Burning a candle – it seems easy, right? Well, it turns out there are a TON of ways to burn a candle incorrectly. And if you burn a candle the wrong way, you’re left with unusable wax from tunneling, soot, or even damage to your space. Below are the top three musts for getting every last flicker of joy from your candles.
BURN BABY BURN (your candle for the right amount of time)
When burning a candle (especially for the very first time) make sure to burn it long enough to create an even burn pool of wax. A “burn pool” is the melted wax that accumulates as your candle burns. If you extinguish your candle before the melted wax reaches the sides of the container, you might start to experience tunneling. shudder
Tunneling happens when there is leftover wax on the sides of the glass, and it often occurs when a candle is repeatedly burned for short periods of time, though it can happen due to other reasons. The wax is never consumed by the wick, so the candle will burn down until it is either impossible to light or is drowned by wax when it does light. Either way, it leaves wasted wax in your candle that you can’t enjoy.
Ideally, a candle should burn for 2 - 3 hours (or even longer) each time it is lit to prevent tunneling, depending on the width of your candle.
TRIM YOUR WICKS
Another common mistake many make is not trimming the candle wick. When you don’t trim your wick, a mushroom-like accumulation of carbon forms on top. This mushroom is what pops when you relight your candles, releasing soot into the air and into your candle.
Sooty jars may not bother you, but I bet you want your candles to last as long as possible. The longer your wick is the more “fuel” aka wax it is burning at a higher temperature. So candles with untrimmed wicks are burning too hotly, too quickly.
Be sure to always trim your wicks to ¼” before lighting your candle to avoid soot and make them last longer! If you don't have a wick trimmer, scissors will work just as well.
Always, ALWAYS burn your candles away from anything flammable, on a smooth and even surface, and keep an eye on it. You wouldn’t leave the house with your oven on, so don’t leave a candle burning either! The same goes for falling asleep with a lit candle. Burning a candle for too long or in an improper setting could lead to a fire and not the fun sing-along-and-make-smores-over-an-open-flame kind.
Follow these three simple rules to get the most out of each and every candle you burn. But don’t forget the most important rule of candles – enjoy them often!
Shop Candles at Almanac Supply Co.