Illuminate Your World

Why Won’t My Homemade Candle Stay Lit




An image showing a frustrated individual holding a homemade candle, surrounded by a dimly lit room

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Have you ever experienced the frustration of lighting a homemade candle, only to watch it flicker out moments later? It’s as if the flame has a mind of its own, refusing to stay lit no matter how much you coax it.

It’s a perplexing situation, much like trying to tame a wild horse that constantly evades your grasp. But fear not, for I am here to shed light on this puzzling phenomenon and guide you towards the solution.

In this article, we will delve into the intricate world of homemade candles and unravel the secrets behind their refusal to stay lit. From the choice of wax to the temperature at which you pour the candle, every detail plays a crucial role in ensuring a steady flame.

We will explore the importance of selecting the right wick, properly scenting the candle, and the impact of drafts and airflow. Additionally, we will discuss troubleshooting techniques and common candle issues, while encouraging you to experiment and learn from your experiences.

So, grab your apron and let’s embark on this enlightening journey to discover why your homemade candle won’t stay lit and how to fix it.

Key Takeaways

  • The choice of wax is important for a homemade candle to stay lit, with soy wax being ideal for container candles and beeswax or paraffin being better for pillar candles.
  • The size of the wick is crucial, as a wick that is too small won’t draw up enough wax and a wick that is too large can cause excessive smoke.
  • Properly scenting the candle is important, as using too much fragrance oil can weaken the flame and using too little may result in a lack of fragrance.
  • Paying attention to environmental factors like drafts, temperature, and humidity can help create an optimal environment for homemade candles to stay lit longer.

Choose the Right Wax

If you want your homemade candle to stay lit, you need to make sure you’re using the right wax for the job. Choosing alternative waxes can greatly improve the burn time and overall performance of your candle. Understanding different wax properties is key to selecting the right one.

There are several alternatives to traditional paraffin wax that you can consider. Soy wax, for example, is a popular choice among candle makers because it burns slower and cleaner than paraffin. It also has a lower melting point, which means it will burn evenly and prevent the formation of unsightly craters. Beeswax is another great option as it has a natural honey scent and burns even slower than soy wax.

When choosing your wax, consider the size and shape of your candle. For container candles, a softer wax like soy is preferred as it adheres well to the container walls. For pillar candles, harder waxes like beeswax or paraffin are better suited. Additionally, pay attention to the melting point of the wax. Lower melting point waxes are ideal for candles that will be burned for shorter periods of time.

Now that you know how to choose the right wax, let’s move on to the next step: using the proper wick.

Use the Proper Wick

To ensure a successful burn, it’s crucial to use the right wick for your DIY candle. The wick size plays a significant role in how well your candle will burn.

If the wick is too small, it won’t be able to draw up enough wax to keep the flame going. On the other hand, if the wick is too large, it can cause the flame to be too big and produce excessive smoke. It’s important to find the right balance by selecting a wick size that matches the diameter of your candle.

In addition to wick size, you may also want to consider alternative wick materials. While cotton wicks are commonly used, other materials like hemp or wood can offer unique burning characteristics. Hemp wicks, for example, tend to burn slower and produce a more consistent flame. Wood wicks, on the other hand, create a crackling sound reminiscent of a cozy fireplace.

Properly scented the candle is the next step in creating the perfect homemade candle.

Properly Scented the Candle

Make sure you choose the right fragrance for your DIY candle to create an enchanting aroma that will transport you to a world of cozy memories. When it comes to properly scenting homemade candles, there are a few common mistakes that can prevent your candle from staying lit and emitting a pleasant fragrance. One important factor to consider is the amount of fragrance oil you use. Adding too much can lead to a weak flame and poor scent throw, while using too little may result in a lack of fragrance altogether. It’s best to follow the recommended fragrance load for the type of wax you are using. Additionally, be mindful of the type of fragrance oil you choose. Some oils are not meant for candle making and can cause issues with the wick, such as clogging or mushrooming. Always use fragrance oils specifically designed for candle making. To help you choose the right fragrance for your candle, refer to the table below:

Fragrance Type Best for
Essential oils Natural scent enthusiasts
Fragrance oils Wide variety of scents available

By properly scenting your homemade candles, you can ensure a beautiful and long-lasting aroma. Now, let’s transition into the next section about pouring the candle at the right temperature.

Pour the Candle at the Right Temperature

When pouring your candle, it’s crucial to ensure that the wax is at the correct temperature for optimal results. Proper pouring technique and temperature control play a significant role in the success of your homemade candle.

