How to Clean Candle Soot (Simple Methods)

Have black candle soot stains you need to clean and remove?

Below we’ll cover simple methods to clean candle soot and what you can do to reduce soot buildup in the future.

How to Remove Candle Soot from Jars

Jar With Candle

You can follow these simple steps to clean a jar that still has a candle.

First, try a paper towel or soft cloth with water. A simple damp cloth with elbow grease can be enough to remove mild soot stains.

For more challenging to remove soot stains, you can try a vinegar and water solution. Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, dampen a towel with the solution, and rub the stain away.

Thoroughly dry before lighting the candle.

Jar Without Candle

When you’ve finished the candle and are looking to clean the jar, you have a couple more options.

Use rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will break up the soot and easily remove the stain. Rubbing alcohol is flammable, so avoiding it is safer if you still have a candle to light.

Another option is boiling water. Fill the container with boiling water and let it sit.

The soot will loosen and break up, and any oils and wax will rise to the top of the jar. After a couple of hours, you can easily remove the wax from the top of the jar and then clean the jar with soap and water to finish removing the soot stains.

How to Clean Candle Soot on Walls

First, use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove as much soot as possible on the wall.

Next, use a magic eraser (Caution using on finished surfaces. Spot test to ensure it’s safe to use). Avoid direct skin contact by using gloves. Wet the sponge, squeeze out excess water, then wipe the soot stain to remove it.

Alternatively, you can use rubbing alcohol and dab the stain to remove the soot.

I would avoid using soap and water to clean soot from walls. This tends to smear the stain leaving you with an even bigger mess.

How to Reduce Candle Soot Buildup

Trim the Wick

Trimming the wick is an easy way to improve the quality of your candle and reduce black stains from soot.

Trim the wick to reduce soot, improve burn quality, and maintain a brighter flame.

Make a habit of trimming the wick between burns to a ¼ inch above the surface.

Avoid Extended Burn Times

It’s important to burn a candle long enough to avoid memory or tunneling issues.

However, you’ll run into multiple issues if you burn a candle for too long.

The amount of time you should burn a candle will vary depending on the size of the candle, but typically you should avoid burning candles for more than 4 hours at a time and even less than that for smaller candles.

If you burn a candle for too long, there will be excess carbon buildup leading to more soot, a risk of the container getting too hot, and burn quality issues like flickering and mushrooming.

Keep Away from Drafts

Keep the candle away from drafty areas that may disrupt the flame.

Open windows and fans can cause the flame to flicker, disrupting combustion and producing more soot.

Purchase High Quality Candles

Candles made with low quality ingredients, an imbalance of fragrance, or improper usage of additives can all lead to poor burn quality and excess soot.