Can You Relight A Tea Candle?

What Are Tea Candles?

Tea candles, also known as tealights, are small wax candles encased in thin metal or plastic cups. This allows the candle wax to liquefy completely while lit without spilling (Source: Tea candles get their name from their original use of heating tea kettles, but today they are popularly used in candle holders, for ambiance, in centerpieces, for warming candle warmers, in luminaries, and more.

Some common uses for tea candles include:

  • Ambiance – The small flames create a cozy atmosphere.
  • Candle Holders – Tea candles are made to fit in various styles of candle holders.
  • Centerpieces – Groupings of tea light candles make attractive centerpieces.
  • Wax Warmers – The melt pool warms scented wax for aromatic oil warmers.
  • Luminaries – Placing a tea light in a paper bag creates a simple luminary.

In summary, tea candles are a versatile type of candle, originally used for heating kettles but now popularly used in candle holders, for ambiance, and in DIY projects due to their small, convenient size (Source: Their metal casing allows them to liquefy completely while lit without spilling wax.

Can Tea Candles Be Relit?

Yes, tea candles can be relit after burning. However, the number of times you can safely relight a tea candle depends on the type of candle.

According to Bees Light Candles, tea light wicks do not need to be trimmed and should only be lit once for an optimal burning experience (source). Relighting a tea light candle multiple times can lead to issues like tunneling, where wax melts unevenly.

On the other hand, some manufacturers like LumaBase indicate their tea lights can be relit up to six times before the candle becomes too low for safe burning (source). Higher quality tea lights made from beeswax or soy wax may allow more relights as well.

As a general rule, you should stop relighting a tea candle once it becomes less than half full to prevent unsafe conditions. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the recommended relight limit for a particular tea light.

Safety Precautions

When relighting tea candles, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. According to The Tea: Candle Safety 101, you should let the wax fully harden before attempting to relight a candle. It’s best to wait at least 2 hours for the wax to fully solidify. Relighting a candle when the wax is still molten can lead to wax spills and potential burns or fires.

trim the wick and allow the wax to fully cool before relighting a tea candle.

Additionally, be sure to trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before relighting, as recommended by Safety Tips for Candles and Tealights in the Home. Long wicks can produce large flames and allow melted wax to pool, creating fire hazards. A shorter wick will provide a safer, more controlled flame when relighting the candle.

Always place relit candles on heat-safe surfaces away from flammable materials. Never leave burning candles unattended, and keep out of reach of children and pets. Taking key precautions allows you to safely relight and enjoy tea candles.

Relighting Instructions

If your tea candle has gone out before fully melting all the wax, you may be able to relight it safely. Here are some tips for relighting tea candles:

First, allow the wax to fully harden and cool. This ensures the wick and wax have stabilized and reduces the risk of flare-ups or sooting when you relight the candle. Wait at least 2 hours before attempting to relight the candle. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for cooling times.

Next, trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch length using scissors or nail clippers. This promotes an even burn and reduces excess smoking from a long wick. Make sure no stray wick strands are left behind. Trim just the tip of the wick so it stands straight up from the wax.[1]

When ready to light, use a long match or a candle lighter to safely ignite the wick without burning your fingers. Hold the flame to the tip of the wick until it ignites and burns steadily. Avoid relighting too soon or using a regular short match which risks burns. Refer to the manufacturer’s relighting guidance for the recommended starter.[2]

Position the tea candle in a heat-safe holder on a stable, flame-resistant surface. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Watch the freshly lit wick to ensure it burns evenly without smoking, flaring, or going out. Trim the wick further if needed. Now you can safely enjoy the remaining burn time of your relit tea candle.

Maximizing Burn Time

There are a few tips and tricks you can follow to get the most burn time out of your tea candles and extend their life. According to research from this Reddit thread, one of the most effective ways is to trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before lighting. The shorter wick will burn slower and more evenly, preventing the flame from getting too large and burning too quickly. Make sure to use scissors or nail clippers to neatly trim the wick without leaving frayed edges.

It’s also important to allow the tea candle to fully cool and harden before relighting, according to candle experts. Relighting too soon can cause the wax to melt unevenly and create deep pools of wax that lead to tunneling. Allow at least a few hours for the wax to fully harden again before relighting. This will help the candle burn slowly and evenly for a longer period of time. Following these simple tips of trimming the wick and allowing to fully cool between burns can maximize the life of your tea candles.


