Why Your Wood Wick Candle Won't Stay Lit

Why won't my candle stay lit?

Wood wick candles are all the hype these days and make for a super cozy mood with their crackling wicks. But, they can be a little tricky to burn if you’re not used to them! Here are some tips to get the most out of your candle: 

1. The first burn is the most important

Did you know candles have a “memory?” The way you burn a candle the first time determines how the candle burns for the rest of its life! On the first burn, ensure you allow enough time (2-4 hours) to let the wax melt all the way to the edge of the vessel. If this doesn’t occur, something called “tunneling” can happen where a tunnel will essentially form, making it difficult for the wax around the wick to fully melt. At times, the tunnel can become too deep for the wick to “breathe,” and the candle will have trouble staying lit. 

Noticing a bit of wax "hang up" on the edge of the tin even though you've burned the candle for 4 hours on the first burn?  It's normal for soy wax! The wax will melt down and correct itself as the candle gets hotter over time.


Tunneling can be difficult to fix, but if it happens you can try these tricks:

  • If the wick is able to stay lit and tunnel isn’t too deep, let it burn for 4 hours to let all the tunneled wax hang up melt down and “reset” the memory of the candle. Flame height may dwindle but so long as it stays lit, let it burn! A great tip is to wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the edges of the vessel and allow the candle to burn long enough to melt the wax to the edge of the vessel. Make sure to leave an opening in the center so the wick still has oxygen. The aluminum foil helps hold in enough heat to help reset your candle quicker.
  • If the candle won’t stay lit because it is “drowning” in the wax (maybe the wick was trimmed too short), you can use a paper towel to soak up excess melted wax to allow more room for the wick to breathe. Be sure to blow the candle out before using a paper towel to soak wax.


2. Trim your wick before every relight!

For best burn results, make sure to keep your wick trimmed to 1/8”- 1/16" and always make sure you're burning the candle between 2-4 hours at a time. You can trim the wick by breaking off the charred part of the wick with Kleenex or paper towel! We also sell wick trimmers if you prefer to use those!


Other things to remember…

  • Never burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time! It reduces the life of the candle as your flame may become larger after long periods of burning time. If you wish to burn your candle for longer, blow your candle out, trim your wick, be careful not to get any wick material in the wax, and re-light. This will help to have better control of flame size. Burning your candle for very long periods of time will also make the vessel very hot and may pose a potential fire hazard.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Light candle away from anything flammable and on a temperature safe surface, always.
  • It’s time for a new candle when about 1/2” of wax is remaining! Do not burn the candle further because the vessel may get too hot and may pose a potential fire hazard.