Why is My Candle Giving Off Black Smoke

Have you noticed black smoke from your candle, which leaves a black residue around the wall? The black smoke or soot produced by the candle ruins the candle-burning experience and may affect your mood too. You can ignore the smoke if it is occasional but regular and heavy black smoke is a cause for concern. 

When the candle is dirty, too hot, or has been burning for a long time, you may see an increase in black smoke from it. Another reason for black smoke is that the wick is too long, or there can be a manufacturing error in the candle.

The soot produced around the candle can be quite irritating because it leaves a mark on the wall or ceilings. In this article, we will go through all the possible causes that are responsible for black smoke and soot production. Moreover, we will also discuss the tips and tricks that you can try to avoid this issue. 

7 Reasons Why Your Candle Is Giving Off Black Smoke

Candles generally produce a small amount of soot while burning, which is considered normal. It does not leave black marks on its surroundings and easily dissipates in the atmosphere. Since it is a usual part of candle burning, you do not need to pay much attention to it. 

However, in some cases, when the production of soot and black smoke increases enough to grab your attention, do not ignore it. Once you sense something is wrong with the candle, blow it off, and let it cool down. 

You might wonder what the problem is when your candle is giving off black smoke. Usually, people panic in such a situation and do not know how to respond. So, here we are to help you out. 

Some of the possible reasons why a candle starts giving off black smoke are:

  1. Candle Is Too Hot

Lighting up the candle for a fairly long duration makes it become hot and burns the wax quicker. Due to the quick evaporation of the wax, more wick becomes exposed and produces extra black smoke. 

This type of problem can be solved by regularly trimming the wick of the candle. The size of the wick should always be appropriate so that the flame doesn’t turn black. 

Ideally, you should trim the wick while it is still burning (only if you have a wick trimmer) to see the result instantly. Otherwise, you can blow out the candle and then trim the wick for a normal candle-burning experience. 

Note: Never leave the trimmed wick inside the candle because it will become a part of the wax and start burning, leading to black smoke production. 

  1. Wick is Too Long

The wick of the candle should be 6mm in size. If you are a true candle freak, you can get special wick cutters from the market. Using the wick cutter, you will be able to trim the wick regularly and keep the candle neat and clean.

Otherwise, if you do not trim the wick and it becomes too long, it will not be able to bring the wax to the top. When a long wick burns, it produces black smoke and soot. 

Bonus Tip: Do not be a lazy bum, and always trim your candle wick at the end of the burning session.

  1. Dust in the Candle

Do you live in a dusty area? Do all your belongings collect dust and debris quickly? Then, you need to be extra careful about your candles. The unused candles can collect dust if they do not have a lid. 

Usually, you cannot see too much dust and debris with your eyes, but it is quite a lot and changes how your candle burns. It can be one of the causes why your candle is burning soot and black smoke. 

So, it is important that you take care of your candle as a baby and close its lid after every use. If, somehow, the candle grabs the dust, clean it up and then light it up. However, if your candle does not have a lid, put it in a shopping bag and store it until the next use. 

Remember: Never light up a dirty candle if you want a good candle experience. You can clean the candle using a wet wipe or tissue paper. However, ideally, you should keep the candle lid closed at all times. 

  1. Type of Wax

Another reason why the candle may produce black smoke and soot is the manufacturing error by the candle company. If the proportion of candle wax and fragrance were incorrect, your candle would not be lighting up like a normal candle. 

Moreover, if the candle contains a mixture of more than one type of wax, there is a high chance that it can produce soot while burning. The wrong combination of waxes can certainly ruin your whole candle-burning experience. 

Usually, it is believed that paraffin wax produces black smoke and soot because it is a hard wax and requires a stronger wick to burn, which ultimately leads to the production of black smoke. So, you can avoid getting a paraffin wax candle or any candle with its mixture. 

  1. Fragrance Used in the Candle

Scented candles are more prone to producing black smoke and soot because the fragrance used in them could be a reason. The use of the wrong fragrance type or incorrect quantities of fragrance oil and color can result in a candle that burns black smoke higher than normal candles. 

Some types of fragrances have the natural tendency to produce more soot while burning the candle. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do in such a situation other than not buying candles from the same brand again. If you are left with some of the candles, just burn them and finish them instead of discarding them. 

In the future, you must keep the scent that caused the smoke issue in mind and do not buy that fragrance again. 

  1. Quality of the Wick

One of the most important factors in a candle that makes or breaks your experience is the quality of the wick. It is a huge task to choose the perfect wick for a candle and many brands fail to judge them. Most of them choose the low-quality wick to save up on the extra cost, but it can leave a bad impression on the buyer. 

