Why Is My Candle Making a Popping Sound

Candles can make popping or crackling noises from any disruptions to the flame, such as air bubbles or moisture in the wax, impurities in the wax, a wick that is too long, or heavy carbon buildup on the wick.

An unpredictable flame is the last thing you want to deal with when trying to relax with your candles, but luckily there are ways to identify what’s causing the popping sounds.

Below you’ll learn the possible causes of popping and what you can do to fix or prevent it.

Why is My Candle Making Popping or Crackling Sounds?

There are multiple reasons why your candle may be making popping or crackling noises, and it’s essential to figure out why so you can get the best performance out of your candles and prevent a possible fire hazard.

Ensure not to confuse a popping problem with specialty wooden wicks that give candles a pop-and-crackle effect.

Air Bubbles

During the manufacturing process, the candle wax is constantly stirred, which can lead to air bubbles trapped in the wax.

As the wax melts, air can release, leading to popping sounds.

Air bubbles can also form while making the candle yourself.

If you’re making the candle yourself, avoid vigorous stirring, which can create air bubbles. When adding fragrance, pour slowly, and do not shake the fragrance bottle before pouring.

Make sure to slowly pour the wax, which can reduce air bubbles and prevent other issues like cracks in your candles.


Any moisture around or in the candle will lead to problems.

Water or any moisture on the candle’s surface will disrupt the wick’s flow and lead to an unruly flame. Moisture can result in popping noises, making it unsafe to burn the candle.

Impurities in the Wax

Dust, dirt, and debris can be why your candle is popping and not burning the way it should be.

Candles can often sit for long periods, collecting dust and debris.

This may look like a surface-level problem, but over time the dust and debris can work themselves into the wax and combine when the wax melts, giving you a steady supply of issues for the flame.

Wick Management

Long wicks will lead to larger unpredictable candle flames that may cause popping.

More soot is produced when you have a larger flame, and you’ll also notice heavy carbon buildup forming around the wick, referred to as mushrooming.

Make sure you trim the wick before each burn.

How to Prevent Popping and Crackling Candles

Properly Store Your Candles

Always put lids on your candles to protect them from dust and debris.

Use a covered box if your candle doesn’t have a lid.

Not only will this save you from having to clean your candles, but it’ll also ensure your candles stay fresh and ready to light at your convenience.

Be Aware of the Environment Your Candle Is In

Avoid any areas that could expose your candle to moisture.

Kitchen and bathroom areas can be popular spots for candles but can also lead to problems with moisture either from water sources or humidity from hot showers.

You may have read articles about freezing your candle to make it last longer, but this can cause problems.

If you place a container candle in the freezer, it will accumulate moisture and can impair the performance of your wick.

Also, if you try to light a candle with a frozen container, the temperature change can compromise the integrity of your container, causing it to break.

Trim the Candle Wick

Make it a habit to always trim your wick before you light the candle.

Trimming will reduce carbon buildup and soot and improve the quality of your candle flame with minimal effort.

Trim the wick to a ¼ inch above the surface of the wax.

Clean the Surface of Your Candle

If you’ve properly stored your candles, this won’t be an issue, but sometimes we forget and leave a candle sitting out, which requires us to clean our candles before lighting.

Make sure to clean the candle’s surface and remove any dust or debris buildup.

If you’ve trimmed your candle, clean up any carbon that may have fallen onto the surface of the wax after you trim the wick.


If you’re wondering why your candle is making popping sounds when it shouldn’t, investigate the following:

Is there moisture in or around your candle? Ensure the candle is dry and placed away from any sources of moisture.

Is the candle clean? Remove any dust or debris from the candle. When storing your candles, use a lid or some protection from outside elements and prevent any buildup of dust and debris.

Pay attention to the candle wick. Trim the candle wick to ¼ inch before each time you light the candle. Properly maintaining the wick will remove excess carbon buildup, reduce soot, and prevent your flame from becoming unruly.

Are air bubbles in the wax? Sometimes this is out of your control from the manufacturing process, and other times it can form during the candle-making process. This problem typically takes care of itself during the melting process but can occasionally lead to further problems.