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Why Does My Candle Jar Turn Black? (6 Possible Reasons)

Why Does My Candle Jar Turn Black? (6 Possible Reasons)

Today, everyone is using candles in their rooms. This is thanks to the ambiance it adds to the room. Even more, it provides a nice and pleasant scent that makes it desirable. You can even get access to a wide range of colors and scents based on your needs.

However, a problem is common with the use of candles. Precisely, this is the moment your candle jar begins to turn black. Unfortunately, this can ruin the look of your candle, making it all dirty. Eventually, if you don’t do anything about it, you’ll have to throw it out.

We bet you’re wondering what’s the reason for this unfortunate situation that affects the beauty of your candle jar. Well, you aren’t the only one wondering this. As such, we’ve taken our time to address these questions. 

In this article, we’ll answer the question, why does my candle jar turn black. Afterward, we’ll address other seemingly important questions. We’ll even address how to avoid it and get rid of it.

Dive in!

6 Possible Reasons For the Candle Jar Turning Black

Now, you’re curious about what causes the black color on your candle jar. As we promised, we’ll address the question in this article. However, just before that, you need to understand how your candle operates.

Typically, your candle burns in the presence of oxygen and carbon. A combination of these elements, including the wax, ensures that it doesn’t go off. This involves a chemical reaction where water vapor and carbon dioxide get created.

However, the problem occurs where the chemical reaction gets altered. In this situation, there’s an imbalance and incomplete process. In turn, this leads to burning without the presence of oxygen in the air.

Precisely, the unburned carbon atoms get carried within a stream. On the other hand, water vapor rises, which leads to the black smoke that you know as soot. It is this soot that now gets your candle jar all black.

Now, we understand that all this sounds very confusing. However, it’s quite easy. Here’s the thing. The increased flame is a result of burning in the presence of carbon and in the absence of oxygen. Now, since there’s no oxygen to balance up the whole reaction, you start seeing the black stains on your candle jar.

Further, various factors result in this condition that we just described above. They include:

1. The Additives in the Wax

The additives present in the wax is a major cause of the black stains in your candle jar. Precisely, these additives distort the chemical reaction of the candle, which increases the burning. It’s this increase that now results in the absence of oxygen and more soot.

2. Flame Flicker 

Usually, another thing that can result in the black stains on your candle jar is a flame flicker. Now, when a flicker starts, there’s an alteration in the chemical reaction that brings the fire to life. Precisely, there is the consumption of more wax.

In turn, this increased consumption of wax creates less oxygen consumption. This uneven release of carbon into the air is what creates this black stain.

3. Inadequate Oxygen 

Now, you should be able to tell, the creation of the black stain on your candle jar is a result of two factors. The first is the increase in carbon consumption. The other is the reduction of available oxygen. It’s this second reason that concerns us here.

Typically, where your candle is lower, it has less access to oxygen like it once did when it was taller. In turn, this can cause the development of a black stain in your candle jar. It’s quite simple.

The closer your candle wax to the bottom, the lower its access to oxygen. This reduction then creates an irregularity in the chemical reaction that causes the emergence of black smoke stains.

4. Clogged Wick 

Another factor that results in the emergence of your candle jar turning black is a clogged wick. In a case where there are considerable additives around the wick, it can cause clogging. In turn, this will reduce the constant absorption of the wax.

Consequently, there’s an alteration in the chemical reaction that leads to the emergence of unburned carbon atoms. Eventually, it’s only a matter of time before your candle jar turns black.

5. Incorrect Wick Size

Another thing that can result in you having a black candle jar is an incorrect wick size. This occurs in a situation where the wick installed is either too small or too big. In this case, it’s clearly off-balance. In turn, you’ll record the production of excess carbon, which leaves your candle jar black.

6. Type of Wick

Last on our list of reasons is the type of wick that you get. Usually, some wicks are more likely to produce black smoke than some others. For instance, cotton-core ones will hardly produce black jars. On the other hand, zinc-core options will result in black candle jars. 

Is Black Smoke From The Candle Dangerous For Humans?

Now, you just might be wondering what the effects of those black smoke are for your health. And who wouldn’t? These days there are loads of things out there that can harm our health. Yet, we hardly pay attention to them.

