There's nothing quite as enchanting as the flickering glow of a candle, casting its gentle light and filling the air with soothing scents. Candles have captivated the human senses for centuries, adding warmth, ambiance, and a touch of magic to our homes. Whether you light them to create a cozy atmosphere, set the mood for relaxation, or simply enjoy their aesthetic appeal, candles hold the power to transform any space.
However, despite their simplicity, there are a surprising number of ways to mishandle our beloved candles. From small mistakes like burning candles incorrectly to major issues like neglecting essential safety precautions, many people accidentally diminish their beauty, longevity, and even compromise their performance. But don’t worry! We’re here to shed light on four common candle-burning mistakes and teach you how to burn a candle properly.
1. You fall asleep with your candle burning. For a full 10 hours.
What you're doing wrong:
First of all, never leave a candle burning unattended! But just because you’re home all day doesn’t mean you should be burning candles from morning till night. If you burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time, carbon will collect on the wick, and your wick will 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.
Solution: Don't burn for more than 4 hours at a time (or unattended)!
2. You get a new candle on your way home from work. Yippee! You light your candle for 30 minutes before you go to bed. Then you blow it out.
What you're doing wrong:
If you leave a candle burning for too little time, especially the first time, you will get that annoying candle tunneling effect when you have accumulated this leftover wax on the sides of the container (read: you end up wasting your candle).
Solution: So how long should you burn a candle the first time you use it? Particularly for their first burn, candles are supposed to burn for at least one hour per inch of container diameter. So, if you bought a new candle that is 3 inches in diameter, you should burn your candle for at least 3 hours (though not more than 4 at a time). Wax has a memory, so you want to burn your candle so the melted wax spreads all the way out to the edge of your container. That way, when you burn your candle the next time, it will remember to melt all the way out to the sides.
*Note: Sometimes, especially with cheap candles, the wrong wick is used in the candle, you may not be able to burn the candle until it creates a full melt pool even if you do burn it long enough. This is the fault of the candlemaker for not testing the correct wick, not you. If your wick eventually drowns in wax, you can carve out the wax above the wick and pour some of the wax into the trash so the flame can create a bigger melt pool.
3. You don't trim your wicks.
What you're doing wrong:
Do your candles have a big black ring around the sides of the candles, and do they smoke when you light them? If this is the case, you probably have been lighting your candles for way too long and not trimming the wick. What happens when you light a candle for too long is you've let your wick "mushroom" or develop carbon buildup. This is the result of the candle consuming more wax than it can burn. Lighting a "mushroom" can cause a longer wick to crackle and pop and release soot into the air and onto your candle container. Always remember to trim wicks, it keeps you (and your home) safe!
Solution: Lighting a candle correctly should always include taking a moment to trim your wicks to 1/4 inch. And remember, never burn for more than 4 hours. Otherwise, carbon will start to accumulate again. Try buying a wick trimmer to do the job right!
4. You blow your candles out to extinguish them.
What you're doing wrong:
This one seems a little crazy, huh? How else are you supposed to extinguish a flame? Here's the thing—blowing out candles can cause wax to spray onto your face and smoke to fill the room, which can be harmful to your health. Not to mention, doing so can also bury the wick in the wax making it hard for you to light your candle the next time.
Solution: Use the tip of a screwdriver to dip the wick in the wax to extinguish. Then use it to straighten the wick out for the next burn. Or use a snuffer.
By implementing these essential candle burning tips, you can elevate your candlelit experiences, take better care of your health, and extend the lifespan of your favorite candles. However, it’s important to always buy high-quality candles for the best experience. Shop our collection of luxury candles for unique fragrances and stunning designs. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite scent and enjoy the warm glow of burning candles today!
How to Store Your Candles
Knowing how to store a candle is just as important as knowing how to burn a candle correctly. Many people aren’t aware of how sensitive candles can be to temperature variations when in storage. They may store candles together or expose them to direct sunlight or heat, only to return and find them melted or stuck together.
Additionally, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause the appearance and fragrance of your candle to fade or discolor. That’s why it’s always best to store candles in a dark, cool place and to keep them in their original packaging when not in use. This will prevent warping and preserve the product, ensuring the maximum burn time and extending the lifespan of your candle.
Quick Candle Safety Tips
Experience luxury and sophistication with peace of mind. Here are some extra candle burning tips you may find to be helpful:
Keep Candles Away from Highly-Flammable Materials
Silk, cotton, linen, and rayon are a few of the most flammable fabrics. It’s extremely important to keep candles away from drapes, clothing items, blankets, and other similar items to avoid a home fire. It’s also best to place candles on a flat surface, such as a table or countertop, away from children, pets, or swinging doors that could knock them over. Carpets and rugs are often made from flammable materials and have a high fire risk.
Keep Candles in Sight
If you light a candle in the living room and then decide to take a bath, carry your candle with you to the bathroom or put it out using a candle snuffer. Burning candles should always be within eyesight. Pets or children can knock them over or a strong breeze from an open window could blow your drapes into the flame. When it comes to safe candle burning, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the warm glow and soothing fragrance of keeping your candle nearby?
Use Proper Candle Holders
Candles should always be placed in a large fireproof holder while burning to catch any wax drippings that may fall. Our luxury candles come in elegant glass holders with beautiful designs, but traditional taper and novelty candles may not. These types of candles introduce fire risk, as well as damage to your belongings from dripping wax. Fortunately, there are plenty of empty candle holder options available online. Or you can reuse our beautiful glass jars after your candle has burned completely!
Want more tips? Check out our super quick guide to candle safety!