Wooden Wick Candles

Tips For Burning Wooden Wick Candles

Wood wick candles burn a little differently than traditional cotton wick candles, however you can use these tips to extend your candle life by keeping it burning evenly.


For a wooden wick candle, it is recommended that you trim your candle to 1/8" prior to lighting.  It may seem like this amount is too short, but the important thing to remember is that the melted wax is the fuel and a wick that is too long won't be able to absorb enough wax to reach the flame to keep it burning.  Also, when a wick is trimmed, much of the black charred part of the wick from a previous burn is removed allowing it to stay lit easier.  Too much char on the end of the wick can also cause the wick to not stay lit.

You can trim wooden wicks using a wick trimmer (available from our online store here: Wick Trimmer, or if you do not have a wick trimmer, old fingernail clippers will also work.  Scissors will work in a pinch but it may be difficult to reach into the container as the candle burns deeper into a container.  It is best to trim the wick once the candle has cooled and wax has hardened.  This makes it easier to clean up any trimmings or charred bits that fall onto the wax by simply tipping the candle and dumping the charred pieces out of the candle container.


Each container candle will have a "wax memory" that develops as the candle burns.  It is important that during the first candle burn that the wax melt pool reaches the edges of the container.  It may take 1-2 hours for the wax to fully melt to the edges of the container so it is good to plan ahead for your first burn.  If the candle wax is not allowed to melt to the edges of the container, it can develop a depression or "tunnel" around the wick.  This will make it difficult for the wax around the edges of the container to melt and the tunnel will continue.  As the candle continues to burn and the tunnel gets deeper, it allows for less oxygen to pass over the candle wick and can cause the wick to not stay lit.

If you are already seeing tunneling in you candle, see below for tips to fix it.


If your candle has already started to tunnel, do not throw it away!  These tips may help salvage a candle which has already started to burn unevenly.

If your candle will stay it, let it burn long and slow until the wax pool fully forms all the way to the edges of the jar.  With a candle that has a low flame due to tunneling already being present, this may take a while, but it will be the easiest way to "reset" that wax memory and start fresh with a fresh, level surface.

If your candle will not stay lit due to the wick drowning in wax, light the candle and when the candle flame dies out, carefully use a paper towel to absorb some of the melted wax by dipping it into the wax melt pool.  You may have to do this several times until enough wax has been absorbed that the candle will stay lit.  Once the candle stays lit, you should be able to let it burn until the wax fully reaches the edges of the container which will allow the candle to burn evenly next time it is lit.

If you are still having issues with tunneling and cannot get the wax around the very edges of the container to melt, you can also remove some wax around the edges of the container using a spoon.  This may help if the tunneling is already very bad and your flame will not melt out to the edges of the container no matter how long you burn.  This would be a last resort, as you are going to be removing wax and shortening the life of your candle.  Most of the time, the first two options will allow for the candle to even itself out.


A wooden wick lights a little differently than a cotton wick.  For best results, tilt the container slightly as you are lighting the wick which will allow the flame to climb along the full width of the wick as it's being lit.  Think of it like a match, which you would tilt after you light to cause the flame to grow.

As you can see, a wooden wick candle isn't much different than a cotton wick candle, however following these tips will hopefully eliminate the headache of a candle not burning properly and allow you to enjoy the full life of the candle enjoying a clean, even burn and a strong scent.

If you have any other questions about your candle purchase, please contact us at support@littlestumpcandles.com.