Woo! It got cold this past weekend here in Dallas! Time to bundle up with some blankets and relax at home with your favorite holiday candle burning to fill your home with yummy smells.
So we thought it would be a good time to post some candle tips to help you burn your candles safely and help you get the most burn time out of them.
A little science lesson first though...Just exactly how does a candle work? Understanding this process is important for candle makers but will also help you understand how to use and enjoy candles more :)
The wax in a candle serves as the fuel for the flame and is absorbed into the wick through capillary action. Too much melted wax and you can drown out your flame, not enough and you will starve the flame of fuel to continue burning. This brings us to our first candle burning issue, inadequate burn time.
A common problem we see with candles is inadequate burn time. A candle needs to burn approx one hour for every inch in diameter. When candles are not burned long enough to create an even wax pool, it will not allow all the wax to melt in future burns, and will leave a wall of wax around the wick. It is important that every time you burn your candle, you allow it to burn long enough to melt all the way across to prevent it from tunneling down. Sometimes when a candle tunnels down too far, there is too much melted wax and your candle will eventually drown itself out. When you don't have enough time to burn a candle for a few hours, consider burning a tealight or votive.
Example of uneven melting:
Proper candle melt pool:
Another cause of uneven melting is placing your candle in drafty areas. Not only will this cause uneven melting, but it may cause wax to splash out of the container or the wick to smoke.
In addition to that, another way to keep wick smoke to an absolute minimum it to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4" before burning your candle. A flame that is too big may melt too much wax for the candle to burn and may drown itself out. Don't cut it too short though or your flame will not be big enough to melt the wax!
What can you do if one of your candles starts to tunnel? Take a knife or spoon and scrape out the excess wax that has formed a wall around the wick. This will help allow your candle to burn properly, provided you allow it the correct amount of burn time in the future.
When you want to extinguish your candle use a dipper or snuffer to put it out. This will create less smoke and soot. If you don't plan to burn a candle for a while, store them in a cool dry place to preserve the fragrance.
One last tip-Never, ever leave a burning candle unattended! Regardless if you have kids or pets-it is never safe!