Why Do My Homemade Candles Not Burn? (6 Reasons)

Last Updated on 25.11.2022

Why Do My Homemade Candles Not Burn?

Do you have an uncooperative handmade candle that refuses to burn or remain lit? You put your heart and soul into producing the candles. But regrettably, this occurs far more frequently than you may believe for various reasons.

The most common cause of handmade candles not burning is faulty wicks. It might be too short of burning over the molten wax, or your wick got stuck in a tunnel and no longer has access to air. It’s also possible that you light your wick incorrectly.

A candle that won’t burn might be irritating if you start candle manufacturing at home. Continue reading to undo some of the faults that caused your candle to go out.

1. Wick Size & Length

It doesn’t matter if you have a homemade or commercial candle; the wick size is critical for a properly burning candle. If you leave it too long, it will turn into a massive, strong flame.

Of course, this is appealing to the eye, but it can not only produce black smoke, but it may also cause your wax to burn unevenly, burning through your candle much faster and eventually causing it to extinguish.

If you make it too short, your candle will not remain lit and will eventually burn out.

Carving the wax away from the candle’s edge is a simple and quick solution (to have an even surface). Of course, you should strive to keep your hair as short as possible. While carving out the wax may appear simple, it may rapidly become a disaster!

The diameter of the container or jar you wish to use will determine your required size. Despite the fact that most wicks will provide a radius description, you will still need to test it.

Because there are so many different types of wax and fragrance oils, you’ll require a hotter burn if your fragrance’s flashpoint and specific gravity are high. If the wick has a low flash point and specific gravity, you can use a smaller one.

2. Wick Not Trimmed

You have read about how wick size affects candle burning previously, but this is another reason your candle isn’t burning correctly. Many people avoid trimming because they believe it is unnecessary.

However, if you want the best burn, you’ll need to trim.

  • If you don’t, and your wick isn’t the appropriate size or thickness, you may have tunneling (which we’ll talk about later), or your candle won’t remain lit.
  • If you’re using a professional wick, there’s usually no need to trim it before the first burn.
  • If you’re creating your own and aren’t experienced with candle-making, you may wind up with the improper wick size, in which case your candle will require trimming. It has been spoken about the appropriate wick size, but depending on the size of the wax and the vessel, you may need to cut it down.

Trimming the burn period every few hours after the first burn is also advised. Extinguish the candle and allow it cool to room temperature before trimming it to 1/8′′ and relighting it.

A wire cutter or nail clipper is an excellent tool for trimming. If you don’t have one of the first two, you can attempt using scissors, but be careful since they can slip.

3. Drowning in A Puddle of Wax

Drowning candlewicks were stated before, but your wick might drown for various reasons.

Tunneling, adding far too many additives, utilizing a wick that is too small for the container, or pouring your candle wax up too high are all possible reasons.

The solutions to these issues are rather simple.

  • You alter the right amount that is indicated if you are employing too many additives.
  • If your wick is too tiny, go to the preceding section to choose the proper wick size for the correct container.
  • If it’s too late and you’ve already prepared the candle and see it’s drowning, absorb the melted wax with a paper towel.

However, if your wick is not adjusted in the end, you will not solve your problem; therefore, this is only a temporary solution.

4. Tunneling

Tunneling can occur even if you are a skilled candlemaker or have purchased an expensive high-quality candle. This is a fairly common problem faced by all candle enthusiasts.

Tunneling is the name when your candle only burns through the center, leaving the hard wax around the edges, resulting in a tunnel-like form. Your candle becomes increasingly difficult to ignite as the flame channels down the center.

This occurs when the wick does not receive enough air to burn steadily, causing it to drown in the wax and eventually extinguish the candle.

If you run into this situation, a few options are available. Мore information Here.

tunneling candels
Avoid tunneling with foil.

5. You Are Lighting Your Wooden Wick Incorrectly

If you used a wood wick in your DIY candle, you’d need to ignite it differently from the others. You’ll likely have to try multiple times before it starts to burn. So don’t be concerned.

The heat from the wick will need to pull some wax through the wooden wick before it starts to burn smoothly. Try it one at a time; the lighting and burning will become simpler as you go.

6. The Wood Wick Is Excessively Long

Aside from the flooding issue, an excessively long wick can prevent your candle from burning or lighting. This issue is unique to you if you’re using a hardwood wick. It will also not burn if the trim is required to remove the burnt material.

Always remember that the wax, not the wood, is responsible for the candle’s flame. The wick of the wack is drawn upwards by the flame. As a result, if the wick is not properly trimmed and maintained short, the wax will not reach the flame.


To sum up, it’s easy to get pulled into the pleasurable process of trying out different candle smells when manufacturing them. The processes of wax melting and cooling are fascinating. Because of these characteristics, many people find it simple to skip through the wick-placing stage of the procedure.

The wick looks like frosting on the cake, and it’s a simple finishing step. It is, but skimming through it based on what we’ve learned might be frustrating after a fantastic candle-making experience.

Make sure your wick is the proper length, and think about the material and type of wick you want to use. Also, figure out what wick proportion and size to utilize for the size of the candle you’re producing. Finally, give that initial burn some time and patience.

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