Do Candles Leave Soot On Walls

Do Candles Leave Soot On Walls? (11 Ways to Avoid & Fix It!)

Yes, candles leave soot on walls and ceilings. The unburnt wax particles are released into the air from the edges of the candle and form soot.

Some candles release a lot of soot that settles on the walls and the ceiling. This causes black stains on the walls, ruining them.

Trust me, you don’t want this happening in your living room. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? Is there a way to clean such stains?

In this article, we shall discuss the ways to prevent and clean the black soot stains on the walls.

Does burning candles make your walls black?

Yes, the soot that’s released from burning candles makes your walls black. The soot particles deposit on the wall.

Candle burning requires the combustion of the wax. Soot forms when the wax combusts incompletely. The half-burnt wax particles from the edges of the candle fly into the air.

All candles release soot, the amount may vary. Soot forms when the candle flame is disturbed, whatever the reason is.

It might be tempting to clean off the soot marks using a sponge. Don’t do it. You’ll only worsen the soot mark. There are special sponges for this purpose.

Do Soy candles leave soot on walls?

Yes, Soy candles do leave soot on walls. Some Soy candle brands claim to not leave any traces of soot behind.

I haven’t yet come across Soy candles that produce zero soot. There are some candles that produce negligible amounts of soot.

How to prevent candle soot on walls?

It is better to prevent candle soot formation on walls rather than cleaning it off later. Let’s see how to prevent candle soot formation on walls.

Soot is released from the candles when the flame burns inconsistently. You can prevent excess soot from candles by letting the flame burn consistently.

A candle needs three things consistently to burn properly viz., a consistent supply of fuel, steady flame, and oxygen.

Using cylindrical containers

You can contain free-standing candles like votives and pillar candles using cylindrical containers. You can prevent drifts from disturbing the candle flame by doing this.

You can use containers that are open at the top for this purpose. You can also use containers that are elevated from the bottom and covered at the top.

The main idea behind containing candles is to prevent the drifts from disturbing the flame.

Trim the wick

You can reduce the soot released from candles by trimming the wick to 1/4th of an inch. You’ll stabilize the flame by trimming the wick.

Start off the candle with a wick of this size and reduce the size of the wick if the flame’s dancing.

Use cotton wick

Use candles that come with cotton wicks. You should never use lead wicks if you hate soot that’s produced from candles.

You’ll love Soy candles with cotton wicks if you’re a fan of organic things. Cotton wicks produce a cleaner burn compared to lead wicks.

Buy Good Quality Candles

Well-made candles release less soot than candles that are made cheaply. So, get your candles from a recognized brand.

Candles with excess fragrance oil in them release a lot of soot. Too much fragrance oil doesn’t equal a strong scent.

There is a limit to the amount of fragrance oil you can add to the wax. If you cross this limit, you’ll see only counter-productive results.

Beware of drifts

Drifts from windows/vents/fans also cause soot to release from candles. Drifts disturb the flame, leading to inconsistent burning of the fuel.

The flame becomes taller, burning more wax. The flame starts flickering, releasing half-burnt wax particles into the air.

These particles become the soot that’s visible to the naked eye. Try to keep the flame stable to prevent soot buildup around the candle.

Do Candle Cappers prevent soot?

Yes, you can reduce the soot from candles by setting up cappers on the candles. They regulate the airflow around the candle.

Candles release a lot of soot when the wick has gone further down into the jar. The gap in the candle jar creates an air pocket which increases soot production.

Candle cappers help the candle burn consistently. You’ll observe that candles with cappers have a flame that doesn’t flicker.

How far should the candle be from the wall?

Place the candle at least 2 or three feet away from the wall. This not only helps prevent soot marks but also prevents any fire hazard.

You need to keep the candle away from things that catch fire.

How to clean black soot from candles on walls?

You can clean the black soot stains on your walls using a chemical sponge. You can also get rid of the soot stains using a sponge and a degreasing cleanser. 

Paint the surface

Using chemical sponge

You can use a chemical sponge/dry cleaning sponge to remove the soot marks from the walls. These sponges are made from latex rubber.

You don’t need any water to clean the soot marks if you use a chemical sponge. Take this sponge and start wiping off the soot marks in a downward motion.

Do not scrub the soot mark using this sponge, it’ll make the stain worse. Use a clean sponge if necessary.

Degreasing cleaner

You can also use a sponge and a degreasing cleaner to clean the soot stains on the walls. This technique helps remove tough soot stains on walls.

You need to wipe this sponge in a downward motion too. Don’t wipe the stained wall in any other manner.


You can use Vinegar to clean off the soot marks on the walls. Mix some water with vinegar to make a solution.

You can use this solution to clean off the soot marks on the walls/ceiling.

Rubbing alcohol

Dab and blot on the soot stain to get rid of it. Dab enough rubbing alcohol into a cotton ball/clean piece of cloth and blot on the stain.

This method should be the last resort.

Note: You can clean the chemicals off the wall using a solution of soap and water. Use a damp cloth to wipe the chemicals off your walls.

Can you paint over candle soot on walls?

No, don’t paint directly over candle soot stains on the wall. You need to cover the stains using a primer made for such stains.

Apply a layer of good, solvent-based stain-blocking primer over the soot stains. This helps prevent the soot from bleeding through the paint.

Zinsser’s Cover Stain is an oil-based primer that can help prevent soot from bleeding through the paint. Now, use paint that prevents soot buildup.

What candles don’t leave soot?

Soy wax, Beeswax, and vegetable wax candles don’t release harmful toxins when burnt. Make sure the wicks are made of cotton.

Pure wax candles don’t release harmful chemicals. So, if you want a clean-burning experience, don’t use candles that are blends of Soy wax and paraffin.

Make sure the candles have only an adequate amount of essential oils. Soy candles do produce soot but it’s quite negligible compared to paraffin candles.

Even if the candle is completely natural, don’t burn it 24/7. It is not ideal to inhale large amounts of soot indoors.

Happy Molding 🙂