The first step is to heat the wax to its melting point, usually around 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of wax you’re using. It’s important not to exceed this temperature as it can affect the fragrance and the overall quality of your candle.

Once the wax has melted, allow it to cool slightly to a pouring temperature of around 130-150 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range ensures that the wax is still hot enough to bind with the fragrance and other additives, but cool enough to prevent the scent from evaporating too quickly. Pouring at the right temperature also helps to prevent issues such as cracking, frosting, and poor scent throw.

To maintain the proper pouring temperature, you can use a thermometer or a temperature-controlled melting pot. This’ll help you achieve consistent results with each candle you make. So, by carefully controlling the temperature and following proper pouring techniques, you can ensure that your candle has the best chance of staying lit and providing a wonderful scent throughout your space.

Now, let’s move on to the next step: avoiding drafts and airflow to maximize the burn time of your homemade candle.

Avoid Drafts and Airflow

Avoiding drafts and airflow is like shielding your candle’s flame with a protective barrier, ensuring a longer and more consistent burn time. To prevent flickering and keep your homemade candle lit, here are some important tips:

  • Choose a stable candle holder: Use a sturdy candle holder, like a glass jar or metal container, to provide stability and reduce the risk of the flame being extinguished by accidental knocks or movements.

  • Place the candle away from open windows or fans: Avoid placing your candle near open windows or fans that create drafts and disturb the flame. Keep it away from these sources of airflow to minimize the chances of it getting blown out.

  • Avoid placing the candle near air vents or high-traffic areas: Air vents can cause drafts, and high-traffic areas can create sudden bursts of air that easily extinguish the flame. Find a calm and secluded spot for your candle to ensure a steady burn.

  • Close doors and windows: If it’s a windy day, close doors and windows to reduce the amount of airflow in the room, providing a more stable environment for your candle.

  • Use a candle snuffer: When it’s time to extinguish the candle, use a snuffer instead of blowing it out to prevent any sudden gusts of air from extinguishing the flame.

By following these guidelines and creating a draft-free environment, you can enjoy a longer-lasting burn for your homemade candle. Speaking of maintenance, another important step is to regularly trim the wick to ensure optimal burning conditions.

Trim the Wick Regularly

Ensuring regular trimming of the wick contributes to the optimal burning conditions for your homemade candle. Wick maintenance is an essential aspect of candle safety and can greatly affect the performance of your candle.

When a wick is too long, it can create a large flame that burns too hot, causing the candle to melt unevenly and potentially producing excessive smoke. On the other hand, a wick that is too short may result in a small flame that struggles to stay lit.

To properly trim the wick, you’ll need a pair of scissors or a wick trimmer. It’s recommended to trim the wick to about 1/4 inch before each burn. This length allows the flame to burn steadily and evenly, providing a longer and cleaner burn for your candle.

Regularly trimming the wick also helps to prevent the wick from mushrooming, which is when the tip of the wick becomes larger and can lead to excess soot and smoke.

By maintaining the wick at the appropriate length, you’re ensuring the longevity and safety of your homemade candle. Now that you’ve learned about wick maintenance, let’s move on to the next step: burning the candle for the right amount of time.

Burn the Candle for the Right Amount of Time

When it comes to burning a candle, it’s important to follow the recommended burn time guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Burning a candle for too long can lead to excessive heat and potentially damage the container or cause the wax to melt unevenly.

Additionally, it’s crucial to allow the candle to cool completely between uses to ensure a safe and efficient burn. By adhering to these guidelines, you can enjoy a longer-lasting and more enjoyable candle experience.

Follow the Recommended Burn Time Guidelines

To maintain a steady flame, it’s important to adhere to the recommended burn time guidelines for your homemade candle. By following these guidelines, you can extend the candle’s burn time and prevent wax tunneling, which is when the candle burns straight down the middle, leaving a tunnel of wax around the wick. To help you understand the recommended burn times, here is a table that provides some general guidelines for different candle sizes:

Candle Size Burn Time
Small 2-3 hours
Medium 3-4 hours
Large 4-6 hours
Extra Large 6-8 hours

By following these guidelines, you allow the wax to melt evenly across the entire surface of the candle, ensuring a longer burn time and preventing tunneling. Remember, it’s crucial to avoid burning the candle for too long, as this can lead to safety hazards and diminish the overall quality of the candle’s performance.

Avoid Burning the Candle for Too Long

Make sure you don’t let the candle burn for too long, as it can pose safety risks and diminish the overall quality of its performance. Proper burning time management is crucial to prevent overheating and ensure a long-lasting, well-functioning homemade candle.

