THE RIGHT WAY TO BURN CANDLES: A FEW TIPS TO STOP DOING IT WRONG
Everything you thought you knew about burning candles is probably wrong. Did you know there’s a right way to burn candles? Burning your candles the right way means saving money on buying more candles!
1. PLACE CANDLES FAR AWAY FROM AIR VENTS TO MAXIMIZE THEIR SCENT.
Pay attention to where your candle is placed in the room. If you’re setting it near a window that gets opened often, an overhead fan or air vent, all those things can affect how strong the candle smells. It can also affect how the candle burns and can potentially cause tunneling.
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CANDLE SCENT FOR YOUR GOAL
Think about which goal you want to accomplish. Want to feel refreshed and energized? Go for citrus smells like orange and lemon in our INVIGORATE candle. Want to create a peaceful atmosphere? Try our scented candle with lavender or vanilla and try our RELAX candle.
3. CHOOSE A CANDLE WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF WAX
The two main types are vegetable wax (soy) and parrafin wax. Vegetable wax is more ecological than parrafin wax, healthier for you and the environment and can the scent will last last longer. Make the best choice. Choose Soy! Our candles are 100% plant based and a much healthier choice than parrafin.
4. DON’T TRY TO USE A SCENTED CANDLE TO MASK ODORS
If you cooked fish last night, or your dogs had an accident, do not light up your expensive scented candle to try and mask the scent. Trying to mask odors with just candle doesn’t really work. When you light a scented candle to try to hide a stink, you just end up with both odors competing in your room, and nothing smells good.
5. SPEND A LITTLE MORE FOR QUALITY CANDLES
Truth: Bargain-bin scented candles smell rank. The wax is generally the cheapest possible and the scents are all chemically-based. Sometimes the wick even contains lead! PASS THEM UP. Remember, as you are "INVOKING THE POSITIVE" you are inhaling the scents. Who want to inhale chemicals??
6. LET THE WAX MELT ALL THE WAY ACROSS TO AVOID WASTE
Candles should burn one hour for every 1 inch in diameter of the actual candle size, no more than 4 hours.
Once your candle’s lit, do not extinguish the flame until the top layer of wax has melted all the way across from one side of the glass to the other. This might take several hours, so don’t set out to burn a candle at all unless you know you’ll be there a while.
Whenever you don’t allow that top layer of wax to fully melt, you’re contributing to a process called “tunnelling.” Tunneling happens when the wick starts to sink lower and lower and wax rises around it like a tunnel is forming right through the center of the candle. After a while, the sides rise up and don’t ever melt completely.
Eventually, the “tunnel” will get deep enough that it’ll be hard to light the candle wick at all. More importantly, all that unmelted wax on the sides of the glass means hours of scent and burn time that you’re not getting out of your candle.
You might have to be patient, but if you melt the wax all the way across the top every time you burn, the surface of the candle will stay flat and the sides of the jar will stay clean, all the way down until the candle done.
I will post a video about tunneling and how to fix it in my next blog.
7. FIX TUNNELS WHEN THEY HAPPEN
So, tunnels suck, but if you catch them early enough you might be able to fix them.
- Take a sheet of foil the diameter of the candle and wrap around it. Make a small "funnel" at the top of the foil so that heat can still escape.
- Leave your candle wrapped in the foil for about an hour. Carefully remove the foil (CAUTION:The foil may be hot)
- Wait an additional 30 minutes before checking again. Once your candle wax has melted across the diameter of the candle, carefully pour a little of the wax off. That way you will not have more wax than there is wick and cause it to tunnel again.
8. LET THE WAX POOL TO GET THE MOST SCENT
Each time you burn your candle, letting the whole top layer melt means you’ll get the most scent possible out of your candle as well.
9. USE A LID TO PUT YOUR CANDLE OUT FOR THE CLEANEST BURN
A secret to prevent tunneling and to promote clean, even burning that uses all the wax: Whenever possible, put out the candle with a candle snuffer or a candle lid to cut oxygen supply to the flame, minimize the generation of smoke and prevent a burning smell. Putting the candle out with the lid, instead of blowing it out means that the jar burns clean, evenly, and helps prevent excess soot.
10. KEEP THE WICK TRIMMED TO 1/8 INCH AT ALL TIMES
Wait what? Yes! Trimming your candle’s wicks will give you a cleaner, brighter burn. If you don’t trim your wick, the wick is more likely to take on a weird mushroom shape that dulls and obscures your candle’s flame.
Secondly, super long wicks are the top cause of those nasty smoky stains that end up on your glass jar candles. Trimming the wick keeps the flame in control and helps prevent soot marks from forming in the first place.
Try to trim your candle’s wick after every 4 hours of burn time. When trimming the wick, always extinguish the flame, let the candle cool down to room temperature, and trim the wick to 1/8 of an inch before relighting.
TIP: Each time you want to burn your candle, start by trimming the wick to between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long. You can use scissors, nail clippers (that’s my personal fav), or a special wick trimmer, but no matter what you do, always trim.
11. REMEMBER SAFETY WHEN YOU’RE BURNING CANDLES
Always burn your candle on a heat resistant surface, and remember to keep it out of drafts and NEVER leave it unattended while lit, epsecially pets or toddlers.
For safety’s sake, always burn candles well away from drafts, other heat sources, and anything flammable. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
12. DON’T BURN CANDLES FOR MORE THAN 4-6 HOURS AT A TIME
You really shouldn’t be burning your candle for longer than four to six hours at a time. Ideally, you want to prevent your candle from overheating in its glass jar. If the whole candle melts into liquid, the wick (or wicks) can float to the side of the jar, and it’s going to burn unevenly after that. Always keep a lit candle in eyesight sight.
13. KEEP THE FLAME AWAY FROM MOVING AIR
Do your best to keep your burning candle away from fans, air conditioners, open windows, or heavily trafficked areas where people walk a lot. Moving air can disturb your candle’s flame, leading to more black marks on the glass or possibly tunneling. Moving air can also possibly tip a candle over causing a fire. Never leave a candle unattended.
14. STORE YOUR CANDLES IN A COOL, DRY DARK PLACE
The candle wax and fragrance oils used in candles can be sensitive to temperature and light, so be careful when storing candles for a long time. If you need to store your candle, store it in a cool, dry place away from sun or intense light. Keeping it in a dark place helps protect it from fading and discoloration.
Try to store them between 50ºF and 85ºF, because candles can also be sensitive to heat and cold. If you leave your candles in your car for a long time (especially on super hot days) they can sometimes melt or discolor. Cold can cause your candle to crack and separate. After long exposure to cold try and let your candle return to room temperature for at least 2 hours before burning it to minimize damage.
15. GET RID OF YOUR CANDLE WHEN THERE’S ONLY 1/2 INCH OF WAX LEFT
When your candle only has 1/2 inch of wax left in the jar, it’s time to let your candle go to the big candle store in the sky.
This helps prevent possible heat damage to the counter, the surface it sits on, or container your candle lives in.
A candle’s glass can get incredibly hot on the bottom as the flame nears the base of the jar and most of the wax has been consumed. By getting rid of your candle at the 1/2″ mark, the glass won’t get too hot while burning.