Do White Candles Burn Faster Than Colored Candles


This science fair project topic that tests white candles vs colored candles with respect to how long they take to burn requires commonly available supplies and can be performed easily. You can apply the knowledge gained from your day-to-day activities involving burning candles. Background information on the project would come in handy during the execution. Plotting a graph of the different rates at which the candles burn helps in the discussion.

Do White Candles Burn Faster Than Colored Candles

Do Colored Candles Burn Faster Than White Candles Project

Problem Statement

The experiment proves which candle burns faster, white or any of the colored ones.


The experiment would establish the fact that white colored candles burn quicker than white candles due to the chemicals present in them.


Candles of different colors and white are burned up to a specific mark on their bodies and the time taken is checked to analyze which one burns the fastest.


  • White and colored candles of the same brand, same size and shape
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Watch
  • Ruler


  1. Trim the wicks of the candles such that all are of the same length and place them about 10 inches apart on a table so that the burning of any candle doesn’t affect the adjacent one.
  2. Mark a line on the candle that is one inch from the top with the permanent marker.
  3. Light them simultaneously and observe the time it takes to burn up to the mark.
  4. Record the observation data in a table format as given below.
Color of the candles Time taken to burn an inch
  1. Plot a graph (a bar graph would be good) with the color as the X-axis (independent variable) and the time taken to burn up to the mark as the Y-axis (dependent variable). You can prepare a proper lab report and charts too.


All the colored candles take times that are lesser than the white candle. Note that the size and brand of the candles are constant and hence they are the controlled variables


The white candle burns slower than the colored candles.


The colored candles are seen to burn less than the white ones as the colored ones have dyes that are nothing but chemicals which make the candles hotter and burn them quicker.

Background Research

The candles are nothing but a mass of wax with a wick in the middle. Chemical compounds are mixed together to make wax the major ones being beeswax and paraffin wax. The wick is a piece of braided cotton the thickness of which, apart from the wax, also decides the time taken for a candle to burn.

There can be different kinds of candles such as tea light, taper and jar candles. Floating candles can be put in water while outdoor candles are the bigger varieties. There are the scented types and the birthday candles are skinny. With the advent of electricity, candles are now mostly used for emergency purposes.


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