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Why Won't My Wood Wick Candle Stay Lit? (And How to Fix It)

wood wick cotton wick flame care guide

We love the comforting crackle and flicker of wood wick candles. Not only do wood wicks burn cleaner than cotton wicks, our wood wicks are sourced from the U.S.A. However, if you're not used to them, they can be a little tricky to burn.

If you're struggling to keep your wood wick candle lit, don't worry! We've compiled a few tips and tricks to fix some common problems of wood wicks that won't stay lit.

1. How To Light Your Wood Wick Candle

The most important step is to light your wood wick correctly. Unlike a cotton wick, wood wicks can be long and require the entire wick to be lit to burn properly. When lighting your candle tilt it on an angle and let the flame travel across the length of the wick so the whole wick is burning evenly. 

It may take more than once to light your wick, especially on the first go. It's taken us 3-4 times to get a wick to stay lit. Your wick shouldn't produce smoke or soot if it is that means it needs to be trimmed.

2. The Wick is Too Long

Before sending out your candle, we trim our wicks to the optimal 1/8" length. What can happen sometimes from several failed attempts is that the wax around the wick has "tunneled" and the wick is too long to burn properly.

To Fix: Trim your wick and remove any burnt/charred bits

The wick is fueling the flame, it's the wax. The flame is drawing the wax upwards through the wick, so if it’s not trimmed short and clean, the wax can’t make it to the flame.

To trim, you can use wire cutters, nail clippers, or a wick trimmer! Be sure to wait until the wax and wick have cooled before trying to trim.

For trimming, we’ve always found an old set of nail clippers or wire cutters to work great.

Make sure to let your candle cool before trimming, as you don’t want any bits of ash or wick material left in the wax when you’re done. It’s much easier to clean this up when the wax is hard and cool.

3. Your Candle is Tunneling

Candle tunneling is when your candle wax doesn't melt evenly to the edge of the container and instead creates a tunnel around your wick

If your candle won’t stay lit because it's tunneling and is being put out by it's own wax pool, try using a paper towel or napkin to soak up some of the excess wax.

Wait for a minute or so, relight your candle, and repeat until your wick has room to breathe

If the above two won’t work, we’ve heard of people scraping out the wax near the edge of the jar, or even creating a little dome of aluminum foil around the rim of the container to help melt the hard wax at the edges.

4. I've Tried All These, but the Flame Keeps Going Out!

Check for any fans or drafts in the room you're in. Like lighting firewood, it can take a little bit for the flame to get strong enough to withstand things like a fan or large rushes of air.

Our Final Burning Tip

Once you're able to get your candle flame going, make sure to let your candle burn until it has reached the edge of the container. Soy wax is known for it's "memory burn" meaning that it will remember how it burned the first time, and continue to burn that way throughout it's lifetime. Not letting your candle burn for a complete melt pool can mean that your candle might continue to burn incorrectly.

More questions? Message us at!

If you have tried all of these tips and it still won't stay lit, email us at We want you to be able to enjoy your candle and will work with you to try and fix the issue.

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