When a candle is burned for an extended period, the wax can become excessively hot, leading to a higher risk of fire hazards. Additionally, prolonged burning can cause the wick to become too long, resulting in a larger flame that may produce smoke and soot.

By following the recommended burn time guidelines and extinguishing the candle before it burns for too long, you can maintain a safe and enjoyable candle-burning experience.

Now, let’s explore another important aspect of candle care: allowing the candle to cool completely between uses.

Allow the Candle to Cool Completely Between Uses

Properly pausing and patiently waiting for your candle to cool completely between uses is paramount for its preservation and performance. Not only does allowing the candle to cool down ensure safety, but it also maximizes the benefits of using homemade candles.

Here are some reasons why cooling your candle is essential:

  • Candle safety precautions: Allowing the candle to cool prevents accidental fires and potential injuries.
  • Preserves the candle’s fragrance: Cooling down the candle helps retain its scent, ensuring a long-lasting and enjoyable experience.
  • Avoids tunneling: Allowing the candle to cool completely prevents tunneling, where the wax burns unevenly and creates a hole in the middle.
  • Extends the candle’s lifespan: Proper cooling between uses helps the candle burn more evenly and last longer.
  • Saves money: By avoiding premature burning, you can get the most out of your homemade candle and save money in the long run.

To store the candle properly, it’s important to follow certain guidelines.

Store the Candle Properly

Storing your homemade candle correctly ensures that it stays lit for longer periods of time. One important factor to consider is the temperature at which you store your candle. Extreme temperatures can cause the wax to melt or solidify, which can affect the candle’s ability to stay lit. It’s best to store your candle in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. This will help maintain the integrity of the wax and ensure optimal burning conditions.

Another crucial aspect of proper candle storage is the container in which it’s stored. It’s advisable to store your candle in a container that’s specifically designed for candles. These containers are typically made of heat-resistant materials that can withstand the heat generated by the burning candle. They often have lids or covers that can help protect the candle from dust and other contaminants.

By storing your homemade candle in the right temperature and container, you can maximize its burn time and ensure that it stays lit for longer. Now, let’s move on to troubleshoot and fix common candle issues so you can enjoy your homemade candles to the fullest.

Troubleshoot and Fix Common Candle Issues

When it comes to troubleshooting common candle issues, I’ve learned a thing or two.

One common problem is tunneling, where the candle burns down the center, leaving wax on the sides.

Another issue is smoking, which can be caused by a variety of factors such as a wick that’s too long or impurities in the wax.

Lastly, uneven burning can occur when the candle isn’t properly centered or if there are drafts in the room.


Unfortunately, my homemade candle keeps tunneling instead of burning properly. Tunneling occurs when the candle burns straight down in a narrow tunnel, leaving a lot of wax on the sides.

To prevent tunneling, make sure to trim the wick to a proper length of about 1/4 inch before each use. Also, let the candle burn long enough for the wax to melt all the way to the edges, which helps prevent tunneling in future burns. Avoid burning the candle for short periods of time, as this can contribute to tunneling.

If you’re troubleshooting tunneling, try wrapping aluminum foil around the candle to reflect heat towards the outer edges. Additionally, using a heat-resistant jar can help distribute heat more evenly.

Now, let’s move on to the next section about ‘smoking’.


To prevent smoking, you should ensure that you trim the wick to a proper length before each use and let the candle burn long enough for the wax to melt all the way to the edges. Trimming the wick to around ¼ inch will help prevent excessive smoke and soot. When the wick is too long, it can produce too much flame, causing the candle to smoke. Additionally, allowing the wax to melt to the edges of the container will help prevent tunneling, which can contribute to smoking. By following these steps, you can minimize smoke and soot, creating a cleaner and more enjoyable burning experience. Now, let’s move on to the next section about uneven burning.

Uneven Burning

Ensure your candle burns evenly for a longer-lasting and more beautiful glow. To prevent tunneling and promote even burning, follow these simple tips:

  • Trim the wick: Before each use, trim the wick to about 1/4 inch. This helps control the flame and prevents smoking.

  • Avoid drafts: Place your candle away from any drafts or air vents. A steady flame ensures an even burn.

  • Let it burn: Allow the candle to burn for at least two hours during the first use. This helps establish an even wax pool and prevents tunneling.

By following these steps, you can prevent tunneling and smoking, ensuring your homemade candle provides a consistent and beautiful glow. Experiment and learn from experience to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Experiment and Learn from Experience

Although it may be frustrating, experimenting and learning from experience is key in understanding why your homemade candle won’t stay lit. One important aspect to consider is the type of wax you’re using. Different waxes have different melting points and burn rates, which can affect how well your candle stays lit.

