Candle Wick Won't Stay Lit: Causes And Solutions


There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to light a candle only to have the wick refuse to stay lit. Whether you’re trying to create a cozy atmosphere or just enjoy the scent of your favorite candle, a stubborn wick can quickly ruin your plans. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of this problem and provide some simple solutions to help you get your candle burning bright.

Cause 1: Short Wicks

One common reason for a candle wick that won’t stay lit is that it’s simply too short. If your wick is less than ¼ inch long, it may not be able to draw enough wax up to sustain a flame. To fix this problem, try trimming your wick to a length of ¼ inch before lighting your candle.

Cause 2: Drafts

Another common cause of a candle wick that won’t stay lit is drafts. Even a slight breeze can disrupt the delicate balance of a candle flame, causing it to flicker and extinguish. To prevent this from happening, try moving your candle to a more sheltered location or using a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame instead of blowing it out.

Cause 3: Wet or Oily Wicks

If your candle wick won’t stay lit after several attempts, it’s possible that the wick has become wet or oily. This can happen if the candle was stored in a damp or humid location, or if you accidentally spilled some oil on the wick while trying to light it. To fix this problem, try wiping the wick clean with a dry cloth before attempting to light it again.

Cause 4: Wax Buildup

Over time, wax can accumulate around the base of the wick, making it harder for air to flow through and sustain the flame. If you notice that your candle wick won’t stay lit even after trimming it and removing any drafts, it’s possible that wax buildup is the culprit. To fix this problem, try gently scraping away any excess wax from around the base of the wick with a toothpick or other small tool.

Cause 5: Low-Quality Candles

Finally, it’s important to note that some candles are simply of low quality and may not burn properly no matter what you do. If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your candle still won’t stay lit, it may be time to invest in a higher-quality candle with a better wick and wax formulation.


A candle wick that won’t stay lit can be a frustrating problem, but with a little patience and persistence, it’s usually easy to fix. By understanding the common causes of this issue and taking steps to address them, you can enjoy the warm glow and inviting scent of your favorite candles whenever you like.