How to Trim a Candle Wick

Michele Andersen

What's the benefit to trimming candle wicks? Your candle will burn cleaner and last longer. A long wick leads to a large flame, which can produce carbon black, the waxy black muck that gets on your votives, walls, or even your ceiling. Trimming the wick is a quick and easy process.

Trim wick to extend the life of your candle.

What You'll Need

  • Candles
  • Wick cutter, scissors or nail clippers
  • Matches or multipurpose butane lighter

Trim the Wick

Trim wick to 1/8

A good rule of thumb is to trim your candle wicks to 1/8”. Simply measure up from the base of the candle and cut.

This will keep the flame nice and tidy, and for any scented candles will help promote the intended scent and prevent smoke.

Light Your Candle

Light the wick

After trimming the wick, light your candle. Remember: do not burn your candles for more than three hours at a time, otherwise they can produce long flames and smoke.

Repeat Trimming Before Each Use

Repeat and re-light.

Be sure to repeat the wick-trimming process before each time you want to light your candles.