Do You Need to Trim Candle Wicks? (Find Out Why You Should)

Are you wondering if you should trim your candle wicks? Is it necessary?

Short answer: YES!

The candle wick is one of if not the most important parts of your candle, and some simple maintenance can go a long way in improving your candle’s lifecycle.

Below we will go over exactly why you need to trim your candle wicks and how to do it.

Do You Need to Trim Candle Wicks

Trimming your candle wick is the easiest way to improve the quality of your candle. By trimming your wick, you’ll have a brighter, more consistent flame while reducing the amount of soot and smoke your candle produces. You’ll also keep your container candles looking nice by reducing those black stains commonly caused by untrimmed wicks.

Why You Should Trim Your Candles

Trim your wick and you’ll not only extend your candle’s life but also avoid an unruly flame that, at best, will leave black stains on your containers and, at worst, be a fire hazard.

The wick is responsible for providing fuel (wax) to your flame, and the length of your wick is one of the factors that will determine how much of that fuel your candle flame feeds on.

Learn more about a variety of wicks and how to choose the right one for your candle.

The longer the wick, the larger the flame, and the faster your wax melts, which creates more fuel for your flame. Excess soot is produced when the wick provides more fuel than the flame can burn.

It’s a dirty cycle (literally).

So get into the habit of trimming your wick, and you’ll get the quality burn you expect from your candle.

Benefits of Trimming Your Candle Wick

  1. Clean candle burn that produces less soot and smoke
  2. Extended burn time
  3. Steady, even flame
  4. Brighter flame, more illumination
  5. Reduce black residue staining your containers

How to Trim Your Candle Wicks

Now that you know why you should trim your wick, let’s go over the simple trimming process.

You’ll want to trim the candle wick to a ¼ inch above the wax.

You can use a wick trimmer, scissors, or nail clippers to trim your wick.

trim candle wick to 1/4 inch with wick trimmer

With container candles, the wick will eventually be out of reach for scissors, so I recommend getting a candle wick trimmer to make life easy.

An added benefit to candle wick trimmers is that there’s an area to catch carbon deposits when you trim, so they don’t create a mess.

How Often to Trim Your Candle Wicks

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your candles, trim your wicks to ¼ inch before each time you light the candle.

This will ensure you have a clean and safe flame.


Whether buying or making your own, you’ll want to get the best quality burn from your candles.

And it’s amazing what a simple trimming can do.

You can extend the life of your candle, reduce soot, and maintain a safe quality flame for very little effort.

So always be trimming!