How to Prevent Candle Soot on Walls


Candle soot is a small, black, or dark-colored powdery substance that is created when oil and wax burn. It usually appears on the walls near candles because heat rises to reach it. You might be thinking of dust particles or mold as soot if you spot it on your walls, but its composition is quite different from both contaminants. Candle soot consists mostly of tiny carbon particles that burn off during candle burning. Sometimes, the black color comes from graphite that contaminates pollen in beeswax (in which case you may notice a slight odor). In this article, I will discuss how to prevent candle soot on walls. So let us get started.

How to Prevent Candle Soot on Walls

Does Candle Soot Damage Walls?

Yes, Candle soot damages walls. Candle soot is a sticky and thick residue that can easily stick on your wall.  It gets worse if you don’t clean it immediately after the candle got burnt out. When left alone for a longer period of time, candle soot will quickly damage your walls. After several hours, candle wax will cool down and harden, making it more difficult to remove from the wall. So what are the main causes of this problem?

The first reason candles produce soot is that they’re made up of natural materials formed by oils or fats that can easily melt when exposed to high heat. Oils also burn at relatively low temperatures – about 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius. This quality makes them produce thick black smoke and potentially dangerous fire.  The second reason for candle soot could be the wicks used to light the candles. Candles are designed with wick trimmers or snuffers to prevent messy dripping wax.

The third most common cause is the type of candle material you use. If you always burn beeswax, it will leave a sticky residue on your walls. Beeswax is one of the most liked materials used by candle manufacturers, but it’s also known for its sooty nature, which is why it can be quite difficult to clean from a wall. Lastly, if you have an open flame, then you’re at risk as well. As mentioned before, candle soot is similar to ash – one of the main things you will see after a fire.

The bad news is that candle soot can quickly weigh down on your walls and damage them permanently in just minutes.  It’s important that once you notice the first traces of soot on your wall, you should act immediately. It only takes a small amount of time to expand and become too big for simple washing or cleaning methods.

Step-wise Guide on How to Prevent Candle Soot on Walls

  • Choose a candle made of soy or paraffin wax instead of the usual vegetable-based waxes because these kinds of candles are much easier to handle in terms of soot than candles with other wicks and materials. Thus, Ylang-Ylang scented candles work best for this kind of task as they have low smoke and no toxins that can damage the paint on your walls during their burning process.Choose a Candle Made of Soy
  • Although using an unscented candle would be better for you as it would leave you less vulnerable to allergic reactions if you want to use scented candles (for aesthetic purposes), make sure you burn some incense sticks before lighting up your scented candle and keep the window open. This way, you will get rid of the smoke and toxic smell.
  • First, check your wall paint color because it is no secret that lighter colored paints do not seem to burn off as sooty as darker ones. You can save some time by using a candle with the same or similar color (Ylang Ylang-scented candles are great for this purpose). After doing a thorough check on your walls to see any damp patches leftover from previous efforts, spread masking tape along its length and width to prevent dripping wax from splattering other parts of the wall once you have put the candle there. In case excess drops are hanging around on your walls after applying multiple layers of wax, help them along in falling off the wall by tapping your palm gently on top of the candle to make them fall off. If you see areas with stubborn excess drops/soot left over after applying multiple layers of wax, you can use a cotton bud or a thin cloth to absorb these excess remains into it from the bottom up and then wipe clean your walls using a lint-free cloth.
  • Since candles spread out their smoke all around during their burning process, even if you are an oil burner kind of person, skip this step (because even without adding any fragrance to it, they release a lot of smoke) but if you want to do it anyway then do following: After covering the entire place (where you are going to burn your scented candle) with newspaper or any paper, then light it up. Be sure to keep the surrounding windows and doors open to let out the smoke from the burning process. Once the candle is almost finished (as in its wax has entirely burned off), snuff it by covering up its base with a small bowl that doesn’t let much of the melted wax enter it. By following these steps, you will get rid of all sorts of excess smoke leftover from your previous burning sessions.
  • After cleaning up minor drips on your walls using a lint-free cloth, spread some Vaseline along its length and width to provide extra layer protection against dripping wax left over from the candle’s burning process. Be careful in doing this, as you might end up making your walls too slippery and causing a severe accident later on (in case someone bumps into it). Use Lint-free Cloth
  • After placing the candle on top of your previously covered-up surface, if there are certain parts that drip wax even after using Vaseline, uses masking tape to provide extra protection against these stains. However, before spreading out any oily substance on your walls, make sure they don’t contain lime which people basically use during plastering their houses because it eats away at wax, so keeping some distance between candle soot and lime-based paint would be one of the best measures to take while going through with this step.


I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to prevent candle soot on walls. Thank you and have a nice day!

You may read also – How to Clean Candle Smoke Off Walls

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