The experience of relaxing with the soft ambience of a candle’s flame is unmatched. But not if your space is being affected by a distracting flicker. A small, natural flicker in any candle is normal and even appealing. But when it's too much it can become a potential fire hazard and can affect the overall burn and life of the candle if left unresolved. 

So why do candles flicker? And what can you do to stop a candle doing it? Keep reading to find our best candle safety advice and tips.

Why Do Candles Flicker?

A certain amount of flickering flame in a candle is normal, but one of the biggest reasons is wind or draughts. Remember that if a draught is strong enough to move your curtains or blinds, it can definitely affect a candle wick and flame!

If you haven't purchased your candle from PartyLite, it might be the case that your candle has been made incorrectly. Some companies may not appreciate that the size of the wick makes a difference but we do! Candles made with large wicks burn too quickly through the wax and cause the flame to flicker. While candles made using wicks that are too small create an uneven wax pool and lead to tunnelling.

Your wick may also have "mushroomed", which is a term used for a carbon build-up on a burned candle. This makes the flame irregular, both of these issues can be managed by trimming the wick after every burn to 0.5cm.

If you're leaving a candle unattended without a lid in any humid area after use, it's very likely that it will collect moisture and dust. This means that the candle wax will end up becoming impure and will really affect the burn. Bathrooms, kitchens and any room where you store your form incorrectly will affect it. Try and keep its lid on after each burn (once it's cooled down) to stop any dirt or grime getting onto the wax.

What Happens When Candles Flicker?

While it may seem like a minor annoyance, a flickering candle can be dangerous. This is more prevalent if your candle is burning near fabric as the flame can get high and create a potential fire hazard. If your wick is too long and is causing your candle to flicker, the balance between the wick and the wax becomes uneven. This causes black smoke to emit from your candle.

If your candle is left to flicker for too long, the higher flame will also cause it to burn quicker. This means your wax will melt quicker and you won't get to enjoy your candle for as long!

How To Stop A Candle Flickering

Candle being trimmedCandle being trimmed

All our candles are made with the right balance of wax and wick to make each one last longer.  Our clean, non-toxic wax ensures you can safely burn a PartyLite candle for hours at a time, but not every candle is created equal. If you’re using a lesser quality candle, you may experience flickering when you burn it for too long. This is one of the ways that your wick can begin to mushroom. Meaning the carbon build up feeds the flame and causes your candle to flicker.

Another way to prevent your wick mushrooming is to always trim it once your candle has cooled. We recommend waiting at least an hour before doing this to make sure that the wax pool has solidified.

With moisture and dust also being a big cause of flickering, cleaning your candle before lighting will help make sure there are fewer impurities in your wax. Wiping your candle (once cooled) with a dry cloth to take off any dust or soot will help maintain the quality of the wax. By doing this regularly, you stop any grime or dirt settling in the wax, which is permanent and cannot be fixed.

Try to keep your candle away from any draughty areas, like the garden. But if you love to enjoy a fragranced ambience wherever you are, why not try a wind-resistant candle holder instead?

We want you to enjoy our candles for as long as possible, read the full PartyLite candle care guide here. Check out our latest collection of fragrances here, and find your favourite 3-Wick Jar Candle here.

Chris Shelmerdine