How to burn your candle the right way…and also how to save one!

By Van Boolen

Lighting the candle for the first time

The first burn is the most important. Wax has a memory. So the first time you burn it, let it burn for at least 2 hours so that it creates a full pool to the edge. This will ensure a consistent burn throughout the candle’s life.

If you extinguish the candle before achieving a full pool, your candle is likely to experience “tunneling”. The wick will start to sink as a tunnel is forms right through the centre of the candle. This will end up suffocating the wick so that it will be hard to light or keep lit. A waste of a lovely candle!

Patience is a virtue and if you allow the time for the wax to melt fully every time you burn the candle, the surface will stay flat and the candle should melt evenly all the way to the bottom. (New candles available from www.vanboolen.com)

Trim your wick

Before you light the candle, ensure the wick is around 0.5cm. We use wick trimmers but otherwise use scissors or nail clippers.

Trim your wick every time you light the candle. A trimmed wick will ensure a clean and bright burn. If you leave a wick untrimmed, you will often notice a mushroom like bulge appearing on the wick that dulls the flame. Trimming the wick keeps the flame controlled and prevents smoky stains ending up on your lovely candle container.

Put it out…properly

When you blow out a candle, the extinguished wick spreads black ash particles onto the surface of the wax. You may not even be able to see it – but by doing this the ash particles stick in the melted wax which can effect future burns and the candle fragrance. If you have a candle snuffer, great! If not, just ensure you buy candles with lids to smother the flame when you want to put the candle out. This will ensure a clean, dust free candle.

Keep your candle away from moving air

Air vents, fans, open windows – no thanks! Gusts of wind and moving air disturb the flame causing an uneven burn.

Room Temperature

When the candle is lit, the center point will always be hotter than the outer edge.  Obviously, the flame is in the center but as some of the heat will transfer to the candle container the outer edge will naturally be cooler. Therefore for best performance, if you can, make sure your candle (container) is at room temperature when burning the candle.

Save my candle!

Cut out the wax above the level of the wick with a butter knif and then the remove the broken off bits of wax with a cotton ball or kitchen towel. After removing enough wax so that the wick is above the melt pool, the candle should begin to burn properly.

If the tunneling isn’t too bad, lay the candle on its side and use a lit match to melt the wax away from the wick and pour it into the bin. Relight your candle and make sure that you allow the wax pool to reach the edge before blowing it out. This can sometimes be messy as the wax may turn black when melting it.

Alternatively you can use a hair dryer on low to even out the wax surface or pop the candle in an oven at 175 degrees for about 5 minutes. These two actions will melt the wax, so that it’s smooth and level across the top again. Scoop out any wax that flows over the wick.

Hopefully one of these methods will work, but if you have any questions we are always happy to answer them at message@vanboolen.com

This guide is intended to help keep your scented soy candles burning bright and healthy.

Disclaimer: We have taken every effort to ensure that this guide is as accurate as possible. However Van Boolen cannot guarantee or take responsibility for any errors or omissions in this information. Van Boolen intends for this information to be used as a guide only and accepts no responsibility for actions or outcomes that are a consequence of using the information above. Please take every precaution in the making of candles, or experimentation of the candle making process.

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