Hence, candle brands need to invest in good quality wicks and ingredients if they want to sustain themselves in the market. You need to be careful while buying the candle and try checking the quality of the wick by touching it. That’s all in your hand, but never mind! 

  1. Long Burning Time

It is understandable that you love the aroma and feel of a burning candle in your lounge, room, literally everywhere. Letting the candle burn for too long can cause black smoke production. 

A candle that is burning for several hours becomes extremely hot and starts burning at a faster rate. Simultaneously, the wick becomes more exposed and falls off into the candle wax, producing more soot. The irregular smoke produced in such a situation results in an unpleasant experience for the user. 

In a few minutes, the calming and soothing vibe of the house can change into a horrible one. Hence, it is advised not to light up a candle for more than four hours. Do not light a candle and forget about it until it begs for some mercy by producing smoke! Be a responsible champ, trim your candle wick after every use, and do not light it up for a prolonged period, i.e., not more than four hours. 

  1. Not Enough Space For Candle

The candle should have enough space to burn safely. Everything should be placed at a safer distance from the candle. Otherwise, black smoke will increase if you place random objects near or above the candle blocking its evaporation. 

If you are getting a big-sized candle, ensure there is enough space for it in your home. Such candles are made for big houses, so keep that in mind. 

Tips to Prevent Black Smoke From Candle

Nobody enjoys the smell and sight of black smoke from their favorite candle; hence, they need to take steps to rectify the situation. There are a few practices that you can religiously follow to avoid black smoke production from the candle. There isn’t something too complex, just a few tips that might be helpful. So, here they are:

  • Do not burn the candle continuously; give it a break. 
  • Keep checking the candle; blow it out if it becomes too hot.
  • Trim the wick after every use.
  • Do not leave the trimmed wick inside the candle.
  • Try getting a candle made from natural wax instead of synthetic wax.
  • Close the lid of the candle to avoid dust and debris.
  • If nothing works out, there might be a manufacturing issue. So, try changing the candle brand. 

Maybe, you can also try switching to a natural wax type such as beeswax. Natural waxes have a lesser tendency to produce soot which is why they are worth a shot. There might be other issues with a natural type of candle wax, but in terms of soot production, they are quite better. 

Following the above-mentioned tips can minimize the risk of black smoke and soot production from your candle. However, some issues like the type of wax and fragrance used in the candle cannot be in your control. So, in that scenario, all you gotta do is to chill.

Health Risks of Black Smoke From Candle

Even though a candle is a beautiful addition to one’s room and home, it has its own risks that are sometimes inevitable. The flame of the candle is quite dangerous if it comes in contact with a fabric or other flammable product. So, you need to be super careful when the candle is burning in the room. 

The black smoke and soot that candles produce can cause serious health concerns. People can face breathing issues if they keep breathing black smoke for a fairly long time. For such people, black smoke can be life-threatening as it can cause death in rare cases. 

Moreover, when you inhale the dangerous particles of smoke, your lungs and respiratory tract are directly affected. If people in your home are already at health risk, old-aged, or children, it is best to avoid lighting these candles. However, if you can take responsibility and take good care of everything, you may occasionally light up the candle. 

No candle is worth putting the life of your loved ones at risk, right? So, even if you love lighting candles every day, ensure you properly take care of the candle to avoid black smoke and soot as much as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Soot Normal in Candles?

Yes, candles naturally have the tendency to produce a little soot while burning. It is extremely normal and does not feel or look like too much. However, if you notice a proper black smoke producing from the candle, immediately blow it off and let it cool down. Too much soot production from the candle is not normal, and you should not take it lightly. 

  1. Can Black Candle Smoke be Life Threatening?

Anyone who already has health issues like asthma, respiratory disorders, or lung malfunctioning might be at life-threatening risk. Such people should avoid taking a risk and lighting a candle in their homes. Moreover, in extremely severe and rare cases, it can also cause death.  

  1. How to Ensure Zero Black Smoke in DIY Candles?

To make a candle for yourself, you first need to ensure that you use high-quality ingredients, including wax, fragrance, and wick. You must avoid mixing two different types of waxes and preferably use a natural wax to avoid black smoke. Additionally, keep a wick cutter handy and trim it regularly. 


There are many reasons why your candle is giving off black smoke, and most of the time, they can be solved with a few adjustments. We shared a few tips and tricks that you can try to avoid this problem. However, if nothing works out, you should not buy candles from the same brand again. We hope that the article was helpful for you and you learned a tip or two about candles. Good luck!





Recent Posts