Why Do Candles Flicker

Why Do Candles Flicker? (Here’s Why And How To Fix It!)

Candles flicker when the Oxygen or wax supply gets disrupted, disturbing the combustion process. Candles flicker because it’s hard for the flame to maintain the same temperature as the surrounding air. Candles also flicker when there’s a draft in the room. Candles could also flicker when there are impurities in them.

We light candles to create a relaxing ambiance. What if the candle flame flickers? It’d annoy the people in that room.

There are several reasons why a candle flickers. In this article, we shall explore the reasons for candle flickering and learn how to prevent it.

Why do Candles Flicker when there is no Wind?

Candles flicker whenever Oxygen or Molten wax supply gets disrupted. These two are the main drivers of the combustion process. So, if their supply gets disrupted, candles flicker.

A candle burns by combining the liquid wax and Oxygen in the air. Whenever the wick has access to more Oxygen or more wax, the flame starts flickering.

A quietly burning candle is an efficient combustion machine. There are other reasons also behind a flickering candle flame.

Why is my Candle flickering so fast?

Candles flicker when the teardrop flame is disturbed. Candles flicker fast when it has impurities in them. Candles also flicker when the wick is too long.

Candles flicker fast when there’s a sudden wind. The draft disturbs the combustion process, increasing or decreasing the wax intake.

The wind movements can even be manipulated by the open flame too. If a candle has a flickering flame, it can be dangerous.

Why do candles flicker then stop?

Candles flicker randomly when the wick gets too little or too much Oxygen or fuel(molten wax).

The unburned candle particles escape to the surroundings in the form of soot. This comes out in the form of black smoke.

Is it normal for a candle to flicker?

No, a candle that burns well shouldn’t flicker. A candle flickers only when the combustion process is disrupted. 

The combustion process is disrupted when the candlewick gets too much or too little Oxygen or fuel(molten wax).

A candle flickers when there’s a draft inside the room. This draft could be created by the candle itself thanks to the hot air around it.

A candle could also flicker when the wick is too long. Candles also flicker due to the impurities in them.

A flickering candle is not a good sight, it annoys anyone. We light candles to create a warming, relaxing environment.

Is a flickering candle dangerous?

Yes, a flickering candle is dangerous. A flickering candle’s flame can become too tall and this is often dangerous.

A flickering candles’ flame can easily set nearby things on fire. So, it’s better to keep the candle from indoor furnishings like curtains, mats, etc.

3% of domestic fire hazards in the U.S. are caused by candles. So, you need to watch the candle and you shouldn’t leave it unattended.

A flickering candle might seem innocent but it could start a great fire within minutes if it’s placed in the wrong place.

To avoid a jumping flame, trim the candlewick to 1-1.5cm before lighting it.

How to stop a candle from flickering?

It is crucial to set the flame straight to preserve wax in the candle. Below are a few ways to prevent the flickering of the candle flame.

Reduce drafts in the room

A draft is the most common reason why candles flicker. A sudden burst of air could cause the flame to dance, making the wick absorb more fuel. This is why candle flame flickers.

Essentially, a candle burns by using the molten wax around the wick. The wick sucks in the liquid wax via capillary action.

This is usually because of A/C or fans. They cause the air in the room to drift around vigorously. Furnace kicking on and off could cause candle flickering too.

Drafty windows are another reason for candle flickering. Keep your candle away from drifts if possible.

Relocate the candle to a different place in the room or a different room altogether. If the candle still flickers, airflow isn’t the problem.

Trim the candlewick

Candles flicker when the candlewick is too long. You might wanna trim the wick if you want to prevent the flickering.

Large wicks should be used only in large candles. If they are used in smaller candles, the flame will flicker. Use appropriate wick for the candle.

You may wanna choose candles with wicks that are suitable for the size and not too long.

Wax Impurities

Wax impurities could also cause a candle flame to flicker. Soot or parts of candlewick near the candlewick could cause the flame to flicker.

Soot can interfere with the capillary action that leads the molten wax into the candlewick. This creates the gap between the combustion point and the fuel, leading to flickering.

Trimming the candlewick as it burns off is a great way to get rid of such impurities from the candle.

Clean the candle before lighting it up. Dust and soot usually settle on the top layer of the candle. Take a clean cloth and wipe the soot off the top layer.

Cleaning the top layer helps prevent the soot from settling in the wax. You can attach a lid to the candle to prevent such flickering.

Improper storage

Improperly stored candles’ flames flicker too. Was the candle stored in a place where a lot of dust gathered on the top?

Did the candle absorb any moisture from the surroundings? Was there any lid on your candle? Were the candles stored in a tight box?

Basically, you don’t want foreign bodies settling on your candle. They are one of the reasons for the flickering candle flame.

Safety Precautions

You need to follow some precautions if you want to light candles safely. Candle fire hazards are mainly due to a lack of awareness.

Don’t leave the candle unattended

Make sure not to leave your candles unattended. Don’t let them burn for longer than 4 hours at a time, it could prove disastrous.

Children or Pets could knock the candles over if you leave them unattended. This could start fire hazards.

You can reduce black smoke by preventing ‘mushroom’ wicks. Mushroom wicks happen if you burn a candle for more than 4 hours.

Do not place candles near flammable furnishings

Don’t place your candles near furnishings or objects that are flammable. This could lead to fire hazards.

A flickering candle’s flame could become quite big. Such flame sets the surrounding objects on fire easily. Don’t place the candle too close to the walls too.