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Become A Candle Burning Boss! 3 Must Know Tips!

Candle burning seems like it should be pretty straight forward, right? Well, you would be surprised at how many candles don’t perform as expected due to improper burning techniques.

Good candles are not cheap! If you are a lover of the the flame then this blog post is for you! In this blog post we will teach you how to not burn money by properly caring for your newly purchased candle.

5 matte white jar candles with black lids sitting in a row on a counter made by She Said Candle Co.

What Is Candle Burning?

Candle burning is the act of lighting a candle and allowing it to burn for a period of time. This practice can serve a variety of purposes, including for lighting, decoration, creating ambiance, or for religious or spiritual rituals.

Candles can be made from different types of wax, such as beeswax, soy wax, paraffin wax, and others. They may also come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents, depending on their intended use. Some candles are specifically designed for aromatherapy, and are infused with essential oils to promote relaxation and other therapeutic benefits.

In some spiritual or religious traditions, candle burning is used as a form of prayer or meditation, where the flame of the candle is thought to represent the presence of a higher power or symbolize the power of the person’s intentions. The act of lighting a candle can also be used to mark a special occasion or to honor the memory of a loved one.

Why Is Learning How To Properly Burn A Candle Important?

Properly burning a candle is important for several reasons, including:

  1. Safety: If a candle is not burned properly, it can pose a fire hazard. For example, if there is a dangerously large flame, or if the candle is placed near open windows and flammable objects, it can cause a fire. By following proper candle-burning practices, such as keeping the wick trimmed and placing the candle on a stable surface away from flammable objects, you can minimize the risk of accidents.
  2. Efficiency: Burning a new candle properly ensures that it will last longer and burn more evenly. This means that you can get the most out of your candle, and enjoy its fragrance or ambiance for a longer period of time.
  3. Aesthetics: Properly burning a candle can also enhance its aesthetic appeal. For example, if the wick is trimmed to the right length, the flame will be the right size and the candle will burn more evenly, creating a more pleasing visual effect.
  4. Scent throw: Properly burning a scented candle can also improve its scent throw, or the amount of fragrance that is released into the air. By allowing the candle to burn for the recommended amount of time, you can ensure that the wax melts evenly and that the fragrance is released more effectively.

Overall, properly burning a candle can help you get the most out of your candle, both in terms of safety, longevity and enjoyment.

The Top 5 Candle Care Tips

Now that we know the what and the why, let’s get into our top five tips so you can keep your lit candles burning properly.

Tip #1 – Monitor Burn Time

Many people don’t realize that candle burn time matters. In fact, the first burn is the most important one. Burning your candle 3-4 hours on the first burn will promote an even burn, and help prevent something candle makers call tunneling.

Tunneling typically happens when a candle is not burned long enough during each burning session, or when the wick or wicks are too small for the diameter of the jar.

It’s typical for reputable candle makers to spend months testing their candles for proper wick size and burning qualities. Candles purchased from She Said Candle Co. and many other reputable candle companies will not tunnel if burned properly.

To prevent tunneling:

  • Burn your candle for 3-4 hours on the first burn. This will ensure that the melt pool reaches close to the edge of the vessel. Keep in mind that some candles, like ours, are made from coconut wax. Coconut wax candles typically take 3-4 burns before they reach a full melt pool. If burning a coconut wax candle, it should reach full melt pool by 1/2 way down the jar, if not a bit sooner. Candles made from other various types of wax will reach a full melt pool on the first burn if burned correctly. A “melt pool” is the hot wax melted in the center of the jar. When the liquid wax reaches the edge of the candle container, that is considered a full melt pool. Some people call this a “wax pool”.
  • Each subsequent burn should be at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The purpose of this is to allow the candle to burn long enough to create a melt pool as close to the edge of the jar as possible if using coconut wax. Again, candles made with other wax types will reach a full melt pool sooner than 3-4 burns if burned properly.
candle burning with a very tall flame demonstrating a wick that is too big

Tip #2 – Check The Wick Before Each Burn

How efficiently a candle burns depends a lot on the wick. There are other factors however this is a big one.

Wick Length is important

A candle burns very well with a wick length of approximately 1/4″.

Any shorter and the wick won’t have enough length or “power” to fuel the candle properly for an even burn. It may even “drown” out from the density of the fragrance oil and wax.

Wicks longer than 1/4″ could cause a high flame generating a lot of heat. Candle flames are typically 1-2inches in height. The accepted height of a candle flame according to the ASTM is 3″. We prefer the height of our flames to be no taller than 1-1 1/2 inches.

Trim the wick to the proper length when re lighting to prevent unsightly soot, prevent smoking, and help maintain that steady flame. Additionally, a proper length wick ensures the burn time of your candle reaches its full potential.

Carbon Build Up aka. mushrooming

candle burning resulting in a "mushrooming" of the wick

Carbon build up – aka “mushrooming” is caused by wax not being burned as fuel fast enough by the flame. The excess wax not burned causes carbon balls or hang up at the top of the wick. Sometimes this is caused due to a wick that is too large, or it can also be caused by a candle burning for longer than four hours when the wick hasn’t been trimmed.

If you notice carbon build up on your wick, after the flame is extinguished, carefully trim the build up off. Make sure the wick trimmings do not fall in the candle.

Tip #3 – Burn Candle Away From Drafts And Fans

Making sure your candle is in a still air environment is important for a few reasons.

  • Anytime a wisp of air hits your candle, it causes the flame to blow sideways and jump around. When this happens smoke and soot shoot out from the flame. Sometimes this can’t be avoided. For example when someone walks by quickly, sometimes air will hit the flame and cause it to flutter. This situation cannot be controlled, however placing the candle in front of a window or fan can be.
  • If you have an uneven flame, this will surely cause an uneven burning candle.
  • A flapping flame is dangerous and could ignite something flammable near by causing something to catch fire.
  • Keeping your candle away from moving air will also prevent hot wax from blowing out of the jar.

Wrap Up

Now that you know the 3 top tips for candle burning, our hope is that you put this info to use. By following this candle care, moving forward, your favorite candles will burn evenly and for a long time.

It may seem like a lot “to do” for one little candle, however, candles aren’t cheap so giving them a little love to get the most out of them is something I am happy to do!

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