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How to Stop a Candle from Flickering?

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If you’ve ever burnt a candle and the flame appears to successively brighten and dim, this is known as flickering, and not only can this can be an annoyance, but it can also be dangerous. There are a number of reasons why a candle flickers, and there are also a variety of ways in which you can prevent a candle from flickering.

A normal candle flame adopts a tear shape, and stays consistent until you blow out the candle, or until the end of the wick is reached. Flickering is caused either by impurities in the wax interrupting the natural burning of the wick, by the wick being too long, or by a draft in the air surrounding the candle. A flame that becomes out of control, or starts to smoke should be extinguished as quickly as possible, as this can indicate that something is wrong with the candle’s composition.

how to stop a candle from flickering

Impurities such as parts of the wick that have fallen into the wax, dust, or soot in the wax can affect the burning action of the flame. Soot is the black substances found in smoke, and consists of tiny unburned fuel particles – too much of this indicates that the candles is not burning properly!

When wax melts, it travels through the candle wick to feed the flame, but if there are impurities present in the wax, this process is disrupted. Ensuring that the candles you are burning are clean and free of dust or grit will reduce chances of flickering.

If the candle gets too little or too much oxygen from a decrease or increase in the air flow around it, your wick will use fuel inconsistently, so the flame will flicker and flare up. Changes in oxygen flow to the candle can also cause it to burn more quickly. An easy way to avoid this issue is to keep the candle on a stable surface away from windows, vents, or air conditioning systems.

It is imperative that the wicks are the correct size for the candle: larger candles require larger wicks, and vice versa. Wicks that are too long throws off the burning process, and increases the chances of flickering and flaring.

Therefore, a final option to reduce flickering is to choose candles with smaller wicks – a smaller wick leads to a small flame, which in turn decreases the chances of flickering. Before burning a candle with a larger wick, remember to trim the wick to around ¼ inch before burning it, as this will lower the risk of flickering, and will reduce safety hazards.

Apart from the flickering of a candle ruining the ambience of the room, it can pose a safety hazard if the candle flame is constantly flaring up. Be sure to keep an eye on your candles, clean them before use, burn them in a wind-free area, and trim the wicks regularly to minimise flickering as much as possible.