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Candle Tips

Tips for Successful Candle Use

Traditional wax candles provide a classic ambiance that cannot be replaced by any other type of lighting. However, a live flame in any setting requires some basic care to prevent fire and any damage that could be caused by melted wax. Please review the following safe burning instructions to get the maximum enjoyment from your candles:

Never leave a burning candle unattended.

A child, a pet, a gust of wind—there are myriad things that can affect safety and the quality of the burn. Keeping an eye on your candles can help decrease potential risks and increase the life of your candles.

Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire.

Keep anything flammable at least one foot away from the candle’s flame.

Place candles at least three inches apart from each other.

Candles that are spaced too close together can melt one another and create their own drafts that can cause improper burning.

Burn your candle on a level, fire resistant surface.

Make sure your candle is on an uncluttered space on a stable piece of furniture.

Always use a non-flammable candle holder.

Make sure your candle holder is sturdy and non-flammable with a base wide enough to keep the candle from tipping and to catch any potential drips. Make sure that the candle stays straight upright to keep the flame from heating up one side of the candle faster than the others when burning.

Use hurricane glass holders to reduce drafts in exterior or breezy environments.

One of the chief sources of uneven burning is the presence of drafts, you can reduce this by using hurricane glass candle holders.

Remove the paper label around the candle before lighting.

Labels are flammable, and removing the label will allow everyone to appreciate the beautiful appearance of your candles.

Trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting.

If your wick is too long it will cause a larger candle flame that can cause the wax to melt past the edge of the candle and drip.

Periodically check on your candle for the correct wick length.

Keep the wick at 1/4 inch long, and check for carbonization or mushrooming. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring. You can check for carbonization when the wick is unlit by squeezing between your fingers. If it crumbles, trim the wick down to the solid part. If less than a 1/4 inch remains exposed, tilt the candle when lighting it to allow a bit of the wax to melt off the edge and expose a sufficient amount of wick to burn properly.

Keep candles free of any foreign materials including matches and wick trimmings.

These can catch fire and shorten the life of your candle by using up extra wax, and causing breaks in the wall around the edges.

Allow your candle to burn at least two hours at a time.

Two hours allows the flame to melt the wax out to the edges of the candle to ensure an even burn and to prevent tunneling (when the wick gets too far down into the candle). Tunneling blocks oxygen flow to the wick, which may suffocate it and make it difficult to light. If this happens, before relighting, carefully break off the top edges of the candle to allow for better airflow.

If the wax melts too close to the edge of the candle, extinguish it and let the wax re-harden.

Burning for long periods of time can cause the wax to melt through the rim of the candle, allowing dripping that is not only messy, but drastically reducing the potential burn time.

Extinguish the candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly.

If the flame gets too high it can melt the wax too far towards the edge and cause dripping. A tall flame can  also be an indication that wax has already found an opening on the side of the candle and is running off. A flickering or smoking flame can be a sign of a draft in the room that will cause an uneven burn. Trim the wick and check for drafts.

Use a timer to keep track of your candle.

If you are not right next to your candle at all times, set a timer (we use our cell phones) to check up on them periodically.

Do not move a burning candle.

Stay safe and extinguish first. It is even safer if you can let the pool of liquid wax harden before moving the candle.

Don’t fall asleep with a candle burning.

Make sure you extinguish all candles before going to bed, and never use a candle as a night light.

“Hug” your candle.

Once trick of experienced candle users is to “hug” the candle, which is done to reduce tunneling, reduce the frequency of wick trimming, and extend the useful life of the candle. This technique is especially useful with candles containing beeswax. To hug your candle: when the wax pool is about 1/4” from the edge of the candle, extinguish the candle for a few minutes, and then gently push the top rim of the candle in toward the wax pool with your fingers or a utensil, while holding the candle stable. Be careful with the hot wax. Remember that too much hugging can result in a too short rim, where the wax might spill over the sides, so for optimum burning, retain a small rim around the melted wax pool.

Do not burn a candle all the way down.

If you are burning your candle in a container, stop when it is 1/2  inch from the bottom. Stop at 3/4  inch if it is free standing.

Use a candle snuffer to extinguish candles.

A candle snuffer is the safest way to extinguish the flame and produces less smoke than blowing out the flame.  You can also use a non‑flammable rod to push the wick under the molten wax to extinguish it. Pull the wick back up after it has gone out. This can provide an added benefit by pre-coating your wick with wax for the next lighting.

For more tips check out the National Candle Association tips page and the National Fire Protection Association candle page.

Beeswax and Bloom

Being a natural substance, the color and shade of beeswax varies. We seek out a golden yellow color. Over time, all beeswax develops a powedery film on its surface. This is called “bloom.” It is not a sign of deterioration, but natural tannin exuded from the wax. Simply remove the bloom with a heat gun or hair dryer on a low setting or use a damp rag.


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