If a tea candle won’t relight after it has gone out, there are a few common issues that may be causing the problem. The most likely culprit is that the wax may be too hot. After burning for a period of time, the wax can retain a lot of heat. If you try to relight the candle too soon, while the wax is still very hot, it may not catch flame again. Allow the candle to cool off for at least 15-30 minutes before attempting to relight it. This allows the wax temperature to decrease so it can accept the flame again.

Another reason a relight may not work is if the wick has become too short or needs trimming. Snip off any excess burnt parts of the wick with scissors or nail clippers. Leave about 1/4 inch of wick length remaining. This ensures there is enough exposed wick for the flame to ignite. Wicks that are too short may become enveloped by melted wax, making it impossible to light them. Regularly trimming the wick as the candle burns down helps prevent wick drowning.

Check that the wick is still centered and straight too. If the wick leans to one side or touches the candle container, it can create issues relighting. Carefully straighten or re-center the wick if needed. This allows even burning and makes it easier to get the wick tip lit.

With the right cooling off period and wick maintenance, an extinguished tea candle can typically be relit multiple times before it is fully spent. Just be patient and make any necessary trims or adjustments to set it up for successful relighting.

Alternatives to Relighting

If you have leftover wax in a tea candle that won’t light anymore, there are creative ways to repurpose it instead of relighting. One popular option is to make new candles from the leftover wax.

Collect wax remnants from old tea candles and melt them together in a double boiler. Make sure to use a heat-safe container. Heat until the wax is completely melted. Then you can pour the melted wax into new containers like empty tea light cups, jars, or molds to make new candles. Add candle wicks before the wax fully hardens. This gives new life to used tea candles.

You can also use the melted wax to coat wicks to help them stand upright in containers. Some people prefer to mix the leftover wax with new wax when making candles, as the old wax can discolor the appearance. But remelting and reusing tea candle wax is an easy, eco-friendly way to reduce waste.

How Long Do Tea Candles Last?

Tea candles are designed to burn for a relatively short period of time, ranging from 2 hours up to 6 hours per use depending on the brand. According to Northern Lights Candles, their long-burning tealights last up to 6 hours each with a single use [1]. Goodlight Candles states their tea lights burn for up to 4 hours or more before going out [2].

The total burn time for a tea candle can be extended by relighting it, but the maximum burn time will decrease with each successive lighting. Relighting a used tea candle may only yield an additional 1-2 hours of burn time. The wax pool also gets shallower with each use, making it harder to keep the wick lit. Most sources recommend replacing tea candles after 1-2 uses for optimal burn time.

Tea Candle Tips

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your tea candles:

Use Candle Holders

Always place tea candles in holders made of glass, metal, ceramic or other non-flammable materials. The holder catches melting wax and prevents the flame from coming into direct contact with surfaces. A good holder also helps prevent drafts from blowing out the flame. Some popular holders for tea lights include small glass jars, ceramic ramekins and metal tins.

Avoid Drafts

Drafts and sudden gusts of air can blow out a tea light’s small flame. Avoid placing tea candles in very drafty areas near open windows, doors or AC vents. If needed, you can shelter the candle by placing it behind another object or inside a lantern. Be aware of ceiling fans and other sources of strong air currents in the room.

Store Properly

To maintain freshness and maximize burn time, store unused tea candles in a cool, dry place away from direct light. Keep them in their original packaging or a sealed container until ready to use. Avoid temperature extremes such as hot attics or freezing garages.


Here are some common questions about relighting tea candles:

Can you relight a tea candle after blowing it out?

Yes, you can safely relight a tea candle after blowing it out, as long as there is still enough wax remaining. According to Bees Light Candles, tea lights are designed to be lit once for optimal burn time. However, you can relight as long as over half the wax remains.

How many times can you relight a tea candle?

Most experts recommend only relighting a tea candle 1-2 times. The wax can overheat and become damaged if relit too many times, according to Bee Zero Waste. Allow the wax to fully solidify before relighting.

How long should you let a tea candle burn the first time?

For safety and maximum burn time, let a tea candle burn for at least 4 hours the first time it’s lit, advises Honey Candles. This helps the wax fully liquefy and prevents tunneling.

Is it safe to leave a tea candle burning overnight?

No, do not leave a burning tea candle unattended overnight. Tea candles are intended for short-term use and can pose a fire hazard if left burning for too long. Extinguish tea candles before going to sleep or leaving home.

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