How to Reduce Soot from Candles
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How to Reduce Soot from Candles

Candles are often used for various purposes, may it be during functions or during a prayer. These candles make your house functions all the more attractive. But there is a major problem while lighting these candles. They tend to give out soot which damages the surrounding walls and furniture. There are some ways by which you can reduce this sooth.

Candles are used for many occasions and functions.  In US alone, candle sales amount to approximately $ 2 billion.  These candles are available in many different forms such as tealights, liturgical candles, birthday candles, novelty candles and container candles. Around a billion pounds of wax is used every year to produce these candles which in itself speak of its popularity.

 But along with this, there are some major complaints regarding the soot that comes out of these candles.  This soot damages the surrounding walls as well as creates pollution in the air.   The main reason for causing this soot is due to the imbalance in the fuel combustion supplied to the wick.  In the case of candles the fuel is the wax and if there is any disturbance in the flame of the candle, the supply gets disturbed too.  This causes excessive supply of wax to the wick causing it release the soot. 

 This soot can be avoided by some simple methods.

  • Trimming the Wicks – This is the most simple and easiest way to reduce the amount of soot a candle produces. A normal candle has a long wick.  The result is that the flame cannot get the required wax from it to burn steadily.    Trim the wick of the candle to about ¼” when lighting a new candle.  If this produces a much larger flame or a bouncy flame, then trim it to a little smaller size.  Always keep your eyes open to the flame and keep on trimming the wick as and when required. 
  • Buying simple candles – It is often found that scented candles produce more soot than the normal ones.  This is due to the fact that the fragrance oils used in these candles contain unsaturated hydrocarbons.  These hydrocarbons soften the wax not letting it burn hot.  As the candle burns cooler, it has a tendency to produce more soot.  As such avoid buying scented candles and opt for those simple candles to reduce the soot.
  • Avoid those Drafty winds – For the candles to burn without soot, the main disturbance i.e. the draft has to be checked.  This is due to the fact that drafts cause uneven combustion which brings about the soot.  An unsteady flame causes most of the soot and as such see to it that your candle is kept as far away from drafty spots  which may be near to an open window or below a fan.
  • Using Open Bottomed glass containers – This is another way of reducing that soot from the candle.  Using a cylinder which is open from both sides can actually reduce the soot.  This is based on the fact that fire needs oxygen to burn.  When a candle burns, its flame uses up the oxygen in the cylinder.  Due to this the air which is outside is sucked by the candle flame from the top, but on the other hand, the warm air produced by the candle wants a way to get out.  This brings about turbulence in the flame causing the soot.  If we have an open bottomed cylinder which is perched or lifted slightly from underneath, this may cause the hot air to go out and thus reduce the disturbance. 
  • The Lead Factor – Previously candle wicks were made using lead.  This was mostly used to keep the wick erect.  This lead used to create soot and metal accumulation.  Nowadays, lead is discontinued but sometimes we may find some candle wicks mixed with this material.  So, it is wise to check your candles at the time of buying, to see if they contain lead in their wicks.  It would be a wise step to reduce the soot coming from your candles. 
  • Quality is Forever – Quality does not mean buying those expensive candles.  Quality means to buy candles which are properly made.  Buy your candles from persons who are experts in the field of candle-making and who know their business.  These people take care in terms of the wick size, the type of wax to be used as well as the size of the candle.  So, the next time you buy candles, make sure you buy them from some resourceful persons. 

 These were the various ways by which one can reduce the unwanted soot coming out of the candle which makes your surroundings polluted and your expensive furniture and walls black. 


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