The Importance of Wick Trimming

February 18, 2020

You undoubtedly take notice of your favourite fragrance when your candle is lit, but it is unlikely that you pay attention to your candle’s wick. This part of the candle plays a significant role, not only in the lighting of your candle to release the aroma, but also the life cycle of your candle.

Here are the reasons why it is important to regularly trim your wick and the best practices to follow.

Why You Should Trim Your Wick

There are two main reasons why trimming your wick is important:

Preventing Soot

The combustion process heavily relies on the condition of the wick. As the flame burns the scented candle wax, it is turned into odourless carbon dioxide and water vapour. If the wick is too long, the flame will be bigger and will perform incomplete combustion. This means that instead of producing carbon dioxide, it will produce carbon black, also known as soot. The soot will mark your candle jar, walls and ceiling and will produce a large amount of smoke.

Longer Lasting Candle

The longer the wick, the bigger the flame which we have established in the previous point. Not only does this produce soot, but it actually burns your candle at a faster rate than normal therefore making your candle’s life cycle shorter. Trimming your wick will make your candles last longer, meaning you will get to enjoy the fragrance for longer and it will save you money.

How to Correctly Trim Your Wick

You can use scissors or specialised wick trimmers to trim your wick. It is recommended that you trim it to between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch and this should be done every 4 hours of burn time.

After you blow out the flame, wait until the candle returns to room temperature before trimming the wick. You should then wait at least 2 hours before you light your candle again. Tealights and votive candles have shorter wicks so these will not need to be regularly trimmed, but still keep an eye on them.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your candle has the perfect glow. It will burn more evenly, and your wick will maintain its original shape.

Do I Need to Trim a New Candle Wick?

It is not likely that you will need to trim a new candle’s wick; the wick will usually be a suitable length to start with and incomplete combustion rarely occurs on the first light. If a new candle does produce soot, extinguish it immediately and trim it once it has cooled, relighting it afterwards. If it carries on, repeat this process until it stops.

What Happens If I Cut the Wick Too Short?

If you cut your wick too short, it will unfortunately make it harder to light and to stay lit. The best thing to do is to gently remove a little bit of the wax around the wick; make sure you reach the correct depth of between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch.

Scented Candle Advice from Illumens

At Illumens, we want to make sure that you get the most out of your favourite fragranced candles and trimming the wick contributes to this. If you have any other questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. Make sure you have a look around all of our scented candles while you’re here too!