Candles are, for many people, an essential part of home décor. For some, they’re an integral part of just being human and going through their daily routines. Candles can enhance your mood, boost productivity, or just set the overall tone of a room. Candles are also a great way to relax and recharge as part of your self care routine. However, sometimes you may not get the most out of your candles if you do not know the best ways to burn them. If you’re a total candle lover and you want to be sure that you’re treating your candles right in order to ensure you’re getting the most out of them, here are some basic tips for burning.
Stop burning at the right time
One of the first things to get familiar with if you are an avid candle burner is knowing when to stop burning your candle. Typically, you should stop burning the candle when there is about a quarter inch or half an inch of wax left in the vessel. When there is this little wax left, the flame of your candle can start burning the vessel rather than the wax, which is a big no-no. When a vessel starts to heat up, it can damage the surface it’s on, like your nightstand or kitchen table. Some more cheaply made candles can even start a small fire!
Trim your wicks
Each time, before you burn your candle, you should trim the wick of the candle with a candle wick trimmer. Trim it to about a quarter inch high. Trimming your candle’s wick will give you a cleaner, brighter burn, which is optimal for your candle’s throw and its longevity. Not trimming the wick can also cause it to take on a strange, distorted shape, which can lead to soot in your vessel. This is particularly unsightly in clear vessels.
Limit your burn time
To properly burn your candle, make sure that you only burn it for four hours at a time. If you burn it too long, your wick can become unstable and distorted. A common visual to describe this phenomenon is that your wick will “mushroom” at the top. Burning too long can also release more smoke and soot into the air and can cause your flame to get too large.
Let the wax burn evenly
When you burn your candle, and especially when you burn it for the first time, you should be sure to let the wax burn completely evenly across the vessel. For this first burn, it may take an hour or so, but it is highly worth it. An uneven burn can lead to tunneling—when your candle only burns in a small diameter around the wick and not all the way to the sides. You can avoid this by being patient during your initial burn, checking on the flame from time to time, and making sure you only buy high quality, well-made soy candles. Once your candle tunnels, it won’t go back to normal by itself, so burn wisely!