According to the National Candle Association, 7 out of 10 U.S. households use candles. And according to online studies, 90% of all candles are purchased by women. No matter what type of candles you buy, chances are you have at least one in your home. And while the candle basics are easy (light it up and enjoy!), we put together 4 quick candle 'hacks' to help you get the most out of your candles.
But First, SAFETY
Always burn candles in a well-ventilated space. Do not place lit candles near window treatments and other objects that can catch fire. Keep all lit candles out of the reach of children and pets. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
1. TRIM THE WICK
Always, we repeat, always trim your wick to 1/8 - 1/4 inch before lighting any candle.
If the wick gets too tall, the flame will also grow too tall and leave black burn marks on the glass, even with soy candles that do not produce black soot; and, if the flame physically touches a glass container it can cause the glass to crack. Cracked glass + hot liquid wax = cleanup
This is where a wick trimmer comes in really handy: especially with tall, narrow and deep candles and candle containers If you don’t have a wick trimmer, you can use scissors but it can become challenging after the candle has burned down so if you don't have a wick trimmer, use toe nail clippers to trim wicks that can’t be reached with scissors.
2. BURN LONG ENOUGH…
Before extinguishing, make sure the candle pools entirely across the top. If not, it can cause tunneling and wasted wax around the inside edge of the candle. For pillar candles, make sure to burn them at least one hour for every inch in diameter.
3. …BUT DON’T BURN TOO LONG
Do not burn more than 4 hours at a time. After 4 hours, the candle gets too hot and begins to evaporate fragrance oil and burn off quicker. We recommend burning in 2 to 3 hour increments.
If the candle gets too hot, depending the candle, the wax can completely liquefy; and if that happens, the glue holding the wick can release and move across the bottom of the container. Caution: if that happens, the flame can directly touch the glass and crack it. This is why you should stop burning a candle once 1/2 inch of wax remains.
Pro tip: Let’s be honest, sometimes 4 hours just isn’t long enough. We get it. That's why we recommend keeping multiple candles on-hand so you can rotate through them when you want to continue burning candles longer than 4 hours. That way you can either rotate fragrances or always have an extra of your #1 favorite on-hand.
When you’re ready to extinguish a candle flame, you’ve got a few options: blow it out ; when blowing out a candle, place your index finger in front of the flame and blow gently, this minimizes hot wax from splattering and causes the air to surround the flame.
You can also use a candle snuffer or a wick dipper which essentially have the same function: extinguish the flame without the wick smoking. With a candle snuffer, you place the bell of the snuffer over the flame to exhaust its supply of carbon and hydrogen thus extinguishing it. With a wick dipper, you use the tool to push the wick into the hot wax pool then lift it out of the wax for the next burn.