4 Candles burning in front of a wooden wall

How To Use Wick Dippers: The Complete Guide

The history of wick dippers dates back to ancient civilizations, where candles served as crucial sources of light. In eras before matches and lighters, extinguishing a candle's flame was a task that required ingenuity and resourcefulness. This is where the concept of the wick dipper began to take shape.

What Does a Wick Dipper Do?

At its core, a wick dipper is a slender instrument designed to submerge a burning candle's wick into the pool of molten wax. They eradicate the usual puff of smoke and the scattering of soot that accompanies traditional methods like blowing. The flame is gently extinguished by cutting off the wick's access to oxygen. 

You can see how much it makes a difference in the video below. 

The History Of Wick Dippers

Early Innovations: Wick Snuffers and Tongs

Before the wick dipper as we know it emerged, early candle enthusiasts used tools like candle snuffers and tongs to extinguish candle flames. These devices allowed people to pinch the wick and snuff out the flame without generating excessive smoke or splattering hot wax.

what does a wick dipper do

The transition from wick snuffers marked a significant advancement in candle technology. 

The dipper offered a novel approach to extinguishing candles that minimized mess and maintained the integrity of the wick for future use. This innovation gained popularity during the 17th and 18th centuries as candles became more commonplace in households.

Wick Dippers in the 19th Century

Wick dippers of this era were common candle tools that often boasted intricate designs and were crafted from various materials, including silver and brass. They were not only functional but also served as decorative pieces, adding a touch of elegance to candlelit spaces.

The use of wick dippers in today's world is a testament to the enduring nature of this ancient practice. While modern lighting methods have evolved, the dipper remains a cherished accessory for those who seek a touch of tradition in their candle rituals.

wick dipper beneifts

Benefits Of Using A Wick Dipper

The introduction of the wick dipper has elevated the candle experience, offering a range of benefits that enhance not only the ambiance but also the longevity of your candles. 

Preservation of Wick Integrity

Blowing out a candle can often lead to frayed and uneven wicks. A wick dipper gently submerges the wick into the melted wax, preventing it from bending, breaking, or curling. 

Minimal Smoke and Soot

The conventional method of blowing out a candle often results in a cloud of smoke and soot. Using a dipper eliminates these issues. They significantly reduce smoke, maintaining the purity of the air in your space and the cleanliness of your candles.

Preventing Tunneling and Uneven Burning

Tunneling is where a hole forms in the center of the candle while the outer wax remains untouched. It's not only aesthetically displeasing but also leads to wasted wax. 

(Do you make your own candles? Learn how to prevent tunneling along with other candle making tips and tricks here). 

The wick dipper's method of extinguishing candles involves pushing the wick into the melted wax, encouraging a more even wax pool to form during the next burn. This prevents tunneling and ensures that every inch of wax contributes to the candle's gradual consumption.

Prolonged Candle Life

Dippers contribute to the overall longevity of your candles. When you use a it consistently, you'll find that your candles burn slower and last significantly longer compared to candles extinguished by blowing.

Types of Wick Dippers

Metal Wick Dippers

These are known for their durability and sleek appearance. Their heat-resistant nature makes them a safe choice for extinguishing candles without warping or discoloration.

Ceramic Wick Dippers

These bring a unique flair to your candle rituals. These dippers often feature intricate designs and decorative elements that elevate their visual appeal.

Proper Usage of a Wick Dipper

Preparing the Candle 

First, you have to set the stage for a perfect burn. 

  • Trim the Wick: Begin by using a wick trimmer to trim the candle wick to around 1/4 inch before lighting the candle. This prevents excessive soot and ensures a controlled and even flame.
  • Place on a Level Surface: Position your candle on a flat, stable surface away from drafts. This ensures an even burn and prevents unnecessary dripping.
  • Let the Wax Pool: Allow the candle to burn long enough for the wax to melt and create a pool that reaches the edges of the container. This practice prevents tunneling and maximizes the fragrance throw.

why use a wick dipper

How To Use A Wick Dipper 

Follow these steps for a clean and efficient candle flame extinguishment:

  1. Hold the tool by its handle and position the curved end above the flame, but do not touch it. 
  2. Gently push the wick into the melted wax, submerging it completely.
  3. Keep the wick submerged for a few seconds, allowing the flame to extinguish naturally due to the lack of oxygen. 
  4. Slowly lift it and release the wick from its hold.

Tips for Safely Extinguishing Candles 

While the wick dipper offers a safe and efficient method, here are additional safety tips to keep in mind when extinguishing candles:

Avoid Blowing

Blowing out a candle can cause hot wax and sparks to scatter, posing a fire hazard. It can also create smoke and soot, affecting the candle's appearance and fragrance.

Monitor Wick Height

After using the wick dipper, check the height of the wick. If it's too low, gently adjust it to around 1/4 inch before relighting to prevent excessive smoking.

Dispose of Wick Trimmings

If you've trimmed the wick after using the dipper, make sure to dispose of the trimmed portion properly to prevent any fire hazards.

Preventing Common Issues When Using a Wick Dipper

Wick Submersion Depth

Finding the right depth for submerging the wick can be tricky. Too deep, and the flame might struggle to ignite during the next lighting; too shallow, and the wick might remain ignited after using the dipper. Try to get it just right. 

Wax Buildup

Over time, wick dippers can accumulate residual wax. Regular cleaning is necessary to maintain their efficiency and aesthetic appeal.

Metal Wick Dipper from Kalamazoo Candle Company

Are you ready to take your candle experience to the next level? These elegant tools combine functionality with artistry, enhancing every aspect of your candle ritual. Experience the magic of extinguishing candles with ease. 

wick dipper

Our metal wick dippers offer a controlled and smoke-free method that preserves the integrity of the wick, enhancing the overall burn of your candles. Get your metal wick dipper today and start burning candles like a true candle connoisseur.