By experimenting with different waxes, you can find the one that works best for your homemade candles.

Another factor to explore is learning from your failed attempts. Take note of any patterns or common issues that arise when your candles won’t stay lit. Are you using the wrong wick size? Are you adding too many additives or fragrances to the wax? By keeping a record of your failed attempts and analyzing the possible causes, you can make adjustments and improve your candle-making skills.

In addition, it’s essential to pay attention to the environment in which you’re burning your candles. Factors such as drafts, temperature, and humidity can all impact the burn time of your candles. By experimenting with different locations or adjusting the conditions in your space, you can find the optimal environment for your homemade candles to stay lit longer.

Don’t get discouraged if your homemade candle won’t stay lit. Embrace the opportunity to experiment with different waxes, learn from your failed attempts, and adjust the environmental conditions. With time and experience, you’ll become more knowledgeable about candle-making and be able to create candles that stay lit beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my homemade candle burn longer?

To make my homemade candle burn longer, I need to focus on two key aspects: candle wick maintenance and selecting the right wax. Properly trimming the wick to about ¼ inch before each use ensures a more even burn and prevents excessive smoke. Choosing a wax with a higher melting point, like soy or beeswax, allows for a slower burn rate. These adjustments will help maximize the burn time of my homemade candle for a more enjoyable experience.

What can I do if my homemade candle is producing excessive smoke?

To troubleshoot excessive smoke and prevent soot buildup in your homemade candle, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure your wick is properly trimmed to about ¼ inch in length. This’ll help the flame burn cleanly and prevent excessive smoke.

Additionally, ensure that your candle isn’t placed in a drafty area, as this can cause the flame to flicker and produce more smoke.

Finally, consider using high-quality, clean-burning wax and fragrance oils to minimize smoke production.

Why does my homemade candle have a weak scent throw?

To improve the fragrance of your homemade candle, troubleshooting the wick is essential. First, make sure the wick is properly centered and trimmed to about ¼ inch. A longer wick can cause a weak scent throw.

Additionally, check if the wick is made of the correct material for your candle wax. For example, cotton wicks are best for soy wax. Experiment with different wick sizes and materials to find the perfect combination for a stronger scent throw.

How can I prevent my homemade candle from tunneling?

To prevent tunneling in homemade candles and troubleshoot wick issues, there are a few key steps to follow.

First, make sure you’re using the correct size and type of wick for your candle’s container. Trim the wick to about ¼ inch before each use to promote an even burn.

Additionally, allow your candle to burn long enough for the wax to melt evenly across the entire surface. These steps will help prevent tunneling and ensure a consistent burn.

What should I do if my homemade candle develops a crack or sinkhole in the middle?

If your homemade candle develops a crack or sinkhole in the middle, don’t worry, there are ways to fix it.

To repair cracks in candles, you can melt some additional wax of the same color and pour it into the crack.

For sinkholes, you can use a heat gun or hairdryer to carefully melt the wax around the hole and level it.

Remember to always follow safety precautions when troubleshooting homemade candle problems.


After experimenting and troubleshooting with homemade candles, I’ve discovered that there are several key factors to consider in order to maintain a consistently lit candle. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Choose the right wax and wick.
  • Properly scent and pour the candle.
  • Avoid drafts and airflow.
  • Burn the candle for the right amount of time.
  • Store the candle properly.

By following these guidelines and learning from experience, you’ll be able to create a candle that burns brilliantly, creating an enchanting ambiance that’ll captivate your senses.

About the author

Latest posts

  • How To Find Charmander Candy

    How To Find Charmander Candy

    As I walked through the bustling streets of my town, a familiar warmth radiated from my pocket. It was my trusty Pokémon companion, Charmander, nestled safely within its Pokéball. But as much as I cherished my fiery friend, I couldn’t help but yearn for more of that precious Charmander candy. It was the key to…

    Read more

  • How To Get Candle Wax Out Of A Blanket

    How To Get Candle Wax Out Of A Blanket

    Have you ever experienced the frustration of spilling candle wax on your favorite blanket? It’s as if time stands still as the molten wax seeps into the delicate fabric, leaving an unsightly stain behind. But fear not, for I have discovered a magical technique that will restore your blanket to its former glory. Think of…

    Read more

  • How To Get Candle Wax Off A Tablecloth

    How To Get Candle Wax Off A Tablecloth

    Have you ever experienced the frustration of spilling candle wax on your favorite tablecloth? I know I have, and let me tell you, it can be a real headache to remove. But fear not! I’m here to share with you a foolproof method to get that stubborn wax off your tablecloth and restore it to…

    Read more