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Burrning a candle like a pro!

Updated: Apr 26

To get the most fragrance and longest burn time, to prevent unsightly soot and light safety, read and follow these guidelines. 

1. Get it right the first time.

The first burn is the most important. If a candle is not burned for long enough to allow the wax to liquefy or to melt from edge to edge of the container, it will create a “memory ring and never burn the wax on the sides and the wick will begin to sink deeper and deeper, much like a tunnel slowly boring through the centre of the candle.  Properly burning a candle may take an hour or two, so don’t 'light up'  unless you have time.

2. How to extinguish your candle flame 

Blowing out a candle should be avoided, as hot wax might be blown out and the smokey haze will overtake the lingering candle scent.

These are much more efficient ways to extinguish a flame.

a)  If you have a candle snuffer, you could snuff it out.

b) You could dip the wick into the hot wax to suffocate.

c ) Suffocate the flame with a heat proof ceramic plate, place on top of the candle to seal the whole candle top.                             

SAFETY AND IMPORTANT- Always wait until the flame is  closed off to the new air and fully extinguished then, once done, it is imperative that you examine the wick and you MUST make sure they are straight, do this with a butter knife ( or equivalent)  while the wax is liquid, and not back to a hard wax. A wick that’s allowed to burn crooked could lead to dripping, flaring, uneven burning, drowning in the wax and sooting.

3. Trim the wick!

To trim or not to trim the wicks of your candles? I’m here to remind you why this is a great idea.  You’ve heard it before and you’ve probably politely ignored the advice (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!) .

The advice still stands the test of time – Don’t forget to trim the wicks after each burn.

Let’s start with the why?  

Trimming the wick of your candles makes for a much cleaner burn – With less wick to burn through, your candle can focus on using that heat energy to pool the wax properly and set your fragrance free. 

By trimming your wicks, you are preventing unnecessary smoke coming from the candle, prevent excess wick material from forming and falling back into the wax (This can happen when the wick “mushrooms”)  

A wick that’s the right height will create an even, steady burn. Trimming the candle wick down to 3-5mm can help you prevent problems like flames that are too high that burn too quickly and won’t last as long.

How to Trim a Candle Wicks

There are different methods used to trim wicks. for examples)

a) Small manicure scissors or toenail clippers can trim any wick, but after a couple of uses, the wick can be hard to reach.

b)  Pinching off the soot with a tissue, although it won’t make a  genuine neat trim, so,

d) Best of all, using a Wick Trimmer,  made specifically for wicks, (even hard-to-reach ones). They trim wicks easily and perfect. They are approx.  $10-15.  I have had the same one for 3 years and counting, so definitely worth this small investment.

SAFETY AND IMPORTANT-Remember before lighting your candlecheck  (and remove) for dirt or debris, as this can add more fuel to the candle than it is meant to handle. Match sticks are a common debris- invest in a long candle lighter.

See photos of an untrimmed wick vs trimmed wick!

4. Burning Time

Don’t use the candle for short periods of time. Do not use your candle for 15 minutes and then blow it out. Once a candle is lit, it should not be put out until after the first layer of wax has melted all the way across. 

TIP: Allow the candle wax to melt all the way across the candle – not just a small pool in the centre – before extinguishing the flame, every time you light the candle. 

Limit the amount of time you leave a candle burning to 2 / 3 hours only. If you burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time, carbon may collect on the wick, and your wick may begin to "mushroom." This can cause the wick to become unstable, the flame to get too large, your candle to smoke, and soot to be released into the air and around your candle container.

5,. When to Stop

You will notice that wax will be left on bottom of the jar and the wick has completed its burn. This is intentional and a safety measure. If a candle burns right through to the bottom of the glass, the glass will overheat and can crack causing issues and worse still fire. 


 Keep the flame away from moving air.  Ever wonder why you get an uneven burn from candles?

Place the candle in a draft-free area to limit uneven melting. Keep the flame away from moving air. Do not place your lit candle close to open windows, fans, air conditioners or high-traffic areas in your home. Keep the candle away from fans and drafts. If your candle is near a walkway, away from heater,  draft, fan, or window the wick will constantly be flickering. This will cause the wick to produce soot and start mushrooming and will lead to more wax consumption and a larger flame. So keep the candle somewhere the flame is steady without moving.

Ensuring the candle is covered or positioned far away from flammable objects can help prevent fire accidents originating from an unattended candle.  For safety purposes, don’t keep a candle burning for longer than is recommended in the manufacturer’s instructions

After putting out the flame, let the candle cool and solidify before relighting.

In summary

  • Many candle manufacturers recommend burning candles for no longer than 3 or 4 hours at a time.

  • Extinguish the candle when 3mm/ 5mm or fewer of wax remains.

  • Many candle makers recommend extinguishing flames with a snuffer or by dipping the wick into the wax pool.

  • always check for debris and ensure your wick is straightened once flame extinguised

  • And of course, follow basic fire safety by never leaving a candle unattended

  • Store candles at a moderate to cool temperatures

Don’t buy candles with a wick with metal inside or twisted, instead of braided, fibers. These wicks burn quickly, which is why you often see them on birthday candles.

Always buy Soy or coconut wax is imperative when buying a candle. They are non-toxic and cleaner-burning with no carcinogens, additives or pollutants which means these candles are less likely to trigger allergies. As a vegetable-based wax, it does not give off any harmful by products, preferably Small Batch and Australian Made Accredited.

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