Step away from the matches…
Yes, there IS a wrong way to burn a candle! If you’re not doing it right, you could be cheating yourself out of hours of burn time, while also creating too much smoke and decreasing your enjoyment of the fragrance. (You won’t believe how many people drop $60+ on a luxurious candle, and then burn it improperly, resulting in a less-than-stellar experience.) The good news is, it’s really easy to burn candles correctly—just follow the simple steps we’ve listed below!
1) The First Time
The first time you burn your candle, it needs to be lit long enough to liquefy the entire top layer of wax. Generally, this means you need to burn your candle one hour for every inch of its diameter. (So, a candle with a three inch diameter should be burned for three hours.) This ensures an even burn and avoids tunneling (when just the center of a candle burns straight down, leaving a ring of wax around the edge). This step is absolutely essential to ensure you get the longest possible burn time out of your candle.
2) Trim Regularly
Remember to trim the wick to about 1/4 - 1/8 inch after every use (and don’t let trimmings fall in the wax). Forgetting this step can cause the flame to flicker too high, leading to soot and blackening of the glass. Sometimes the glass can even get so hot that it shatters! Avoid this candle catastrophe and always trim the wick—we recommend getting a wick trimmer to make the job as painless as possible.
3) Exercise Restraint
We know, sometimes you a love candle so much you just want to burn it all day. But you should limit yourself to enjoying it for no more than 4 hours at a time. If you burn it for longer, a carbon deposit will form on the wick, resulting in soot and smoke that will mar your experience. Alternate between multiple candles if you really want to enjoy that scent and flickering ambiance throughout your day.
4) Keep it Clean
To ensure you always get a clean burn without excess smoke, remove dust regularly. Don't use rubbing alcohol or any other kind of cleaner, as it can affect the purity of the fragrance oils. Pros actually recommend using nylon pantyhose to grab all the dust without leaving residue behind! (A damp microfiber cloth works, too.) If your candle has a lid, remember to put it on after the candle has cooled down to keep it dust-free.
5) Selective Storage
Candle wax and fragrance oils are sensitive to both heat and light, so you need to be mindful of how you store your candles. It’s best to keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight (no bathrooms or sunny windowsills, sorry!) Of course, you can burn your candles wherever you like, just return them to your storage spot after they’ve cooled off. It’s a bit more effort, but we promise this will help you enjoy your candle’s fragrance to the fullest!
Try out your newfound candle skills with a few of our favorites!
Nest Fragrances - Cedar Leaf & Lavender Candle
Diptyque - Baies Candle
D.S. & Durga - Spirit Lamp Candle
Archipelago Botanicals - Black Forest Tin Candle