through the wax instead. You can avoid this by making sure the wood wick is trimmed to the proper length and by regularly lighting the candle until the molten wax reaches the edge of the container. To rescue the candle you can also try reheating the wax with a hair dryer on low heat until it melts evenly across the surface.

How to prevent candle tunneling

Preventing candle tunneling is pretty straight forward and it’s all about ensuring that the wood wick is trimmed to the proper length, which we have spoken about previously in this article, you also need to ensure that the candle is regularly lit and for a long enough duration to start melting all the wax.

Tips for lighting a wood wick candle

Lighting a wood wick candle is a bit different than lighting traditional cotton wicks, and slightly harder, after all you are lighting wood. The trick is mostly to give your candle enough time to form a full flame!

  1. Use a lighter or match to ignite the tip of the wick (we would recommend a lighter as it does take a little bit longer to catch a light).
  2. Hold the flame to the wick for 15-20 seconds to ensure it is lit.
  3. Allow the candle to burn for at least 30 minutes, so that the wax melts evenly across the surface of the candle.

Most of the time it should be that easy, although you might have to make sure that the whole wick is burning evenly. Most of the time, if you are having issues lighting your wooden wick, it’s because it wasn’t burnt properly or for long enough previously – so before you relight your candle always make sure that you have followed the previous instructions in this post, such as trimming your candle wick.

Our Conclusion

That dreaded flicker of wood wick candles and ultimately it extinguishing can be for a few main reasons. To get your candle up to scratch and burning, it usually boils down to three main issues you’ll need to overcome.  Firstly when you are lighting it, allow your candle enough time to actually catch a strong flame – it takes longer to light a wooden wick. Secondly, make sure your wick is trimmed correctly, keep your wood wick at 1/4 inch. Finally keep your candle burning for at least 30 minutes to prevent candle tunneling and you should have no issues!

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