Why Do Candles Flicker When There Is No Wind? (7 Reasons and 7 Fixes)
Perhaps you are a candle lover who uses candles in your home. If you are, you’ve probably noticed the flickering of your candle’s flames.
Peculiarly, you’ve likely noticed this happens when all the doors and windows are closed in your home. What then, do you think to yourself, is causing this? And is a flickering flame a bad thing?
Read on to find out why and how we can fix this.
Why You Should Prevent A Flickering Candle Flame
But first, why is a flickering flame not a good thing for your candle?
Apart from looking odd in an otherwise still environment, a flickering flame on your candle can be the result of several underlying issues that doesn’t spell good news for your candle.
For the most part, a flickering flame is caused by impurities in the candle wax or a draft in the room. When a candle starts to flicker, this will cause the wax to burn unevenly which can speed up the carbon build up and cause the wick to mushroom. This in itself will result in more uneven burning unless you trim the wick and clean the candle of the leftover soot.
Indeed, a flickering flame can lead to a dark spiral for your candle use, so it’s best to stop it in its tracks before it gets worse.
Read on below to see the multiple causes of candle flickering and how you can fix it in each case.
Why Your Candle Is Flickering And How To Fix It
1. An Uneven Burn
A reason why your candle might flicker is that it is not burning evenly.
When a candle isn’t burning consistently across its entire surface area, this can cause the flame to flicker more than usual as some parts consume more oxygen than others.
But what causes such an uneven burn?
- If the wick isn’t centered properly this can cause a flicker. Ensure you purchase candles with the wick in the center.
- An untrimmed wick after a burn will result in a mushroom-like head on the wick. This will cause a lopsided flame.
The Fix: Ensure you purchase candles with the wick in the center. Trimming is recommended to be done every 4 hours of burn time. Each trim should take off about ¼ inch of the wick.
2. The Wick Is Too Large (Or Too Small)
This is more common with homemade candles where you have specifically chosen the wick yourself. A good-sized wick for a candle will show some tell-tale signs. Namely, the melt pool (the wax that has melted) extends to the edges of the container and is about a ½ inch deep.
A wick that is too large will cause the flame to flicker, whilst a wick that is too small can create candle tunneling.
The Fix: There are plenty of guides online to choosing the right wick for your candle. If you bought the candle from a store – and it’s from a reputable brand – you shouldn’t experience this problem at all.
3. A Draft (Or Any Movement Of Air)
We know this seems obvious, but sometimes sources of a draft or movement of air are not so obvious. You may have all windows and doors closed and still experience a draft that causes your candle flames to flicker. Case in point, just because you can’t feel the air movement doesn’t mean your candle flame can’t!
This can be due to a number of factors including an old home with cracks and gaps, differences in air flows between rooms, air conditioning or fans being on, and lastly seals between your home and the outside not being tight enough.
The Fix: Ensure that you place the candle in a still room. Alternatively, try placing a barrier around the candle with an open-top or side (to allow oxygen flow), to prevent a draft from directly hitting the candle flame. Besides this, you could also perform some house maintenance and see where the movements of air are coming from.
4. Movement Of Objects
This one is similar to point 3. Movement around your home (yourself, family, friends, pets, and so on) will cause air to move and potentially cause your candle flame to flicker. You can even push air into an area next to the candle that could eventually cause it to flicker!
The Fix. If your candle is flickering, take stock of the surrounding area. If something is moving a lot, you’ve likely found the culprit.
5. Impurities In The Wax
Not all candles are made equal, and some have impurities or develop impurities overtime. When parts of the wick or soot fall onto the wax, this is then taken up through the wick again when you burn the candle. The particles that are not wax will cause the flame to flicker.
The Fix: This ties into point number 2. Ensure to trim the wick so it has a greater chance of burning cleanly. When you are using the candle, use it in clean environments with minimal dust. When not using the candle, a lid will come in handy. Before using the candle, you can wipe the top clean with a cloth or clean towel.
6. Improper Storage Of Candles
Another cause of flickering is when you incorrectly store your candles.
If a candle gets dirty during storage or collects moisture it’s going to cause impurities in the wax and cause the flame to flicker.
The Fix: Store your candles correctly. Candles should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place and covered with the lid or in some tight bag. Storing below room temperature will prevent the candle from softening or melting. Avoid direct sunlight since this can cause melting and the colors and scents to also fade. If you’re dealing with larger candles that don’t come in their own container, wrap them in tissue paper or a paper towel and then place them horizontally in a box.
7. A Dud Candle
Lastly, sometimes you simply buy a dud candle and this causes it to burn poorly or flicker a little too much. This can be due to the factors we’ve already mentioned – a poorly sized wick, impurities in the wax, and nasty fragrance oils.
The Fix: There isn’t much you can do about this other than using another candle. You can try cleaning the candle if it is simply dirty from the manufacturer. You can also trim the wick. Otherwise; stick to reputable brands that you’ve used before and you’ll be fine.
Say Goodbye To Candle Flicker
By following these procedures, you can effectively remove (or at least reduce) the flickering of your candle. It’s a simple case of the more you care for your candles the more they will treat you well.
Say goodbye to stressful and flickering light and hello to a soothing and consistent warm light!