How to get the best from your candle

How to get the best from your candle

There's something quite magical about lighting a candle, which is almost ritualistic to me and it's no wonder, since candles are often used in religious and spiritual rituals and ceremonies, such as lighting a candle in memory of a loved one or during meditation and prayer.

Candles are loved for their ability to create ambiance, evoke emotions, and enhance a variety of settings and occasions, such as intimate and romantic settings, cosy nights in (often in my youth when the electricity went off!) or to create a relaxing or even invigorating atmosphere. 

I'm a bit of a candle addict. 

Whenever we go anywhere we candles are present, I simply need to investigate. I buy so many - for the look, the scent, the container and I just love to get home, find a quiet time and light candles all over the house. 

However, there are few things so disappointing as when you light the candle you've fallen in love with, only for it to tunnel down quickly, or produce so much soot you need to extinguish it, or if you simply can't smell it. 

Candle-making, otherwise known as chandlering, is an artform. It takes an incredible amount of patience and resilience. Every decision needs to be made carefully and tested - from the container, type of wax, wick, fragrance or no fragrance... even the temperatures required to heat wax, add oil, pour wax can have a huge impact on the finished product and can vary from fragrance to fragrance. Chandlers are always experimenting and learning - every day is a school day!

A well-made candle should not soot, burn evenly, and have a low, steady flame when burning, but even the best made candles have the potential to do these things, if they are not used properly. 

So how do you get the best from your candle? 

Firstly, trim your wick.

Our customers laugh at me so much for the number of times I say this. Not trimming a wick can be responsible for a large, flickering flame, soot and smoke. Wicks which are too big (thick) for the candle can also do this. You can expect a small amount of smoke when you extinguish a candle - this is normal and should only last for a few seconds. 

We trim the wicks on all our candles, ready for you to use, to around half a centimetre. This is something which we recommend you do after every burn cycle. 

Next, burn for the appropriate time. 

Candles have a memory, believe it or not. Yes, it's true! Have you ever lit a candle for short time, had to blow it out and noticed a sunken ring around the wick? This becomes the candle's memory. The next time you light it, it's likely to only burn that distance, meaning your candle will 'tunnel' (burn down, instead of across the whole surface). 

It's important to let your candle burn for long enough so that the wax melts all the way to the edges of the container. This will help prevent tunneling and ensure that you get the maximum burn-time out of your candle.

Generally, it's recommended to burn a candle for around 1 hour per inch of diameter. We recommend on the first burn of our candle tins, that you allow around 4 hours for it to melt to the edges. Sometimes you get a little 'hang-up' (wax around the edge), but this usually catches up on further burns. 

Keep the candle away from drafts.

Drafts can cause candles to burn unevenly and can also shorten their lifespan, as well as potentially being dangerous. Make sure to keep your candle away from open windows, doors, and vents.

Use a candle snuffer.

Extinguish your candle using a snuffer instead of blowing it out. This will help prevent the wick from smoking and will also help to avoid any wax splatters. Never leave a candle unattended - always extinguish whenever you leave. 

Store your candle properly.

Keep your candle away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as this can cause the wax to melt and the fragrance to fade. Also, make sure to store your candle in a cool, dry place to prevent any moisture from affecting its performance. Our candle tins come with lids, so you are able to pop the lid back on after use, helping to preserve the quality. 

If you love candles as much as I do, why not take a look at our beautiful range and follow these tips above, to make sure you get the very best out your candle! 

And if you have any great tips, or want to simply tell us your thoughts on candles, leave a comment below!

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1 comment

I used to love candles around the home for setting an lovely relaxing ambience, I had to stop using them because of soot and tunnelling which led me onto finding wax melts and s&s. Since you’ve brought out candles I had to try one and it was lovely the scent lasted all the way through to the end, there was no tunnelling just a lovely even burn and with trimming the wick there was no soot and it had a nice flame. I have quite a few candles around my home now and I can honestly say they are the only candles I use now.

Vicky

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