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Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Posted by bonnieann925 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 3, 11 at 8:22

I feel like I must been living under a rock to not know this, but watch out for those Yankee candles and other scented candles because they can leave soot residue on your walls and ceiling.

Right before Thanksgiving, while in my cleaning frenzy, I noticed how dark the walls in our half bath had become. It was right near the area where we keep a large candle (or so I thought). When I washed it, this black mess came off and left horrible streaks. Off to Google it: soot from candles.

I bought a soot sponge at the hardware store, which helped to some degree. However, it was over all the walls and ceiling, as became apparent when I took the paintings down. I tried every suggestion and even Mr. Clean Magic Erasers left streaks. I just finished washing w/ TSP this week and painting this a.m.(not something I enjoy at this busy time of year!)

No more candles here! Thought I'd pass this along to save others the work I just went through.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Soot is one of the reasons that I use battery-operated candles. They may not be quite as beautiful, but my walls and ceilings are much cleaner.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Your wicks are too long giving off too much smoke. That being said, remember that when you wash walls you go from the bottom up. That way any drips will run down the wet walls on the bottom, not causing streaks. If you start from the top down, the water/solution runs and makes streaks that are almost impossible to remove. But I understand your frustration about the candles, as much as I love them (oil lamps can do the same thing).


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

If you use jar candles, extinguish them by putting the lid back on, it helps.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

I noticed when burning candles, rafters are darkened near where the wall and ceiling join. Once can see the out line of a 2x4 at this point along the ceiling. I have never been a fan of candles, outside of one on my stove for cooking odors, for this reason. Given the ceiling texture in most homes washing is not an option.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

There's an Amway product called LOC. First, I don't sell Amway. However, this stuff is EXCELLENT for removing restaurant grease. It even removed lipstick from an entire load of laundry when I washed and dried one in my apron.

Diluted it's a great wash, concentrated on a spot it seems to dissolve it. I wont' do without it. With a DH in construction, many times it proved to be amazing.

Another thing I've learned about candles is that if you trim the wicks properly, they don't burn with so much soot. Also, that company Party Lights, I think they're called, claim their candles put off far less soot than others, naming Yankee Candle by name.

Couldn't prove any of that by me, but being forced to attend two of these parties in a month last year, I bought some that smelled beautiful. Haven't lit them because my cats find candles to be fascinating, but the scents are great. :)

Sorry you're going thru such a mess.

OH!! I have a friend that lights the fat kind of candles outside until they burn down and soften in the middle. She scoops them out deeply and sticks a battery operated candle down in them!! They look like they're actually burning and pretty.

Just another idea!

C.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

That happened to me one time during a power outage when I had a small hurricane oil lamp burning on top of the armoire in the bathroom. Ceilings are not very high in the bathroom and are painted white - took a wet rag to it and made a bigger mess. It's been that way now for years, a big smoky smudge. I'll look for that Amway product, sounds promising.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

That's one reason I never burn candles, I just sit the jar or container on a candle warmer plate & use them that way. Lasts a lot longer, too.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

I have a ban on Yankee candles in my home because of this exact problem. We repainted most of our downstairs and were shocked at how much dirty soot had accumulated on walls and ceilings. I love the fragrance and ambiance of the candles but won't buy them anymore now that my walls are newly painted.

I have found smokless, dripless tapers for my table. And in place of fragrant candles I have some of those scented reed things. Just opened one up today from "Thymes" in a woodsy pine scent. It's quite pleasant.

Off to buy some battery operated votives lol.

seagrass


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

I look at it this way, if the soot is so bad on the walls, just think of that accumulating in your lungs.....


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Just checked the candle that usually burns as it sits on the breakfast bar in our kitchen -- and there is a smooth white bulk-head-type ceiling not far (but far enough above it for safe burning - of course!) above -- and the ceiling is quite clean!

I do trim the wicks every time I light a candle of any sort -- and when the wick is cool -- retwist to tighten the weave of the wick. And use it own glass lid to damp/snuff it -- or a snuffer.

Right now I have real, rolled beeswax taper candles in the holders on the fireplace mantle -- and on the dining room table. Will check for any smoke problems around them .....


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Google Lampe Bergere. I believe there is a thread on the conversations side about them. I just purchased some today at a local shop in my town. I don't see myself burning candles anymore.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

While the negative aspects of burning paraffin candles has been known for a long time it's not general knowledge for many people so don't feel bad. That soot can be a real problem and can spread throughout forced air heating systems. The negative indoor air quality from burning paraffin can have serious health consequences.

I burn mostly beeswax candles, occasionally soy wax and use paraffin candles for decor, burn them seldom indoors and trying to use up my stash in the summer on the patio. I've heard it's actually healthy to burn beeswax candles - they do smell nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: health risks with paraffin candles


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

"I look at it this way, if the soot is so bad on the walls, just think of that accumulating in your lungs....."

That's how I feel too... and why I do not burn candles in my house.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

I use mostly soy candles now and I don't believe the soot is a problem with the soy ones. Such a shame because Yankee has some really great scents particularly this tine of year.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

If I want that candle flame flickering look, I use those little tealights that are battery operated. But for scent, I use the Scentsy wickless candles.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

All candles will leave soot, even when the wicks are trimmed back. I use to use the soy ones also, and they also blackened the walls and ceiling. Now I use the battery operated ones.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

I had to ban all candles in rental leases. Had nearly $2000 in soot damage at one, accomplished in only 10 months. Walls, floors, absorbed into the bath grout, vinyl window frames (never did get it all out of those), electrical outlets, carpet. Absolute nightmare. And my HVAC installer said it can mess up the circuit board.

We had to use Kilz primer to seal the walls and then topcoat. Washing only smeared it into a slickness ala wax paper and fire restoration sponges didn't help much.


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

It seems to me that candles shouldn't be lit in rooms that aren't being used. Doesn't anyone else worry about fire?


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Beeswax is non-allergenic and is a natural air cleaner, recommended by the American Lung Association. It�s the best choice for asthma and allergy sufferers. Beeswax candles burn cleanly, don�t drip when properly used, and have long burn times, saving you money. Be sure that the candles you buy are 100% beeswax � some countries allow as little as 10% beeswax in candles labelled as �beeswax�. Even soy candles are not great: soy is not a wax, therefore it is treated in undesirable ways to make it a wax.

Also see http://smallbones.ca/blog/the-lowdown-on-fragrances-flavours/ for why fragrances often have undesirable affects.

Yes, the blog is mine & I've read the guidelines for posting. There are a couple of links to my website, but the blog is for education, not sales. I hope this is okay. I couldn't re-post the entire article here! :)


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Thank you for all the informative and helpful comments. It got worse! After finishing the half bath I tackled a basement bedroom and bathroom. Fortunately I did not have to repaint but did do quite a bit of work removing the soot.

Saturday I bought beeswax candles for our nightly dinner by candlelight. I've sworn off all paraffin candles in our home due to all the information I've read here and elsewhere.

Thanks to all who took time to respond. I'd type more but my hands have not seen that much "hard work" in quite some time!


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RE: Soot from candles on walls and ceiling

Poor Bannie!
When my painter cousin came to paint at our old house, he yelled at me about the soot from my Yankee Candles. He said to use soy as well...
To try and help with the problem, I also trim the wicks every time I light a candle & often times just use my tea warmer instead of burning the candles.
PS Hope the cruise was wonderful!!


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