It’s worth mentioning to begin with that all candles are not all created equal and there is a healthy option.
I know it’s a strange thought, after all you’re not going to eat them,although sometimes they look and smell good enough to. But vapour is always released when burning and the vapour released depends on the wax used.
Many candles are paraffin (a by-product of petroleum), or are blended with it to affect the burning time. Fragrances can also be chemical based therefore a small amount of toxins are released every time they are lit.
If you want to go for the healthy option (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, it depends on how the mood takes me and how much I love the candle) use vegetable or natural products e.g. bees wax or soy and 100% pure essential oil. I try to avoid palm oil due to the environmental impact but as candle manufacturers do not have to declare ingredients it can be difficult to know which are which, so look for eco friendly candles as these will usually be 100% pure. Check the manufacturers description.
These can be more expensive but this is understandable when you consider the amount of bees it takes to produce one candle .
I still use both and usually save the most expensive for either special occasions or if I’m feeling particularly indulgent (which is a little too often!).
So back to my top tips on candle care which I have discovered over the years of my candle burning infatuation.
1. Wax has a memory
Yes that’s right! If you let it puddle the first time you burn it will carry on puddling until you have a lovely tunnel going right down the candle.
To avoid memory rings the top layer of wax needs to be completely melted. This should take about 2 hours the first time you light it depending on the size of your candle.
2. Don’t get a wonky wick
When the candle is out but still liquid straighten the wick. This will avoid creating high flames and blackening of glass vessels
3. Keep your wicks trimmed
Don’t trim the wick after the first burning but after this after trim to about 5mm. This will help avoid sooting and smoking and ensure an even flame
4. Draughts decrease burn time
Keeping your candles out of the draught will increase there life. Draughts also cause smoking, uneven burning and disperse the scent.
5. Extinguish with a snuffer
Don’t be tempted to blow your candle out this can result in soot specks falling into the melted wax. It can also bury the wick in the melted wax. It’s really hard to light it the next time, as I know only too well!
6. 4 hours is long enough
Don’t let your candle burn for more than 4 hours. I know it’s a temptation but burning it for any longer could cause the wick to mushroom and become to hot, the wax may then overheat.
Extinguish, let it cool for 2 hours and then it’s fine to go again.
7. Candles are sensitive creatures
It’s important to store your candles where they are happiest and that is in a cool, dry, dark place. The light will cause discoloration and fading. Manufactures usually provide guidelines on storage and if you want to go the extra mile candle storage boxes can be purchased.
8. To freeze or not to freeze
The jury is out on this one! This is a method used by loads of people to extend the life of their candles. Freezing will certainly make it burn slightly longer. By the wax being at a lower temperature it will obviously result in it taking longer to melt thus slowing down the speed at which it evaporates.
It does however result in a smaller flame and goes directly against most manufacturers recommendations. It an also cause the wax to split. So it’s going to be a judgment call weighing up the pro’s against the cons. I personally don’t recommend it and don’t like the risk of spoiling a beautiful candle.
That’s it then follow these tips and you will have happy, healthy candles which you can enjoy at their best.
I you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them just leave me a comment below.
I have also created post sharing some of my favourite picks at the moment. Feel free to jump on over and take a look.
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