3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Candles
You might think burning a candle is a simple thing that doesn’t require much thought.
You just light it, and it burns, right?
But the truth is, if you don’t practice some simple “candle hygiene”, you might run into issues that reduce the shelf-life of your candles or cause them to burn in ways that are less soothing and relaxing than you’d like.
Maybe your candle burns unevenly, melting faster on one side than the other?
Or maybe your wick keeps getting buried and you have to claw it out 😒?
Maybe your candle is collecting too much soot on the container?
Or *gasp* maybe the fragrance isn’t diffusing evenly or much at all?!
Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of each and every candle you buy (or create yourself!).
Here are 3 quick tips to keep your candles burning like new:
Every time you light your candle, trim the wick to about 10mm or so from the surface of the wax (preferably before you light it 😜).
Removing excess wick will encourage your candle to burn with a steady, more consistent flame. It will also help limit excess soot, promote a more even burn, and prevent wick “mushrooming”, which occurs when the wick becomes unstable and starts falling into the wax.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to extinguish your candle about once every 4 hours to re-trim the wick (after it's cooled).
Every so often your wick may need a little help staying centered in your candle.
The solution isn’t signing your wick up for meditation classes. 😉
A much easier solution is to simply guide your wick to the center of the candle every so often after you’ve extinguished it and the wax is still warm.
An upright, well centered wick will keep your candle burning more evenly and prevent you from having to dig it out next time you go to light your candle.
How long you burn your candle actually matters.
If you don’t burn it long enough, the wax doesn’t melt to the edge of the candle and you get “tunneling”, where a ring of wax forms around the edges and is wasted.
If you burn your candle for too long, carbon may collect on the wick and cause it to “mushroom”, burn unevenly and potentially get buried in the wax.
A good guideline is to burn your candle for about 1 hour for each inch of diameter, but in no case for longer than about 4 hours (though this can differ depending on the wax).
In any case, try to burn your candle long enough to ensure the wax melts evenly all the way to the edge, but not so long that the wick begins to droop or start releasing too much soot.
I hope these tips help you get the most out of your candles.
I believe every candle deserves to have its chance to shine! (sorry…)
If you want to learn more about how to use candles and candle accessories, sign-up or our online candle making class here (full masterclass).