When you light a candle and there is a light wind or slight draft in your room, it is understandable why the flame starts flickering. But what is the situation in those cases when there is no movement? Why do candles flicker when there is no wind? To answer that question, you need to know a few things about how a candle burns – and also how a candle is made.
How does a candle burn?
To understand the process, you should be aware how candles burn. Basically, your candle is burning via the combination of oxygen with its own melted, liquid candle wax. If the wick gets too much or too little fuel or oxygen, it can start flickering randomly. Normally, a candle is not supposed to flicker unless the above mentioned disruption occurs. However, there are some reasons which can also cause your candle to flicker – mostly because of mistakes during the manufacturing process.
Mistakes during candle making
From this aspect, there are a few points which should be mentioned. Firstly, your candle can flicker if there are air bubbles, dirt or any impurity in the wax. The reason behind it, is that your candle wax is the one feeding the flame and bubbles can disrupt the flow of the flame.
Apart from the wax, the candle wick can also cause strange flickering. If there was any fault during manufacturing, this might be the problem. Also, it your wick is too long that can cause similar problems. You can avoid this if you trim the wick a quarter of an inch before using it.
Apart from the two mentioned issues, other manufacturing mistakes can be behind this problem. Using the wrong wick or not pouring the wax at the right temperature might be the reasons as well.
How do you store your candles?
Well, blaming the manufacturer is easier – however, you might have caused the flickering yourself. By not storing correctly your candle, as it can also be a reason. If you keep your candles without a lid on, it might collect dust, dirt or moisture as well. These factors can cause your flickering once you start to use the candle.
Why does it matter?
Some of you might ask who really cares if your candle is flickering. Well, that’s a reasonable question. Basically, you would light a candle to enjoy a calm and peaceful dinner or a nice bath with relaxing music. In these situations, a flickering candle can really be annoying by ruining the mood. Also, if your candle is flickering, it might be burning more quickly so you won’t be able to enjoy it as long. But if that doesn’t bother you, it can still become dangerous. If it is burning on the wrong place – let’s say next to the curtain – the higher than normal flames can be dangerous by catching fire.
So what can you do? Well, firstly you should put it away from doors and windows where the air is moving. Secondly, keep the wick at a proper length to avoid carbon build-up. If these tips don’t work, you might want to consider changing the candle and using another safe one!