5 ways to stop a candle from dripping

Dripping candle

A dripping candle can have a number of causes. Fortunately, if you're burning a well-made, good quality candle then all these issues can be easily remedied; it's just a matter of determining the cause and knowing the solution. So let's get started.

1. Draught
One of the main causes of dripping, and one that often goes unnoticed, is a draught (the small breeze, spelled as 'draft' by some, not the lack of water, which is a drought). A draught can cause the flame to lean towards the edge of the candle, where its heat can melt the rim that holds the wax pool, thus allowing it to spill. A stronger draught can cause molten wax from the wax pool to get blown directly over the rim of the candle.

There's an easy way to prevent this, by eliminating the source of the draught, moving the candle out of the draught or shielding the candle from the draught. Draughts can be hard to spot, so look for a flickering, unstable flame.

2. Proximity
If the candle is too close to other candles, the heat from the neighbouring flame can cause irregular melting and warping, and lead to dripping as the protective rim melts and the wax pool empties out. To avoid this, place lit candles at least 10cm (3 inches) apart.

3. Slant
It could be that your candle has been placed at an angle, allowing the wax to spill over the protective rim that holds it together. Check your candle and make sure it is standing up straight, on a stable and non-flammable surface.

White sculptural ball candleA Sphere Candle with a wax pool held together by a protective rim

4. Burn time
When you first light your candle, burn your candle for around 3-4 hours; you want to get close to the rim to avoid tunnelling, but you don't want to melt through the rim. As a rule of thumb, burn your candle for 1 hour per 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter the first time you light it.

After the first burn, avoid burning your candle for longer than 4 hours; extinguish, let the candle cool down, trim the wick, and relight.

5. Wick
If you notice your candle (might start) dripping, check the wick; it could be that the wick is too long, causing a large, flickering and unstable flame. Extinguish the flame, let the candle cool, trim the wick down to 6mm (¼ inch) and relight.

Hopefully this helps you prevent your candle from dripping. Candle Kiosk candles have been designed not to drip, however external circumstances and burning conditions can be hard to control and so in some cases, dripping can occur. As you see, most of the causes can be easily fixed and avoided, and if they cannot then it's more likely a symptom of a poor quality candle (low quality wax, incorrect wick size or positioning, poor make quality) rather than incorrect use of the candle.

For more tips & tricks on how to burn candles, please read here.


This is the best non-sequitor comment I’ve ever seen!

Naomi Nissen

Can you please tell me where your cables are made


Leave a comment