Let's talk about soot build up!⠀
So what exactly is candle soot? And what causes candle soot? Soot is that black smokey substance that comes from your Candle flame. It’s that black substance on the inside of your candle jars and can even get on your walls and cabinets.
When you next light your Candle, look at the flame. The blue part of the flame is where there is lots of oxygen present. Just over the blue part of the flame, you will see that the flame is now yellow, and that is where the smoke is created. This is because the oxygen is gravitating up the wick at the bottom, and the heat is given off at the top of the flame, releasing hot air. Once the flame of the candle has started drawing the liquid candle wax up the wick, it does so at a steady rate. When the flame of the candle is disturbed the size of the flame changes, and the amount of fuel being used is no longer consistent. If there is too much fuel for the flame to use, soot is released.
A candle made correctly will burn properly with virtually no smoke. If your wick becomes too long, or if the flame’s usual teardrop shape is disturbed by airflow, unburned carbon particles will escape from the flame as smoke. This carbon becomes soot and will collect on your wick or build upon the inside of your glass.⠀
The following are three ways to help you reduce the amount of soot produced by your candle.
- Keep candles away from draft – If you burn your candles near to open windows or fans or air vents, the breeze will cause your flame to flicker. This means that the flame no longer burns consistently and this causes it to draw more fuel up the wick. You want to ensure that your candle flame is just right. An ideal candle flame will not flicker nor dance in the wind.
- Keep debris out of your candle – Most times, when we use matches to light our candle, we drop the burnt-out stick into the wax, or when we trim our wicks we drop the burnt out wick into the wax. This is a common practice but not the best. Match sticks, pieces of wicks, dirt and other objects don’t belong in candles. It kindles the fire and can clog your wicks which can also cause a buildup of soot.
- While prevention is better than cure, you will find that a simple fix is extinguishing your candle, allowing the melted wax to solidify again, then wiping your candle with a paper towel.⠀To nip this in the bud and reduce the build-up of soot, keep your Prince of Candles wick trimmed to under 1cm (7mm is the sweet spot!).⠀
So now you understand what soot is and how you can minimise it, happy burning!