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?

Candle soot can cause damage to walls if not cleaned up immediately. The soot is sticky and thick, and can easily adhere to walls. If left for a longer period of time, the wax will harden and be more difficult to remove.

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.

One of the most common causes of sooty walls is the type of candle material you use. If you burn beeswax candles regularly, they will leave a sticky residue on your walls. Beeswax is a popular material for candles, but it is also known for its sooty nature, which can make it difficult to clean walls. If you have an open flame, you are also at risk of sooty walls. 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.

Tapping Your Palm Gently on Top of the Candle
  • 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
  • Place the candle on top of your surface and cover it with Vaseline. If there are areas that drip wax, use masking tape to protect against stains. However, before spreading any oily substance on your walls, make sure they don’t contain lime. Lime can eat away at wax, so it’s best to keep some distance between the candle and lime-based paint.

Can You Prevent Candle Soot?

Yes, there are a few things you can do to prevent candle soot:

  1. Trim the wick: A long wick can cause the candle to burn too hot and produce more soot. Trim the wick to ¼ inch before lighting the candle.
  2. Choose high-quality candles: Cheaper candles made from lower-quality materials tend to produce more soot. Opt for candles made from natural waxes like soy, beeswax or vegetable oil.
  3. Use a candle snuffer: Blowing out a candle can create a lot of smoke and soot. Instead, use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame gently.
  4. Keep the candle away from drafts: A draft can cause the candle to flicker, leading to uneven burning and more soot. Keep candles away from windows, fans, and air vents.

By following these tips, you can minimize the amount of soot produced by your candles, keeping your home cleaner and healthier.

What Candles Don’t Leave Soot on Walls?

Soot is one of the biggest problems associated with burning candles. It’s the black residue that forms on walls, ceilings, and furniture above the candle. However, not all candles leave soot behind. Soy candles, beeswax candles, and candles made from vegetable oil are all examples of candles that do not produce soot.

These candles burn clean and do not release harmful chemicals into the air. Additionally, candles with high-quality wicks and ingredients are less likely to produce soot than cheap, low-quality ones. So, if you’re worried about leaving soot on your walls or ceilings, consider switching to a cleaner-burning candle option.


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

Jennifer Branett
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