Why Is My Candle Popping And Crackling?

So you’ve lit your candle and are ready to enjoy the evening with a good book. Then suddenly you hear your candle popping and crackling. This is not something you want to hear when you pay top dollar for all-natural hand-poured soy wax candles. Let’s take a look at what’s causing your candle to pop and crackle.

Why is my candle popping and crackling? Candles pop and crackle due to moisture, impurities, the wick being too long, or air bubbles in the wax are being released. All of which can affect the flame and cause an irregular burn. It can cause all sorts of trouble such as soot, wax tunneling, and more.

A candle with an irregular burn is never something anyone wants to see. It can cause all sorts of trouble such as soot, wax tunneling, and more. It is a good idea to try to identify and correct the problem as soon as possible.

If the problem is something you can not identify or solve, the candle should probably be discarded or returned to the store. However, we have some solutions below that may help you resolve the situation.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the problem could be.

Reasons for the crackling and popping candle

As stated above, some of the likely reasons for this are moisture on the surface of the candle or wick, impurities in the candle, the wick being too long or air bubbles in the wax being released. Click here to see my favorite wick trimmer on Amazon.

Reasons For A Crackling And Popping Candle

  • Moisture
  • Impurities
  • Long wick
  • Air bubbles
  • Faulty manufacturing

Now let’s take a look at what each one of these things really means.


Did you have your candle in the freezer? In the bathroom? Extinguish the flame with water? Leave it on the patio?

First, never put your candle in the freezer. It can damage the candle and its container. If all of the candle and container is freezing cold and then you light it, then you risk the change in temperature fracturing the container.

If you get water on the surface of your candle or the wick. It can impact how your candle burns. Causing it to make noise and for the flame to burn erratically.

A candle with moisture in the wick will make a popping noise. Once your candle has drawn this kind of moisture you may want to consider not burning it anymore.

You can read this news story about candles causing fires once they had moisture inside them.


When a candle sits around for a while it can collect dust and grime that cause problems whenever you light it.

This dirt can sit on the surface and then melt into the wax as the candle starts to burn, giving you a steady dose of candle trouble. Not only can this dirt and grime cause the candle to burn irregularly, but it can also cause it to produce soot. Which no one wants.

These impurities may have also found their way into the candle sometime during the manufacturing process. If that is the case, it is likely your entire candle as a loss.

Long wick

When you let your wick get too long it can retain carbon and begin to mushroom out becoming disfigured. This causes your candle to have an irregular flame and makes it burn erratically.

This can easily be fixed by trimming your candle wick to no more than 1/4 inch from the surface of the candle.

Air bubbles

Due to an incorrect manufacturing process, air bubbles may be trapped inside the wax. As the candle burns down it is slowly releasing the air bubbles making noise and causing the candle to burn irregularly.

If this is the case, your options are l limited to exchanging or returning the candle.

Faulty manufacturing

The candle may be the product of a blend that was done incorrectly or with incompatible ingredients.

Again, this situation limits your options to return or exchange. You do not want to continue to burn this candle as it may release toxins or release soot and smoke into your home.

Most big box stores should not give you a problem returning a candle, as long as you did not wait until it was burned down 3/4 of the way before returning it.

How To Fix A Popping And Crackling Candle

How To Fix A Popping And Crackling Candle

  • Consider Moving The Candle
  • Put The Lid On Between Uses
  • Wipe Off The Top Of The Candle Before Lighting
  • Trim The Wick After Each Use

There are a few things you can do to try and prevent the popping and crackling. That is if it is not due to anything that may have happened in the manufacturing process.

Consider moving the candle

If you have the candle on your kitchen sink or bathroom sink that could be the reason that it has drawn moisture.

Move the candle further from the water source and that will prevent in water mishaps with your candle.

Put the lid on between uses

This will help keep the top of the candle dirt and grime-free and prevent the candle from getting wet if it is stored in the bathroom.

Candles can also dry out over time the fragrance oil may start to evaporate without you even burning the candle. Using the lid will help keep your candle fresh.

Wipe the top of the candle before lighting

This will remove any dirt and grime that the candle may have collected, it will also help remove any moisture the candle may have collected if it was stored in your bathroom.

Trim the wick after every use

This will keep a small and uniform flame on your candle allowing it to burn as the manufacturer intended.

The suggested wick length is usually 1/4 of an inch with a flame that is no taller than 1 inch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my candle crackling so much?

A crackling candle is sign you have an issue with your candle wick. The candle may have burned too long causing the wick to become mushroomed and burn irregularly. In addition, it can mean that the wick is also going to smoke and produce soot unless it is trimmed.

What would make a candle explode?

Candles can explode when the glass container is heated in an uneven way causing pressure and stress in the container, eventually, the container will burst. In addition, moisture is another cause of exploding candles. Moisture trapped inside a candle can become heated and turn to steam, creating pressure and forcing hot wax out of its way.

How do you stop a candle from crackling?

Stop a candle from crackling by storing it in a cool dry place with its lid on. Wipe the surface of the candle to clean away any dust or debris and make sure the wick is properly trimmed. If the crackling continues then discard the candle or return it.

Is it normal for candles to pop?

It is not normal for candles to pop consistently. If your candle continues to pop while burning it could be a sign that there is a problem with the wick, the candle has drawn moisture or the wax has been contaminated.

Why did my candle pop when I lit it?

If your candle popped when you lit it that could be a sign that the wick needs to be trimmed or there was dust or debris on the candle wick. If the popping sound stopped as the candle burned then contaminated wax is likely not the issue.


In conclusion, candles with burn issues such as crackling and popping can produce a lot of soot and can sometimes be more trouble than they are worth.

This can also be a sign that your candle was not made properly, and if this is a new candle it is likely a good idea to return it or exchange it.

Burning a candle with these issues can release soot and smoke that will ruin your candle burning experience. You also deserve to get a fully operational product for your money, some candles can be very expensive.

If you are making candles that have a problem with popping and cracking you may want to check the wicks or the materials you are using to make sure they are free of moisture and debris. You should never knowingly sell a candle that is having issues with popping and crackling.

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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