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Why Trimming a Candle Wick Is Essential

Trimming a candle wick, known as ‘maintaining’ it, is an overlooked part of the candle-burning process. People often focus on the type of wick they choose while ignoring the importance of trimming and maintenance. 

The reality is that wick trimming is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable candle-burning experience. Understanding the basics of wick maintenance and how to trim a candle wick can help you get the most from your candles and avoid potential fire hazards.

How To Trim A Candle Wick

You can trim a wick using a specially designed pair of wick trimmers or hairdressing scissors.

Start by lighting the candle and allowing one full hour of burning to get an even wax pool. Blow out the flame completely before trimming the wick. Once the wax has melted, use the appropriate tool to cut the wick to 0.3 cm (1/8 inch) above the surface of the wax.

It’s important to note that wicking technology has made self-trimming modern wicks. The advantage of self-trimming wicks is that they are extremely easy and safe to use without needing additional maintenance. 

When trimming a candle wick, it is important not to cut it too short. If the wick is too short, the flame will be too small, and the candle will not burn properly. Additionally, it is important to ensure the wick is centred in the candle. If the wick is off-center, the candle will not burn evenly, creating an uneven wax pool.

Benefits Of Trimming Your Candle Wick

Regularly trimming your candle wick has numerous benefits, which include the following:

  • Preventing soot buildup on the glass jar and wall surfaces
  • Reducing the flame’s height and increasing the candle’s burn time
  • Eliminating excess smoke, splutters, crackles, and pops
  • Helping you to spread the fragrance throughout your living space
  • Trimming a wick helps to create a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere that everyone in the home can enjoy.
  • It safeguards against potential fire hazards.

Different Types Of Candle Wicks

There are many types of candle wicks available on the market today. These include wood, paper core, cotton, natural fiber, and specially designed self-trimming wicks. Each type has its own set of advantages, as well as potential drawbacks. For example, paper core wicks combust quickly, while cotton and natural fiber wicks provide a long burn time.

When choosing which type of wick is best for your candle, consider its size, shape, and other factors, such as melting point and burning time, before making your final selection.

It is also important to consider the type of wax you are using, as some waxes require a specific type of wick. For example, soy wax requires a wick with a larger diameter than paraffin wax. The scent you are using can also affect the type of wick you should choose, as some scents can cause the wick to burn too quickly.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Candle Wick

When it comes to selecting a candle wick, there are several factors that you should consider to ensure you pick a wick to ensure an optimal candle-burning experience. These include:

  • The size of the candle container
  • The type of wax used for the candle
  • The desired burn time and scent release
  • The amount of fragrance used in the wax
  • The desired flame height and strength

Tips for Optimizing Your Candle-Burning Experience

To make sure you get the most out of your candles, here are a few tips that you can follow:

  • Always read any warnings and instructions provided before lighting your candle.
  • Keep an eye on open flames; never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep candles away from flammable materials, and never put them too close to window treatments or draperies.
  • Always keep your candles away from children and pets.
  • Keep your candles away from external heat sources such as stoves and air vents.
  • Allow your candle to burn for at least 1 hour or until you have an even wax pool before extinguishing it.
  • Use a snuffer or candle extinguisher instead of blowing out the flame.

Best Practices For Extending The Life Of Your Candles

To ensure your candles last longer, here are several best practices that you should always follow:

  • Making sure to store and cover your candles when not in use properly.
  • Ensuring that your candles are not exposed to excessive moisture or heat.
  • Always trim your candle’s wick before each burn, following the instructions above.
  • Controlling how long you burn the candle at once. Most experts recommend that you don’t burn any one candle for more than 4 hours at a time.

96NORTH Premium Candles

96NORTH sells the best soy wax candles on the market. We have a wide variety of naturally-scented candles, such as Madagascar vanilla and tropical coconut, which can transform your home into a serene, relaxing landscape.

Allow our candles to carry you to distant countries, atmospheres, and settings. Embrace their fragrance and journey through the aroma of beautiful exotic beaches and jaw-dropping lush jungles. 

Allow the luxurious scents of 96NORTH’s candles to turn your house into a comfortable and relaxing home. Shop our selection of soy scented candles on our website.


Should you trim the wick on a candle?

Yes. Trimming your candle wick ensures the candle will burn evenly, ensuring there isn’t much wax residue. It also allows for a cleaner burn.

How often should you trim a candle wick?

You should trim your candle wick every four hours of burn time to ensure it burns evenly and you get the most out of your candle. 

Are you supposed to trim candle wicks before first use?

If the wick is larger than ⅛ inch when you buy it, you should trim it down to ⅛” to ensure it burns evenly. Try to trim your candle every four hours.