Have you ever gone to light your favorite candle at the end of the day to find that the wick is almost completely submerged and difficult to light? You may have given up on the idea of lighting it at that point or even given up on the candle entirely. But, it is possible to save a wick that is too short.
What to do when your candle wick is too short.
Don’t despair if your candle wick is millimeters long or seems to be lost entirely. You can expose enough of the wick again with some careful lighting and wax removal. The following guide gives you a brief run-through of some of the methods and tools you can use to get your candle back to its best.
The main problem here is that there is too much wax.
Instead of thinking about there being too little wick to get a good flame, focus on the wax. The wax has overwhelmed the candle’s wick at some point and you need to remove that excess to retrieve the wick and get a good length once again. At this point, some people will try and dig into the wax with a butter knife or similar implement to carve out a recess or excavate the wick. This is too much like hard work and you can end up with a bit of a mess. You might also end up damaging the wick in the process.
What is the best way to remove the wax from around the wick?
The first thing that you need to do is light that small part of the wick that does remain and create a nice pool of melted wax. Give it time for enough of the surface of the candle to reach this molten state and then blow out the flame. Then you can remove the molten wax before it hardens again, which should leave that nice dip in the top of the candle and help to expose the wick.
There are two options here for removing the wax. The first is to tip the candle over a bowl or plate so that the wax runs off. You can deal with that discarded wax later when it has fully cooled. The issue here is that you might not get a clean finish if some of the wax remains on the candle or runs down the side. It also might be a little more difficult when dealing with candles in jars. The alternative is to get a Q-tip and dip this into the wax. The absorbent material should soak up enough of the wax and you don’t have to move the candle. Depending on the size of the pool, you may need more than one Q-tip. The soft tip also means that you aren’t going to damage the wick.
What should you do if the whole wick is submerged?
A bigger problem emerges when you don’t have any visible wick above the wax. If the wick has drowned and you can’t light it to great the heat for melting the pool of wax, you can use another method. A heat gun over the top of the candle could be enough to get the wax to the right melting point. Or you could try a BBQ lighter for a different flame. You can then use your chosen method of disposing of the wax once melted.
Health and safety are important at all times here.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to stay safe at all times. Make sure that any flames are extinguished before trying to deal with the wax. Make sure not to get any of the hot wax on your fingers. Use tools and lighters with long handles to reduce your risk of burns.
You can repair a candle when the wick is too short or drowned.
It might seem like a hassle to try and cleanly remove a pool of wax but it is worth it to get more life from your candle. Take a moment to consider what you have that you can safely use to create this melted pool of wax and remove it from the candle. The Q-tip idea is the cleanest but it is understandable if you prefer to pour the wax through safety concerns. Take your time and you can get your candle back to its best.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.