Burning a candle should be a no-brainer to most of us. When I embark on the journey of candle making, it is not only an art but so much in-depth besides its origin.
A common question asked was how to burn a candle correctly?
This is a topic itself; candle care and candle safety.
I have put together the recommended tips of candle care from the National Candle Association and my foolproof tips. Whether you are a beginner, getting a candle as a gift or a candle lover, I hope you will find this information useful.
Always trim the wick and check for debris
Before you light a candle, always trim the wick to ¼ inch and remove any debris left in the wax pool such as wick trimmings.
Wicks that are left long or crooked can cause uneven burning, dripping, flaring and sooting.
Trimming wicks will help prolong the life of your candle and a cleaner burn. Your candles will burn up to 25% longer if you trim the wick every couple of hours.
I like to keep the candle votive(container) clean with a paper towel before lighting the candle.
Get it right the first time
If a candle is not burned for long enough to allow the wax to liquefy or to melt from edge to edge of the container, it will create a “memory ring.” Once a candle has a “memory ring,” it will continue to tunnel for the life of the candle.
The first burn is most important, when you first light a candle, burn it for at least one to hours depends on the size of the candle votive(container).
If you have no time to allow the candle to properly burn, don’t light up a candle.
Rescue tip on tunnelled candle: use a hairdryer set on low heat to even out the wax surface. Or put the candle (only glass motive) in a microwave at low temperature for about 1-2 minutes. Either way will melt the wax to a smooth and even level. Scoop out any wax that overflows the wick.
Sometimes your candle tunnelling might be too extreme to rescue. You can get a candle warmer, electric warmers designed to melt jar candles instead of burning them. That, allows you to still enjoy your candle.
Don’t keep candles burning for longer than 4 hours
Burning a candle for too long will cause carbon to collect on the wick, leading it to “mushroom.” The wick will then become unstable and produce a dangerously large flame. Your candle will start to smoke and release soot.
It is recommended to let the candle cool for at least two hours before relighting.
Remember to re-position the wick to keep it centred so as prevent the glass from being exposed to heat from the wick flame.
Keep the flame away from moving air
When burning a candle, avoid proximity to fans, air conditioners, open windows, or crowded areas with people walking back and forth. Moving air can disturb the flame, resulting in those pesky black marks on the glass.
Store your candles properly
Store candles in a cool, dark and dry place away from direct sunlight to keep them clean of dust and debris. Candle waxes and fragrances are sensitive to both temperature and light. This helps to protect the wax, fragrance and discolouration.
Highly fragrant candles have a life span of 6 to 12 months, depending on the scent. If you enjoy fragranced candles, then use and replace them often to avoid deterioration in appearance and performance.
Don't forget to check out the post on "how to burn a candle safely"!