4 ways we've all been burning candles wrong
We've been doing it wrong, all this time.
So, turns out, there's actually a wrong way to burn a candle. Several wrong ways, actually. And we've been guilty of every one of them.
Never fear, we're here to tell you all about the four deadly candle-burning sins so you know to avoid them in future. Keep these in mind to safely get the most out of your wax and wicks.
1 Not burning the candle long enough, the first time.
Wax has a sort of muscle memory — it'll burn the same way, every time you light it. The first time you light a candle, burn it for long enough to allow the pool of molten wax around the wick to grow to the full width of the candle. If you blow it out before that, the wax will burn the same way next time, causing it to 'tunnel', or only burn down in the small circle of the original pool of wax. Leave it for long enough and your candle will remember, burning evenly across all the way to the very end.
2 Not trimming the wick, every time.
Trim the candle's wick by 1/4 inch before burning, every single time. The wick tends to burn down slower than the wax, which means you're left with a tall sooty wick. This can cause the candle to smoke and will probably leave little black marks on your gorgeous candle. It can also cause larger problems like uneven burning and unwanted dripping. You don't even need a fancy wick trimmer - a small scissors or nail clippers does the job just as well.
3 Not monitoring burn time
Allowing your candle to burn for more than four or five hours could cause overheating. This is when the entire candle is liquid, which can cause the wick to float to the side. If that happens, the candle will burn unevenly, if at all, the next time you light it.
4. Blowing candles out
Another big no-no. Blowing a candle out will probably spread sooty ashes across the melted wax top, but it could also disturb the soft wax itself causing unevenness. Get yourself a snuffer or, easier still, a candle with a lid.
Did you know?
Armed with the knowledge of candle sins past, you're now a fully fledged candle-mom. To polish off your credentials, we'll leave you with this tasty titbit. According to Kelly Hayden of Paddywax, a three wick candle in the exact same vessel as a one wick candle will burn slower—not faster. Whaaat? She says: “Three wicks will actually extend the life of a candle because rather than tunneling straight down the center of the candle when lit, the wax gets hot enough to actually pool across the entire candle.”
Well now, you learn something knew every day.