How to Remove Wick from Candle

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Candles are not just sources of light or fragrant room enhancers; they are also centerpieces of relaxation rituals and ambiance creation. However, over time, even the best candles burn down, leaving you with the dilemma of what to do with the leftover wax and the stubborn wick at the bottom of your favorite candle container.

Removing the wick and repurposing the container or preparing it for a new candle can be a therapeutic DIY project in itself.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the realm of candle wicks, exploring efficient methods for their removal, and unleashing your creativity with what comes after.

Understanding Candle Wicks

Candle wicks are the heartbeats of candles. They dictate the burn time, the consistency of the melt pool, and significantly influence the fragrance throw in scented candles. Made from various materials including braided cotton, wood, or specialty fibers, each wick type is designed to complement the wax type and candle size.

Understanding the significance of the wick in your candle’s life cycle is the first step in appreciating the removal process.

Why Do We Need to Remove the Wick?

There are several reasons you might need to remove a wick from a candle:

  • To replace the burned wick for further use of the candle.
  • To reuse the candle jar/surface for a new candle or to utilize it differently.
  • To get the leftover wax for crafting a new candle or other DIY projects.

What You’ll Need:

Before starting, gather these tools to ensure a smooth and safe wick removal process:

  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Heat-safe surface or mat
  • Heat source (oven, boiling water, hair dryer, or heat gun)
  • Tweezers or needle-nosed pliers
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Cleaning solution (optional for stubborn residue)
  • Replacement wick and wax (if making a new candle)

Step-by-Step Guide for Removing Wick from Candle

How to Remove Wick from Candle

Step 1: Place Your Candle on a Heat-Safe Surface

Safety first: Ensure your working area is well-protected from potential heat damage. Using heat-resistant gloves is also a wise precaution as you handle the heated candle.

Step 2: Heat the Wax in the Candle

The objective is to soften or melt the wax around the wick to facilitate its removal. The method you choose depends on the tools at hand and the candle size:

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to a low temperature (about 170°F or lower), place the candle on a baking sheet, and let the wax soften for 15 minutes or until it’s melty.
  • Boiling Water Method: This involves placing the candle in a bowl and pouring just-boiled water around it, being cautious not to get water in the candle. The heat will melt the wax, bringing it to the surface.
  • Hairdryer/Heat Gun: Direct heat on the candle’s surface until the wax softens or melts enough to free the wick.

Step 3: Pry the Wick Tab Out of the Candle

Using tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, gently pry the metal tab of the wick from the bottom of the container. If you’ve sufficiently melted the wax, this should be relatively easy.

Step 4: Clean the Candle Container

With the wick removed, wipe away any remaining wax while it’s still warm. For any residue, a bit of soapy water or your chosen cleaning solution and a rag can work wonders. Ensure the container is thoroughly dry if you plan to repurpose or refill it.

Tips for Effective Wick Removal

  • Patience Pays Off: Rushing the process can cause accidents or damage the container. Take your time to ensure the wax is adequately softened.
  • Choose the Right Heat Source: Depending on the candle size and container type, some heat sources may be more effective than others.

Alternative Methods for Removing Wick

While heat is a generally effective method, there are other techniques for those seeking alternative approaches:

Using Household Items:

Freezing Method: In the freezer, place the candle. The wax may shrink when it freezes, making the wick removal process simpler.

Natural Solutions for Wick Removal:

Essential Oils and Soapy Water: After heating and removing the wick, a mixture of your favorite essential oils and soapy water can not only clean but also deodorize the container.

Maintaining Cleanliness After Wick Removal

Post-removal, your newly empty container is a blank canvas. It can be reused for a new candle, repurposed as a planter, or serve as a holder for knick-knacks around the house. Ensure the container’s cleanliness to give it a seamless second life.


Yes, with proper safety measures and appropriate tools, you can safely remove a candle wick at home.

Dispose of damaged containers safely, as they’re no longer safe for reuse in candle making.

Yes, freezing is an alternative method where the contracting wax may allow for easier wick removal.

Tweezers or needle-nosed pliers are ideal for gripping and pulling out the wick base, with heat-resistant gloves for safety.

Most heat-resistant and undamaged containers can be reused, but thin or decorative containers not designed for candles might not be suitable.


Removing a candle wick is a task that blends practicality with creativity. It’s about giving old candles new lives and embracing the DIY spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned candle artisan or someone exploring the craft, knowing how to safely and efficiently remove a candle wick is an invaluable skill.

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