How to save a candle with a "lost" wick
January 8, 2005 9:07 AM   Subscribe

My sister gave me a lovely big pillar candle for Christmas. When I went to burn it last night, the wick burned off. There's a little tiny stub of a wick- I can light it, but it only burns a small blue flame. Can this candle be saved?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use a knife to cut around the wick. Alternately light the candle and cut and eventually, you'll have enough wick for real lighting.
posted by amandaudoff at 9:11 AM on January 8, 2005

Light the wick, and when a melt pool develops pour it away. This will expose more of the wick.
posted by Leon at 9:31 AM on January 8, 2005

Heh - what a wierd topic to know something about, but I actually used to work for a candle distribution company. There are little tools called "wick picks" and "candle savers" that you can buy to excavate around the wick (Yankee Candle stores will have them). Failing that, what amandaudoff said.

Wicks should be about 1/4" long for best results - any longer and paraffin-based candles start to smoke.
posted by killdevil at 9:35 AM on January 8, 2005

I'm digging it out- it's looking better already! Hurray!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:59 AM on January 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Be warned - a lot of big pillar candles don't burn very well. Why design a candle that doesn't burn? Beats me, but I've got one on my table.
posted by Nelson at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2005

Nelson: people buy them (mostly as ornaments), so they get made.

Some larger candles are made of a high-temperature wax surrounding a lower-temperature core. The low-temperature wax burns down, and the light shines out through the translucent shell, making it glow.
posted by Leon at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2005

Once you get it lit, be sure to let it burn for at least a few hours before extinguishing it again for best results. The wider the candle, the longer it needs to burn if you want it to be easy to relight later.
posted by obloquy at 5:02 PM on January 8, 2005

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