Have you ever been frustrated because your candle suddenly stops melting evenly? Maybe your wick has burned all the way down but there’s still a lot of wax around the edges. Or you feel betrayed because your candle says it should burn for 45 hours, but it seems like it’s burning down quicker than that!
These frustrations can be easily avoided with a few steps of care. I recommend to always follow these instructions to ensure you get the most life and scent out your candles.
Allow Enough Time for a Full Melt Pool
What does that even mean? I know, I know… to put simply, a full melt pool means the wax has melt edge to edge. On average, this takes about 1 hour per every inch in diameter. Our candles are about 2.5” in diameter, meaning they need to burn at least 2.5 hours in order to achieve a full melt pool.
This is important because candle wax has a memory. And when you extinguish your flame before the full melt pool has been completed, the next time you relight, it will only melt to where you previously stopped. Overtime, this creates a tunnel down the wax, leaving a lot of unused wax along the edges.
Can you fix this? You definitely can, but it’s a bit tedious. You can create a double-boil to allow all the wax in the jar to melt down. If you do this, allow at least 24 hours for the wax to cool down and settle again.
If you have a heat gun, you can also use this to melt down the edges of wax. However, be very careful with either method you choose because the jar will become very hot to the touch.
Trim Wick to ¼ - ⅛ of an Inch
There’s a couple reasons as to why this should be done before every session. Most important being that keeping a shorter wick allows for a more controlled flame. A smaller flame allows for a slower and even burn of the candle overall. It also helps to prevent any soot (black smoke) being released into the air and sticking to the sides of your candle jar.
To trim your wick, you can simply use a pair of scissors. Or, if you are feeling fancy, a pair of wick trimmers will have you feeling like a candle connoisseur! If you can trim the wick down to ⅛ of an inch, that is ideal. The shorter the better, but please don’t cut level with or below the wax. This may cause the wax to flood your wick, leaving it unable to create a flame.
Burn Candles for 4 Hours Max
This goes hand-in-hand with keeping a shorter wick. When the candle burns for a prolonged amount of time, the flame becomes larger. When the flame is larger, it becomes hotter. This leads to burning down the wax too quickly, and not only that, but the fragrance can burn away at too hot of a temperature. This means that the fragrance will evaporate before it has a chance to scent the air.
Now, leading up to extinguishing your candles. Did you know that blowing them out is quite unsafe? The strong blow can cause wax to spray out and not only cause a mess around the candle, but could even splash back onto you. Then, there’s the aftermath of smoke that fills the air. What may seem quite normal can be prevented in a life-changing way.
When deciding how I wanted to package my candles, I made it a requirement that the containers came with lids. This is because you can set the lid back on the candle as it’s burning to extinguish it. This will prevent any smoke to fill the air, leaving your home smelling as fresh as it was with the candle burning.
Who knew candles required this much care? That is, if you want them to last as long as possible! While these adjustments may seem simple, they will make a difference.