Does trimming your candle wick even matter?

Is it important to trim candle wicks?

First thing first: what is a wick? A candle wick is the string-like part in the center of a candle that you light.

If you're a candle lover (or if you've been following our socials), chances are you've heard someone tell you to trim your wick #trimyourwick. Trimming your candle wick regularly might seem like a minor task, but it plays a significant role in preserving the quality of your candles and ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience. Here at Wick Guru we're big advocates for trimming your and in this article we will explain why trimming your wick is important.

  1. Enhances Safety: One of the most important reasons to trim your candle wick is safety. Over time, a candle's wick tends to become longer and develop a mushroom-shaped tip. When lit, an excessively long wick can produce a larger, flickering flame that dances more unpredictably. This increases the risk of the flame reaching the candle's container or nearby objects, potentially causing a fire hazard. By regularly trimming the wick to a quarter of an inch, you can prevent the flame from growing too large, ensuring that it remains controlled and contained within the candle.

  1. Prevents Excessive Tunneling: Candle tunneling refers to the formation of a deep hole in the center of a candle while the outer wax remains untouched. The two biggest reasons why tunnelling occur is because the candle has not been burnt long enough or the wick has not been trimmed properly. A long wick can generate too much heat and melt the wax unevenly, causing the tunneling effect. Trimming the wick ensures that the flame burns closer to the outer edges, allowing the entire surface of the candle to melt evenly. This helps to maintain a consistent burn and maximise the candle's burn time.

  2. Reduces Soot and Indoor Air Pollution: Candle soot is the dark, powdery substance that can be produced when a candle burns. It forms when the fuel (wax) doesn't burn completely, resulting in tiny carbon particles being released into the air. Soot from candles can contribute to indoor air pollution, which can be harmful to your health, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions. A longer wick produces more soot, which can be released into the air and circulated throughout your living space. By regularly trimming the wick, you minimise soot production. This reduces the potential negative impact on air quality and your well-being as well as prevents smoky candle jars.

  3. Improved scent throw: Trimming the wick plays a role in ensuring the optimal dispersal of the candle's fragrance. An untrimmed wick can generate excessive heat, causing the fragrance oils to vaporize too quickly, resulting in a shorter scent life. By keeping the wick trimmed, you help maintain a controlled burn that allows the fragrance to gently release, creating a more enjoyable aromatic experience.

  4. Increases the lifespan of the candle: Because it lowers the chance of tunneling and creates an even burn, trimming your wick helps your candle can last longer too - a big win!


How to trim your wick? The best way to use trim your wick is to use a candle trimmer (like the video above). But a free alternative is to use nail clippers or scissors. 

How long to trim your wick? 1/4 to 1/8 inches every time just before you light the candle.

Taking care of your candles involves more than just lighting and extinguishing them. By prioritizing regular wick trimming, protecting your candles from dust, and following essential care tips, you can maximize their lifespan, improve their performance, and create a safer and more enjoyable candle experience. So, don't underestimate the impact of candle care—your candles will thank you with longer, cleaner burns and a delightful fragrance in return.

Follow Wick Guru on Instagram, TikTok and Youtube to learn more about candle care!

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