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How to Keep Wood-Wick Candles Lit

The Candle Issue, Willow and Sage. Dec 2022.



There is no denying the coziness that comes from using a wood-wick candle. The crackle and flicker of it as it burns creates quite the ambiance; however wood wicks can be quite unreliable. They burn differently than cotton Wicks so it's helpful to know a couple of tricks to help keep them lit.


  1. Make sure the wick isn't too long. A wood wick should be trimmed to a length of 1/8 to 1/2 inches. If it's too long it is difficult for the wick to pull up the wax and the flame will go out.

  2. Let the candle burn long enough on its first burn so the wax melts across the top of the entire candle. Doing this prevents tunneling, which is when the wax begins to melt downward but not outward. This may take a while so only light a new candle when you have a couple of hours to spare.

  3. Trim the wick before each burn to ensure it is the proper length as well as to remove any possible soot or ash.

  4. Should your candle start tunneling, extinguish the flame and use a paper towel to soak up any excess wax. Relight the candle and repeat until the wax has melted across the entire candle. There is no denying the coziness that comes from using a wood-wick candle.

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