Are you frustrated with candles burning themselves out?
Are you tired of candles tunneling down the center, putting off toxic smoke or covering your walls with black soot?
Yes of course you are!
The question is, what are the best candle care tips that will prevent these candle burning frustrations from happening.
Here are the best candle care tips from Natural Zen Home Fragrance Studio to help you get the longest burn time, the cleanest performance and the most enjoyment out of your candles.
Burn Natural Candles
Selecting a natural candle made from clean ingredients is a large part of ensuring a clean burning and relaxing candle experience. Candles that are made with chemicals and synthetic ingredients contain toxins and carcinogens and create air pollution.
It is important to select candles that do not contain synthetic ingredients. Many candle makers add chemicals to make the wax stick to the glass, to prevent the appearance of frosting or to stabilize the wick's burn performance.
These aren't listed on labels so get to know the candle studio's practices and values. Ask them questions about their candle making process.
A large proportion of candles on the market do not list all of their ingredients. As an example, a candle might say it is Coconut but really the coconut is mixed with soy or paraffin. Or a candle may say it is soy when in fact it is mixed with paraffin.
It is also very important to select candles that use plant based fragrance and essential oils as synthetic fragrance is toxic and can cause reactions.
What Are The Best Natural Candles to Buy?
- Candelilla and coconut
- Beeswax (non-vegan/source from a local apiary or artisan who treats the bees properly)
- Non-GMO organic unblended soy (ask for certification as most soy is GMO)
Avoid Candles Made From:
- Paraffin wax (a petroleum by-product)
- GMO soy wax (grown with pesticides and herbicides)
- Uncertified palm oil (high environmental concerns)
- Synthetic fragrance
- Toxic wicks
Trim the Wick
It is important to trim your wick to ¼ inch each and every time you burn your candle. This helps to control the amount of wax being drawn through the wick for the ideal combustion rate.
This also creates less soot and carbon particles. Keeping your wick trimmed results in your candle burning longer and at a slower speed. If you do not trim your wick, your candle will burn at a faster rate as the wick itself will burn instead of fuel on the wick. It will also create carbon balls on the wick tip.
Select candles with clean wick ingredients such as these. Some wicks have metal or paper cores that create soot and toxins when they combust. Many wicks are made from fibers that were treated with pesticides during growth.
Many wicks are treated with synthetic chemical agents. It is best to select an organic coreless wick treated with salt or plant wax for the cleanest burn and to avoid toxic emissions and compromising your air quality.
You can trim your wick with scissors or for precise trimming with ease, a wick trimmer. To keep your candle clean, do not allow debris or wick trimmings to fall into the candle. Wipe them out if they do.
How to Use Wick Trimmers
Though sharp scissors will do, we recommend that you use a wick trimmer for a perfect trim.
- Place the bottom of the wick trimmer flush with the surface of your candle
- Rock the trimmer back so that the elbow rests on the candle’s surface
- Hold your trimmer on a 45 degree angle to get the proper wick length
- Bring the two handles together to trim the wick. Discard of the wick trimming before lighting
Continuously keep your wick trimmed to ¼ inch. You may have to blow it out, allow it to cool, trim and relight.
Burn Your Candle Properly the First Time
Did you know a candle has a memory?
That's right, wherever you blow it out the first time, it will remember. One of the most important steps you can take to avoid candle tunneling and to the longest burn time out of your candle is to burn your candle properly the very first time you use it.
How to Properly Burn a Candle
- Trim the wick to ¼ inch
- Light your candle with a longer match or lighter and avoid tilting it to the side when lighting
- Place your lit candle in a safe place (see safety tips) out of drafts where it will not be physically disturbed or bumped
- Allow your candle to burn the first time until it has a full melt pool. This means that the wax has fully melted all the way to the edge of the glass and the melted wax is 1/8 to ¼ inch deep. This will ensure your candle burns evenly and disperses the scent correctly. This also helps prevent it from tunneling. This will take approximately 1 hour per 1 inch of container diameter. (Does not apply to tealights)
- Do not burn longer than 4 hours. Extinguish and allow to cool.