So, are these smokes dangerous? The reality is that in most cases, candles in themselves are not dangerous to you, at least health-wise. Precisely, getting a scented candle doesn’t come with any health hazard or risk.

Now into the smoke that comes from it, the situation is also the same. The reality is that smoke is too small to constitute any health risk to you. This is because this smoke is equivalent to that created by a toaster or your cooking oil. So, you don’t need to worry about any health hazards. 

Is Burning Candle Dangerous for the Environment?

Next on your list of questions is if candle burning is dangerous to the environment. Well, we are compelled to answer somewhat in the affirmative. This is because of most candles that you get come from paraffin. This represents a by-product of refining oil. Even more, the wicks have a link to lead.

In turn, candles can release various carcinogens such as Benzene, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acrolein, Toluene, and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons. Note that their release into the environment is dangerous to nature. As such, your best bet would be green candles.

How Do You Keep A Candle from Turning Black? (Ways to Prevent It from Turning Black) 

Now, while this smoke will not harm your health, a black candle jar isn’t the best option aesthetically. As such, you’ll want to avoid this by doing all you can. While this can seem abstract, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll discuss some ways to ensure that you can prevent your candle jar from turning black

1. Place in Well Ventilated Area

The first trick is to ensure that you place your candles in well-ventilated areas. As you can already tell, your candles need adequate oxygen to prevent black stains. You’ll want to provide this through a correct placement. Even more, you’ll want to avoid draughty areas without sufficient oxygen.

By doing this, you avoid the emergence of dark smokes. However, this doesn’t mean you should place your candle in an area with an air vent. This will only provide excess oxygen, which will destabilize the flame. As always, when the flames get unstable, you’ll only get black stains.

It’s simple; you don’t want anything that disturbs the airflow. This will extend to people running or moving the candle from a place to another.

2. Trim Your Wicks

Like we already told you, your wicks play a significant role in avoiding or getting a black candle jar. Now, it’s your role to ensure your wicks burn cleanly and effectively. One way to achieve this is to ensure that you check out your wick and give it a trim regularly. This will ensure that it doesn’t grow beyond the acceptable ¼ inches. 

3. Reposition Your Wick

Beyond keeping the wick within the acceptable length, you’ll need to reposition it regularly. This is to ensure that the wick remains in the center of the wax. This provides an optimal setting that allows your candle to burn better and more efficiently. 

Note that when your wick isn’t properly placed. It will lean towards a particular spot. That spot will usually burn faster and with less oxygen. As you can tell, this will only result in black stains. We bet you want to avoid this, so reposition. 

4. Monitor Mushrooming 

You’ll need to look out for mushrooms. Now, in cases where you believe this is happening, extinguish the flame. The next step will be to trim your wick. Your goal will be to remove the black ball. Once you do this, you can start using your candle again.

5. Keep Your Candle Jar Clean

This is as important as every other tip as you look towards avoiding a black jar. It would help if you kept it clean of dirt and debris. This is because this debris can still fall back to affect the burning of your candle.

So, you want to keep your jar covered when you’re not using it. Also, once you notice dirt in your jar, just clean it up, and you’re good to go. However, don’t clean it while you have the candle on. You’ll want to wait for it to dry.

How to Get Rid of Black Marks on the Candle Jar?

You won’t need to get here if you follow all our tips above. However, you just might have found yourself with a black candle jar before you came across this article. Well, we’ve got you covered too. You can always remove these black stains from your candle jar.

Even more, it’s not complicated. Here are three ways to get this done.

  • You can use vinegar to clean it. All you need to do is add water to reduce its concentration. It should get the job done.
  • You can also dab the jar with alcohol and blot it using a paper towel. We’ve tried it regularly, and it works like magic.
  • You can also use soapy water to clean the jar. All you just need to do is ensure it is warm. Then, you can apply a cotton pad to clean the jar of all black stains.

Now, once you’re done cleaning the jar, you’ll need to maintain safety measures. Precisely, you’ll need to ensure that the jar gets dried before you consider lighting the candle again.


It’s easy to wonder why your candle jar has turned black. However, what appeared hard before was the answers. Well, that’s what we have provided here for you. We’ve also shown you how to prevent these black stains for your good. Even more, we went a step further on how to remove them.

So, read up and have a great time lighting your home with candles.