So... I'm new to candle making; I got some paraffin (nobody here sells soy wax), molds, stearic acid and other ingredients. Today I was trying the second candle I made; it was not a small candle at all, it was about 6cm x 10cm; I used about 240 grams of wax for it, plus stearate, color and fragrance.

It looked pretty ok, I light it a while ago, left home and when I came back roughly 5 hours later, I found this:

messy melted candle

So, what might be possible causes for this? What did I do wrong? One thing I know for sure I did different from another candle I made a while ago is this time I used a somewhat thicker wick. Could that be the reason? Was that one of many contributing factors?

  • 11
    You left a candle burning for five hours while you were away?
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 10:53
  • It does seem like the wick might cause to much wax to heat up a lot more than it needs to keep burning. Otherwise, it must be the consistency of the wax, having too low a melting point.
    – Joachim
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 10:56
  • 1
    I have little to no experience with candles but agree with @Joachim, you shouldn't left! However from the pattern and my past experience, I guess the wax was melting inside the candle without enough heat to melt the surrounding but at some point finally the wall can't withstand the heat and melts then there's a flow of wax. (This was what happened to mine).
    – user174174
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 12:26
  • @Joachim it was meant to be a Yahrzeit candle. Could it also have had to do with it not having a proper container? Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 14:39
  • 2
    Check out this link which suggests that stearic acid can adversely affect paraffin melting point in low percentage by weight doses. Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 22:51

3 Answers 3


You did not do anything wrong, except leave a candle burning for hours unattended. Candles melt when burning, and five hours is not a short time in a regular candles life.

  • 1
    But that's not the point of the question: the OP is asking for a reason the wax has not evaporated and burned away, but just melted and streamed away.
    – Joachim
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 23:07
  • Where? The question specifically said the candle "burned (or melted) way too quickly" Nothing about evaporating. I guess it is hinted at in some of the comments, but never stated.
    – rebusB
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 19:44
  • The OP asks "what might be possible causes for this?" after showing the consequences of burning this candle in the image. The "way too quickly" refers to that very same effect of the wax just streaming away (which I think is reason enough to assume it didn't combust properly). Evaporation is part of that process but, indeed, not mentioned by the author.
    – Joachim
    Commented May 12, 2020 at 21:01

Commercial candles normally have a higher melting temperature wax on the outer surface. This retains a pool of low temperature wax to be drawn up the wick by capillary action.


It seems the wick was to blame.

Apart from the consistency of the wax, the wick needs to be able to 'guide' enough of the wax towards the flame. If too much wax melts before it can reach the flame to properly combust, the wax will just run off. So my guess is the capillarity of the wick was too low.
You mention a smaller candle, about half the size of the one depicted, was burning properly for 24 hours on a smaller wick, so try increasing the diameter slightly, and see if that works. What's important, I think, is not the size necessarily, but the diameter of the candle that's exposed to the flame.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .