Troubleshooting Common Beeswax Candle Problems

Beeswax candles have a lot of advantages over more traditional, paraffin candles. They burn more cleanly, they're good for the planet, and they have a lovely, natural scent. However, they can be a bit finicky to burn sometimes. The problems people encountered when burning beeswax candles are never that hard to solve, but you do have to know how to solve them — which is what this troubleshooting guide will teach you.

Problem: Your candle is burning more on one side than the other.

In other words, when you're dealing with this problem, one side of the wax will be melted and burned down, but the other will be solid and higher in the glass. This tends to happen if the wick is not centered in the candle. Put the candle out, and let it cool until you can handle the wick. Try to push or pull the wick, gently, towards the side of the candle that's not burning as much. Let the wax solidify before lighting the candle again.

Problem: Your wax is tunneling down the center.

In other words, the wax in the middle of the candle is melting, but you have tall walls of unmelted wax all along the candle's perimeter. Tunneling, as this melting pattern is called, is really common with beeswax candles, but it's easy to fix. Just push the unmelted wax towards the center of the candle after every burn. This is known as "hugging" the wax. When the wax is still warm, it's pretty easy to shape and mold with your hands in this way.

Problem: The candle has begun to smell like soot.

Beeswax candles are known for their light, pleasant scent, so having yours begin to smell sooty can be pretty disheartening. This is generally an issue with the wick, rather than with the wax. If the wax burns too slowly, the wick may get too cool and may develop some soot on its end. Blow the candle out, and use scissors to trim off the very top of the wick. Then, hug in the sides of your candle to make sure the flame is getting enough wax. Also, make sure your candle is away from any drafts, which may lower the burning point and cause a sooty odor.

Beeswax candles are typically pretty easy to burn, but if you run into any of the minor issues above, you now know how to solve them.