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Why Does My Candle Jar Turn Black? (All You Need to Know)

Candle jars are a great way to make any room smell lovely. Not only that, but it is also a great way to amp up the look of any room and give it a very cozy vibe. 

Having black stuff on the jars on your candle can defeat the purpose and be quite unattractive which is why it is necessary to find out the reasoning behind it to prevent it from happening. 

Why does my candle jar turn black?

This usually occurs when the candle has been in use for a while. When there is not sufficient airflow around it, carbon is created as a by-product of the incomplete reaction. This causes the black soot to deposit on the sides of your candle jar and create a burnt outlook. 

There is a right way to burn candles and if you are not doing it properly then chances are that after a while you will notice burn marks on the sides of your candle jar or your candle tuning black which can get quite unsightly. 

The most common reason as to why your candle jars or your candle itself is experiencing a black buildup along the sides is due to carbon and there can be a lot of reasons as to why this is happening. 

Not enough air:

The candle burning in itself is producing soot which is basically unburned carbon. Carbon only burns properly and the reaction is complete if there is proper airflow throughout your candle. 

When there is not sufficient airflow, combustion occurs and the gas produced due to it prevents the flame from burning properly. This can result in soot which ends up staining the interior of your candle jar. 

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Too much air:

There is also something known as too much airflow. Burning a candle properly is not as simple as it may sound. Too much or too little air can have an ample effect on it. 

If there is too much airflow around your candle, the flame of your candle will start to move around more. It ends up burning too much of the wax when it moves around. This releases and causes unburned carbon to stick to the sides of your candle jar as black soot. 

Since your flame is moving too fast, the soot can also end up staining your candle a brown or black color. 

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Excess enhancers present in the candle:

If candles were made out of only solid wax then they would smell as good as most candles nowadays do. 

The candles that we usually buy contain various chemicals and enhancers to help them burn for a longer period of time as well as to smell delightful and look good. 

Even though these are not necessarily bad, there can be too many enhancers present in cheaper candles and it might be of cheaper quality too. 

This can lead to your candle making too much soot when burning which ends up leaving the black soot marks on your candle or the inside of the jar. 

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Length and size ratio of the wick:

Making candles is a complex piece of art and to properly make it requires a lot of craftsmanship. This includes the length and size ratio of the wick. If your candle is bigger in size then the size of the wick must correspond to it and vice versa. 

It takes time and knowledge to figure out the correct wick size for candles and if it is not proper then your candle will not burn smoothly. Your candle may burn jagged, too quick, or very slow.

Alongside these issues, there are also chances that your candle ends up producing carbon or releasing carbon atoms as soot which can stain your candle jar or even your candle itself black, especially if it burns unevenly. 

Wick element:

The element your candle wick is made up of is also very important. Candles are made from something known as cored wicks but there are many different varieties of them.

The element your core wick is made from is the key factor here because there are certain elements that trigger the production of soot a lot more than other elements. 

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How to keep candle jars from turning black?

There are some ways in which you can prevent your candle jars from turning into unsightly black. 

Graded candles:

Candles that are of good standard do not mean you have to spend a fortune on them. Getting one that is made more delicately and with care will decrease the chances of it producing soot. 

You just have to keep an eye out for ones that do not contain too many enhancers in them and a cored wick that is made of a great element that has a lower chance of producing soot. 

You just have to make sure to burn your candle in an aerated place and there are good chances that your candle will not produce soot. 

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Burning your candle properly:

Burning your candle in the proper way does not necessarily mean only giving it good airflow. You must also keep in mind to burn it fully until the crown of the jar has turned to liquid. 

This will prevent something called memory rings from establishing in your candle jar. This will further help you to stop soot from forming and as a result not staining your candle jar black.

Taking care of your candle:

Cleaning your candle properly can make quite the difference and prevent future soot from forming. 

It is always a great idea to trim your candle’s wick once in a while because if it gets black, uneven, or way too long then it can end up triggering the formation of soot. Clean off any dirt from your candle as well. 

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How do you remove black soot from a candle jar?

There are some tips you can follow to easily remove black soot from a candle jar and keep it look cleaner.

Vinegar solution:

This is the most effective and easiest way. Take some vinegar from your pantry and add a few drops of water to dilute the vinegar a bit. Take some cotton balls and you can use that to clean off the soot marks from your candle jar. 

Using a cotton bud can help you reach the tricky areas and give a cleaner look. 


You can use any form of alcohol available and clean it using a paper towel. It is just as effective as the vinegar solution. However, do ensure to clean it off with warm water properly afterward to prevent any mishaps when you burn the candle later on. 

Soap and water:

If you do not have very dark soot marks then this can come in handy. Take some warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap to it. Mix it well until it turns soapy and uses cotton balls to clean the soot off your jar. 

This can get quite a bit messy so stay careful and do not get it everywhere. 

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Is it bad if a candle gives off black smoke or black soot?

The soot that candles produce when not burned properly is not harmful at all. The amount that is produced is very small to hardly cause any type of health problems so do not worry. It is much different than soot that is produced on an industrial scale. 

Removing the soot from your candle jar or finding ways to prevent it is a personal choice that people take to help their candles and space look better. Black soot on a candle jar can be quite unsightly to many. 

The black smoke is a result of the soot formed from candles and it usually happens if your wick is clogged or way too long. Ensure that the enhancers and the material used for the candle wick is not bad because inhaling it for prolonged periods of time can be bad. 

If you see that your candle is producing black smoke, blow it out immediately and take care of your wick. 

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What are the cleanest candles to burn?

The cleanest candles to burn are unscented candles as it has less amount of enhancers which can be potentially harmful if you are exposed to it for long periods of time. Scented candles also have a higher chance of releasing soot. 

You should look for good-quality candles that do not contain too many enhancers and whose core wick is made from cotton material. These are usually the safest candles to burn. 

Final Thoughts:

Candle jars turning black is not a very big issue and it can be tackled easily. You just have to ensure to buy good quality candles and take good care of your candle wick so that it does not trigger the production of carbon that ends up leaving the nasty black marks behind.