- Keep trimming the wick, always keeping it to ¼ inch and ensure wick trimmings and debris do not fall into it. Remove debris if it does fall inside.
Do Not Burn Your Candle Longer Than 4 Hours
Why can't you burn your candle longer than 4 hours at a time? If you burn your candle for more than the specified time (which varies depending on size) it will allow carbon to collect on the wick and the end of your wick will begin to mushroom.
This causes the wick to become unstable and the flame will become too large, causing the incorrect rate of combustion. This can cause smoke and release soot into the air and onto your candle jar.
Stop Using Your Candle When ½ Inch of Wax Remains
When your candle jar burns down to less than ½ an inch, it is time to stop using your candle and purchase a new one for safety reasons.
Allowing the heat of the direct flame to burn against the glass bottom of the jar can result in the glass cracking which expose the flame.
When your candle has reached ½ an inch, replace it with a new candle. Safety first!
Burn Your Candle in a Draft Free Area
It is important to burn your candle in an area that is free from drafts, fans and wind. Any bursts of air that cause your candle flame to dance around are also causing your candle wick to draw fuel at an inconsistent rate.
Drafts and breeze can cause your candle wick to create smoke and even soot. They can also push your wick to burn to the side, creating an uneven performance and tunneling to one side.
Burn Your Candle on an Even Surface
For maximum candle performance, ensure your candle is sitting on an even surface while it burns. If a candle is resting on an uneven surface while in use, it can cause the candle to born to one side, creating tunneling. This prevents you from achieving the longest burn time possible from your candle.
Extinguish Your Candle Flame Properly
Blowing on a candle wick while the wick is sitting in meted wax can cause the wick to shift. This can cause an uneven burn and less overall burn time from your candle. Blowing out a candle also creates smoke in your room, and that is never pleasant.
So how should you put out a candle?
The Best Candle Care Tips - How to Properly Extinguish a Candle
- Use a metal lid to extinguish the flame if your candle jar came with a metal burn proof lid
- Use a candle snuffer to put out the flame
- Use a wick dipper to quickly extinguish the flame by tipping it into the melted wax pool until it is out, and then straightening the wick back up
- Always ensure you recenter the wick if it is needed at this stage. You can use tweezers for this if you do not have a wick dipper
Store Your Candle Properly When Not in Use
It is important to store your candle properly to continue ensuring you get the best performance and longest usage time. You can do so by following these steps:
How to Store Your Candles
- Cover your candles between uses. Covering your candle contains the scent so it doesn't passively diffuse into the air over longer periods of time. It also prevents dust and debris from settling inside your candle on the wax and wick. This keeps your candle clean and supports maximum performance.
- Store your candles out of direct sunlight. This will keep them from fading or even melting.
- Store your candles in a cool but not cold place. Cold can cause candles to crack. Heat softens the wax and can cause the scent to diffuse. A cooler temperature and a darker place are ideal. We think you should use your candle regularly though, and not store it away!
If you follow the best candle care tips from Natural Zen Home Fragrance Studio on a regular basis you will enjoy the maximum amount of burn time, scent throw and ambiance out of your candles.
The Best Candle Care Tips
- Choose natural candles
- Trim the wick to ¼ inch before burning. Keep trimmed. Prevent trimmings and debris from falling into the candle
- Burn your candle properly the first time (1 hour per 1 inch of diameter) for a full melt pool of wax to the edge of the container before extinguishing.
- Do not burn longer than 4 hours
- Stop burning when ½ inch of wax remains for safety
- Burn in a draft and wind free place
- Burn your candle on an even surface so it isn't tilted
- Extinguish the flame properly and recenter the wick when needed
- Store candles covered in a cool dry, place out of direct sunlight when not in use
- Follow the best candle care tips consistently
To many moments of candle Zen,