Should I Trim My Bath And Body Works Candle Wicks?

Bath & Body Works candles are beloved for their amazing scents and long burn times. But to get the most enjoyment from your candles, it’s important to take proper care of the wicks. Trimming the wicks regularly is a simple way to maximize your candle’s performance. Read on to learn when and how to trim your Bath & Body Works candle wicks for a perfect burn every time!

What Are Wicks?

A candle wick is a specially designed fiber string that is embedded into wax and used to light candles. The wick is what enables the candle to burn by drawing wax into the flame through capillary action. When the candle is lit, the wick absorbs wax which is then vaporized by the flame. This vaporized wax sustains the flame and allows for continuous burning. Wicks are typically made from materials like cotton, paper, or wood, as these fibers can absorb and transport wax most effectively. Without a wick, a candle could not properly burn or release fragrance.

Purpose of Wicks

The wick serves two important purposes in a candle. First, it allows the melted wax to flow up through the wick via capillary action. As the wax pool melts, the liquefied wax travels up the wick, helping to fuel the flame. Without a wick, the melted wax would simply pool at the bottom of the container.

Additionally, the wick controls the rate at which the candle burns. A properly-sized wick will burn slowly and evenly. Too large of a wick, and the candle will burn too rapidly, tunnel, and leave wasted wax. Too small of a wick, and the flame will be weak, produce little scent throw, and potentially self-extinguish.

When to Trim Wicks

Trimming your candle wicks is crucial for safety and to maximize your candle’s burn time. The ideal time to trim your Bath & Body Works candle wick is after its first burn when the mushrooming begins.

All wicks will mushroom or curl over after being lit for the first time. The carbon on the tip of the wick burns off and causes the wick to curl into itself, creating a mushroom shape. This is completely normal but you’ll want to snip off the blackened mushroom top before lighting the candle again.

If the wick continues to mushroom without being trimmed, it can create excess soot, smoke, and an uneven flame. Trimming the wick after the first burn prevents issues like tunneling and poor wax pool formation. It also stops the carbon buildup that leads to smoky, sooty burns.

To keep your candle burning in peak condition, trim the wick each time you notice mushrooming. That’s usually after the first burn and then a few additional times throughout the candle’s life. With a simple snip after each use, you can enjoy a clean, even flame.

How to Trim Wicks

Trimming your candle wicks is easy with the right tools. The best tool to use is a wick trimmer, which can be purchased inexpensively at most craft stores or online. Wick trimmers have a sharp blade designed specifically for cutting wicks without damaging the candle wax around it.

Follow these simple steps to trim your wicks using a wick trimmer:

  1. Make sure the candle is completely cooled and solid before attempting to trim the wick. Trimming a hot, liquid wax candle can be dangerous.
  2. Insert the wick into the hole at the base of the wick trimmer.
  3. Snip the wick by squeezing the handles of the trimmer. Aim to cut the wick to about 1/4 inch length.
  4. Repeat for each wick, rotating the candle as needed to access all wicks.

Trimming to 1/4 inch is ideal as it leaves just enough wick exposed to easily light the candle again while removing any excess that could create large flames or smoking.

Benefits of Trimming

Trimming your Bath & Body Works candle wicks regularly comes with several benefits that improve performance and safety:

  • Promotes Even Burning: Keeping wicks trimmed to 1⁄4 inch helps candles burn evenly across the entire wax pool. This prevents tunneling and wasted wax around the edges.
  • Reduces Smoke & Soot: Untrimmed wicks tend to mushroom out, which makes candles produce more soot. Trimming causes them to curl back inward for a cleaner burn.
  • Improves Safety: Long, untrimmed wicks are more likely to bend over into the melted wax or container. Trimming prevents wicks from getting too long and posing a fire hazard.

With just a quick snip every few hours of burn time, you can optimize the performance of your Bath & Body Works candles and reduce the risks that come with poor wick maintenance.

Risks of Not Trimming

Allowing your Bath & Body Works candle wicks to become too long can lead to some potentially dangerous issues. The main risks of not trimming your wicks include:


As the wick grows, it will bend over into the wax pool as it burns. This causes the flame to concentrate in one area instead of dispersing evenly across the top of the candle. Over time, this can create a cavity or tunnel in the center of the wax.

Poor Fragrance Throw

Untrimmed wicks disrupt wax pooling and lead to poor scent throw. When the wick becomes too long, the candle struggles to melt the wax around the edges. This prevents the fragrance from being released evenly into the room.

Fire Hazard

Excessively long wicks are more likely to produce smoke, soot, and tall flames that are dangerous. The longer the wick, the more prone it is to flaring up and releasing black smoke that can dirty walls, deposit soot, or even ignite flammable items nearby.

Proper Wick Care

Proper care and maintenance of your candle wicks is important for performance and safety. Here are some tips for keeping your wicks in optimal condition:

Trim your wicks frequently, about every 2-3 hours of burn time. Use small sharp scissors to trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before lighting. This helps the wick burn evenly and prevents mushrooming at the tip which leads to smoke and soot.

Always blow out candles before the wax pool reaches the edges. Trim the wick, let wax resolidify for at least 2 hours, then relight. This helps prevent tunneling and uneven burning. Extinguish candles with a snuffer or wet fingers, never blow them out forcefully.

Avoid leaving candles burning unattended. Check on candles frequently and extinguish them before going to sleep or leaving your home. Never burn a candle all the way down past 1/2 inch of wax.

Store candles properly when not in use. Keep wicks trimmed and straight, and cover with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent dust and debris buildup. This will help maintain optimal wick condition.

With proper wick maintenance and careful burning habits, you can enjoy clean, safe, and long-lasting candle performance.

Alternative Wick Options

While cotton wicks are most commonly used in Bath and Body Works candles, here are some alternative wicks to consider:

Wooden Wicks

Wooden wicks are wicks made from wood flakes and fibers compressed together. When burned, they create a unique crackling sound. Wooden wicks have a natural feel and can be made from sustainable materials. However, they may require more frequent trimming than cotton wicks.

Beeswax Wicks

Beeswax wicks are wicks coated in beeswax. The beeswax helps the wick burn slower, cooler and cleaner. Beeswax wicks don’t release as much smoke or scent. However, beeswax wicks can be more expensive and tricky to use.

Lead-Free Wicks

Lead-free wicks do not contain any lead or lead compounds. This makes them a safer option, as lead can be toxic. Lead-free wicks meet regulations and guidelines for candle safety. Just be sure the manufacturer specifies they are 100% lead-free.

Testing out different wick types can allow you to find one that provides the best results for your needs. Just be sure to always trim and maintain any wick per the manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal safety and performance.


In conclusion, trimming your Bath & Body Works candle wicks is highly recommended for optimal performance and safety. Doing so helps sustain an even flame, promote full wax pooling, and prevent smoking, tunneling, and excess soot. For best results, trim wicks to 1⁄4” before each lighting, using proper wick trimmers. Avoid cutting too low or into the wax. Proper wick length helps candles burn cleaner and safer while maximizing scent throw. Take care not to leave wicks untrimmed or damage candle edges. With proper trimming and wick maintenance, you can extend the life of your candles and enjoy them to the very last drop.

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