The Simple Hack That Will Keep Your Candles From Dripping

Candles are a great way to add pleasant aromas and mood lighting to your home, especially candle holders and candle sticks. Whether you add a couple to your dining table or fireplace mantle or create dreamy, whimsical settings with clusters of tapered candles, they have an incredibly elegant effect.

What can be incredibly annoying, however, is the dripping wax. Some candle holders are designed to catch the wax in mind, but candles themselves can be unpredictable. Despite your best efforts, you may end up with a table full of puddled, hardened wax, which can be incredibly difficult to scrape off. Some candlesticks market themselves as dripless, but even those aren't guaranteed to work each time, and they tend to be pricier than regular candles. Pillar candles are almost guaranteed to be a waxy, melted mess. That being said, there's one incredibly simple and affordable hack to make any candle dripless.

Saltwater baths

Don't go out of your way to buy pricey dripless candles – the answer is in your kitchen. All you need to transform any candle into a smooth-burning, mess-free upgrade is salt. Candles are made with high amounts of paraffins to make them softer, resulting in a lower melting point and drippy wax. Salt can help raise that melting point, meaning the candle will burn down more evenly without pooling or trickling wax.

Aside from salt and your candles, all you need for this trick is a bowl, water, and a couple of hours. Make sure the bowl is wide and deep enough to fit the entirety of the candle. Then, add 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of salt — any kind will do. Mix the salt until it dissolves, then add your candles to the saltwater bath. Let it sit anywhere from a few hours to overnight, but no longer than 24 hours. The salt will infuse into the entire candle, raising the melting point and preventing the wax from dripping errantly.

More ways to prevent drippy candles

There are a few other factors that can lead to messy candle burns. The length of your candle wick is incredibly important in the outcome of its burn, especially with candlesticks or pillar candles. Long wicks cause sporadic and large flames, leading to wax trickling down the side. Short wicks can also cause dripping since the flame won't be large enough to burn through the wet wax before it falls off the side. Ideally, a candle's wick should be anywhere from ¼ to ½ of an inch in length. You can cut it using scissors or a candle wick trimmer.

Sometimes, the issue is as simple as the candle's environment. If your candle is positioned under or next to any fan, drafty window, etc., the movement will likely cause the flame to flicker and encourage the wax to drip down the candle. If the listed tips don't fix your drippy candle, consider moving it somewhere less airy.