What is Candle Soot?
During the burning of a candle, the melted wax is drawn up into the wick, which fuels the chemical reaction to keep the flame alive. This chemical reaction involves the combustion of the carbon in the wax with the oxygen in the air to make carbon dioxide and water vapor, in the form of steam.
Candle soot is black smoke that is released into the air by an unclean-burning candle. This smoke consists of unburned carbon atoms that are released from an incomplete chemical reaction. The unburned carbon atoms are carried up into the air by water vapor (steam) from the combustion reaction.
What Causes Candle Soot?
Candle soot is caused by incomplete combustion of the carbon in the wax with the oxygen in the air. Normally, this chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide and water vapor in the form of steam.
However, when this chemical reaction is altered, incomplete, or imbalanced, any unburned carbon atoms will be carried within the steam, as the water vapor (steam) rises, which appears as black smoke, known as soot.