Why Trim Candle Wicks
When you trim wicks, you can expect your candles to provide more illumination. Untrimmed wicks can cause candle flames to take on a dull appearance, which affects the amount of light they give off. Trimming the wick allows the flame to have a clearer and brighter burn.
Keeping wicks shorter also means your candles will have a cleaner burn. Some candles create a black, sooty residue when you burn them. This can leave marks on ceilings or other nearby surfaces. If your candles are in jars, you’re likely to see unsightly black marks inside the glass near the top. Trimming wicks on a regular basis helps reduce the amount of residue candles produce while burning.
Trimming candle wicks helps candles last longer as well. Longer wicks tend to burn at a faster rate, which means they're used up more quickly. When you keep the wicks trimmed, you can expect to get more use out of your candles overall.
When to Trim Candle Wicks
You should get into the habit of trimming your candle wick before each use. In general, you should trim candle wicks to about 1/4 inch before lighting them. Doing this before each use helps ensure that your candles burn safely and brightly.
How to Trim Candle Wicks
To trim candle wicks, carefully cut each wick with a pair of small scissors or a wick trimmer. For best results and for safety purposes, trim wicks when they’re at room temperature. If you forgot to trim the wick before burning your candle, for example, let it cool down before cutting it.
In addition to trimming wicks, you should also remove any debris that’s on the wax before lighting your candles, since this also helps them burn safely. In some cases, this involves removing trimmings that have fallen onto the wax when you cut the wick. Keep in mind that it’s time to replace your candles with new ones when about a 1/2 inch of wax is left in the jar.