Candles can light up a room and lighten a mood. This wax and wick decorative object has been around for more than 5,000 years and is now a multi-billion dollar business with retail sales projected to reach USD 13.76 billion by 2026. And the candle is also celebrated for 31 days throughout the year, both on World Candle Day (March 1st) and during World Candle Month (September). I can’t think of any other home accessory that can hold a candle to that!
But whether you burn a candle every day or only on special occasions, check out our tips below to get the best burn and enjoyment from your candle.
Trim the Wick: Trim the wick to ¼” before lighting a candle every time. This tip will help the wick stay centered in the candle, ensure an even burn, prevent a smoking candle and soot marks, and make your candle last up to 25% longer.
Let the Wax Pool: Allow the candle to form a pool of melting wax across the surface (rim to rim) of the container to maximize the candle’s life. If you don’t do this, the candle will tunnel down into the wax on subsequent burns because it will struggle to go beyond the “memory ring” of the initial burn.
Tip: Burn your candle one hour for every one inch in diameter of the candle on the first burn. (For example, a 3” diameter candle should burn for 3 hours to ensure the wax melts from edge to edge.)
Keep the Wick Centered: Center the wick to allow for an even burn. If left unadjusted, a wick may migrate to the edge of the container, where the heat could cause a crack or an explosion.
Tip: Recenter the wick with the back of a spoon while the wax is a bit warm.
Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions for Burn Time and Cooing Time: Absent manufacturer’s instructions, the general rule is to burn candles for no more than four hours at a time and to allow candles to cool for two hours minimum before relighting.
Extinguish Your Wick: Extinguish a wick rather than blowing it out to avoid smoke, buried wicks, and soot on the container. For example, you can extinguish a candle by using a candle snuffer or simply putting the lid back on the container.
Tip: Don’t use water to extinguish a candle. The water can make the wax splatter and could break the container.
Burn Candles Safely:
- Burn candles on a flat surface.
- Keep candles away from children, pets, and anything that might catch fire (i.e., drapes, paper, hair, carpets).
- Ensure the wax pool is free of debris.
- Avoid placing candles near fans, vents, air conditioners, open windows, and drafts.
- Always keep candles in sight and never leave them unattended.
- Don’t touch or move a candle while it is burning or while the wax is liquified.
- Burn candles at least 3” apart from one another.
Store Candles Properly: Store candles in a cool, dark, and dry place with the lid on to preserve the fragrance and keep the candle free of dirt and debris. Don’t store candles in a freezer because the wax can crack, affecting the candle’s ability to burn, if at all.
Tip: The general rule is to use your scented candles within 12-16 months for optimal results, although this timeframe varies based on the candle ingredients.
Upcycle Your Container: It’s time to upcycle your candle when ½” of wax remains in the container. You can turn your candle container into a vase, art supplies container, or a new candle!
Tip: Put a cooled candle in the freezer for about thirty minutes. The wax will shrink, and then you can easily remove the remaining wax from the container.
Do you have any other candle tips? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you!