If you want to learn how to make candles last longer, you’re in the right place.
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But if you’ve ever spent a lot on a fancy candle only to have it burn poorly and be ruined fast, you’re not alone.
We’ve tried almost every type of candle, from bargain basement to the high-end designer names. And although we don’t think the most expensive candles necessarily equal the best results, you want to get your money’s worth from any candle you buy.
Tunneling, smoking, mushrooming: You might be unfamiliar with these phrases, but they’re all candle Kryptonite! To avoid these pitfalls and keep yours burning well for the maximum time, here 3 essential candle care tips!
- Avoiding the dreaded ‘tunneling’
Do you ever find that your candle only burns down the very center of the wax and you end up wasting most of it? – This is what’s called ‘tunneling’ and is usually the result of the first time you used the candle.
- Trimming the wick for a better flame
Trimming the wick is a tip we often hear regarding candles, but you rarely hear why. A longer, untrimmed wick will result in a less bright flame and will cause smoke and soot that congregates on the candle jar or holder.
- Obey the maximum burn time for more uses
Only burn a candle for 4 hours maximum to keep it in the best condition. Burning for longer means carbon deposits accumulate on the top of the wick. This will prevent the candle from burning properly and cause smoking the next time you light it.
On first lighting, it’s crucial to burn a candle for long enough so that the entire top layer liquefies evenly.
That means the wax melts right the way to the candle’s edge before you extinguish it. As a rule of thumb, it should be one hour per inch of a candle – 3 hours for a 3” candle, 4 hours for a 4”, and so on.
If you buy larger candles, they should have multiple wicks to light to achieve an even burn in this way. So next time you’re tempted to burn a new candle for only 15 minutes ‘to see what it’s like’, don’t do it.
If you’re looking for something to help you maintain a good burn once the candle is lit, try a candle topper.
A topper will stop your candle wick from flickering so that the heat remains consistent and over the wax, meaning a better and more even burn.
Try a candle topper to help you get an even burn
Ornate Candle Topper
Seashell Candle Topper
Owl Candle Topper
Snowflake Candle Topper
Have you ever noticed that your candle wick will ‘mushroom‘ and split off? This is also caused by not trimming the candlewick adequately.
Always trim the wick to between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch. It’s obviously safest to do this just before you light it each time rather than straight after extinguishing when the wax is hot.
While you can use scissors, you’ll quickly find that a wick trimmer does a much more precise job.
Ensure that the wick is cold and dry when you cut it and use a sharp pair of scissors (or a wick trimmer) for a clean-cut.
Make sure you also remove any trimmings that fall into the candle before lighting it – leaving them there to melt in the wax will result in smoke and hissing when they’re burnt.
Our favorite accessories for healthy, long-lasting candle wick
Candle Wick Trimmer
Rose Gold Candle Accessory Set
Candle Accessory Pack
An effective scented candle will have done its best work in around 1-2 hours, so burning for longer won’t get you any stronger results in terms of scent.
As always, never leave a burning candle unattended and be sure to burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
Follow these 3 simple rules and you’ll get more enjoyment and your favorite candles will last much longer.
What’s your favorite candle scent? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for more home-care tips? We’ve got so much inspiration in our home section!
Love candles? Check out these finds
Candle Making Kit
Want to shop all our DIY & Craft supply picks in one place? Check out our dedicated shopping page, full of all our best finds from the interwebs!
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