After nearly 4 years, Flicker Box has probably seen a 1 million candles roll through our HQ so we feel like we have a little bit...a tiny bit...of authority on candles.
It seems like a no-brainer: get your candle, light the wick, and enjoy! BUT, hold up! There are some things you should know AND can do to get the most out of your candles. We've created the Essential 5 Steps to (Properly) Burn Your Candle below. Take a look!
Numero Uno: Before you light your candle each time, trim your wicks to 1/4". Use a wick trimmer (hey, we sell those!). Push it down right to the wax (when it's dry) and snip the wick. Do this each time before lighting your candle.
Why? In doing so, you are ensuring that the flame while burning doesn't get too large. Safety first, my friends! It also protects your candle from burning too fast.
An untrimmed candle has that black kinda-mushroom-esque shaped lump on the top of the wick. ALWAYS remove that before burning. This gives you a much cleaner and brighter burn.
And secondly, excessively long wicks are a top cause of those ugly gray and black stains that end up on your glass jar candles, and sometimes your hands and walls. Trimming the wick keeps the flame in control and prevents those marks from forming.
Two: Your candle has a memory! Really?! Yes!
The first time you light your candle, let it burn for a couple of hours to get a good wax pool growing (I'm referring to the melted wax that sits on top of your candle). You'll want to see the melted wax meet the edge allllllll the way across. If you don't get your melted wax to the edge of the candle, you'll begin tunneling. Tunneling is when you burn your candle straight down the middle of the candle, leaving lots of wasted wax and fragrance thus shortening the life of your candle ( I know you have jars of these sitting around your house!) Get your money's worth, friends...grow your wax pool.
Number 3: Don't burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time. If you want to burn it all day, blow out your candle, trim your wick and relight. Again, preventing the flame from getting too big, saving yourself and your containers from black soot and preventing those really ugly mushroom capped wicks.
Cuatro: Do your best to keep your burning candle away from fans, air conditioners, open windows, or heavily trafficked areas where people walk back and forth a lot. Moving air can disturb the flame, leading to even more unsightly black marks on the glass OR better yet, a broken candle jar. If a flame sits up against glass too long, the glass will break...it'll make a weird popping sound and you'll come back to your candle and discover melted wax running out of the glass vessel and glass pieces all over your new wood surface (granite countertops, whatever)
Lastly, DIP YOUR WICKS: Yup. Dip 'em...dip 'em good! You can extinguish a candle’s flame without creating the after smoke. Dip the lit wick in the melted wax and lift back up. You will need a wick dipper or a non flammable object (try a butter knife you could live without).
There! 5 things you can do to ensure you're not throwing away your money on beautifully made candles.