Can Candles Explode? Everything You Need to Know (2021)

This is a guide covering whether candles can explode.

In this article, we’ll be covering:

Let’s dive in.

can candles explode

Intro

Have you heard one of your friends or colleagues narrate a story that their candle exploded?

You might have thought that that was never a possibility. You must be wondering, “Can candles explode?”

But there you were listening in disbelief that candles could explode.

Honestly, it’s not a pleasant experience to hear that those cute candles could explode.

Or are you one of those people blissfully ignorant who never knew candles exploded?

Whichever category you belong to, as unbelievable as it sounds, candles can explode.

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Can Candles Explode?

Yes, yes, yes.

Candles can explode. Now don’t freak out and discard all those pretty candles you splurged on.

The chances of candles exploding are rare. If you follow proper safety precautions, you are far away from the danger zone.

Today, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the candle explosions.

candle jar

Why Would a Candle Explode?

The crux of a candle explosion always boils down to improper burning of the candles, without following adequate fire safety.

There are multiple ways a candle can explode.

1. Burning the Glass Jar Candles for Too Long

Candles usually come in containers or jars made of glass. Glass doesn’t crack or break very easily.

It requires high temperatures to break. Therefore, candles are made in glass jars.

When a candle burns, the center part of the wax gets heated up first. Heat spreads to the outer part of the candle slowly.

But when you burn a candle for too long, you are overheating the wax.

Once the wax gets overheated, through conduction, glass also absorbs heat.

After a certain point of time, the glass gets heated up and breaks.

This results in a splattering of wax, shattering of glass pieces, risking injuries to people around the candle.

candle jar black

2. Reaction with Water

Water and wax never go well together. When the water falls on the molten wax, it creates an explosion. It’s science!

When the water falls on the candle, a chemical reaction takes place between the water, wax, and oxygen.

The instant vaporization of water due to the reaction with oxygen splatters the molten wax, resulting in an explosion.

This could happen even with very small amounts of water. The larger the quantity of water, the larger will be the explosion.

So, do not burn any candles, unsupervised. Someone could knock a glass of water over the candle.

That’s all it takes to start a fire. Also, do not burn the candles near any water sources.

Although candles near the baths look fancy. They can start a fire in a jiffy.

candle with water

3. Wax Reaching Its Flash Point

This is yet another ill consequence of burning the candle for too long.

When you burn a candle for too long, the wax reaches its flash point temperature (i.e., the temperature at which the material catches fire).

Usually, wax has a flash point temperature of around 390 to 480 Fahrenheit.

When you burn a candle for shorter periods, wax doesn’t reach this temperature.

The problem occurs when you leave the candle burning for too long.

This results in the wax catching fire and making the glass jar explode too.

candle wick

4. Accumulated Soot on the Wick

This happens when you burn a candle for more than four hours.

The carbon gets deposited on the wick.

The deposited carbon on the wick may fall into the molten wax or forms a thick soot deposit.

Either of these cases can potentially clog the wick, resulting in improper burning of the candle, creating an explosion.

handing candle

How to Prevent a Candle from Starting a Fire/Exploding?

If your candles come with manufacturer instructions, follow them to the T.

If not, educate yourself on all the candle safety rules to avoid any mishaps.

1. Don’t Burn the Candle for Too Long!

We can’t stress this enough!

Don’t burn the candles for more than four hours. By now, you know why!

clean soot off candle jar

2. Don’t Burn the Candle Near Any Wet Surfaces or Water Sources

Water just makes things worse when it comes to candles.

Keep the candles away from any source of water.

3. Trim the Wick

Any candle expert would advise you to trim the wick for better candle safety as well as for efficient burning.

Do not trim the wick too short. Then the candle won’t burn properly.

Trim one-eighth of an inch of the wick every time you burn a candle.

This prevents soot deposit and produces a better flame.

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4. Keep the Candle Away from Flammable Items

This goes without saying.

You wouldn’t want to risk starting or spreading fire by placing the candle near any flammable substances.

Keep the candle away from curtains, drapes, wood, papers, stoves, and bookshelves.

5. Never Use a Broken Glass Jar

While purchasing a candle, always check for cracks in the glass jar candles.

Even if you buy them online, check for cracks before you light a candle up.

If you neglect the cracks, the hot wax may seep out and start a fire.

broken glass jar

6. Always Store Candles in Cold Places

After blowing the candle out, don’t store them near any hot drafts or vents or near the stove.

This may result in overheating of the wax, resulting in the wax catching fire.

7. Keep the Candles Away from Children and Pets

Children and pets may accidentally touch the fire and burn themselves.

They may knock the candle over, starting a fire.

So, keep the candles away from children and pets.

8. Avoid Air Drafts and Vents

When you keep the candles near any drafts or vents, the wind may knock the candle over, burning the things nearby, resulting in a fire.

How to Put out a Candle Fire?

Sometimes, accidents happen. Despite taking all the precautions, if the candle explosion occurs, follow these steps to minimize or eliminate the damage.

Better safe than be sorry.

Do not ever put out a candle fire with water. You know how water just aggravates the situation. Stay away from water at any cost.

If it’s a small fire, it can be easily put out using home remedies.

Take some baking soda and throw it on the fire. When baking soda is exposed to a flame, it releases carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide starves the candle of oxygen. As we all know, in the absence of oxygen, there will be no flame.

Alternatively, you can also use a bucket of sand to put out the fire. Pour the bucket of sand over the fire to cut off the oxygen supply to the candle fire completely.

If a fire extinguisher is available at your home, spray the fire extinguisher on the flame.

If it’s a larger flame and none of these home remedies are available, call the fire department immediately and get help.

To avoid this situation, if you have candles at home, always have baking soda or sand in hand, just in case any accident occurs.

Final Remarks

Almost everyone owns and uses candles. But very few of them know how to use them safely.

It is very important to use the candles properly to prevent candle explosions.

Repeat after us! Keep the candles away from water and don’t burn the candles for too long.

This is your mantra for candle safety.

We hope we answered all your doubts on the topic, “Can candles explode?”

Follow all the safety instructions we have mentioned in this article and you are good to go!

Light your candles with joy and peace without any tensions or worries.

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