Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a proper form in candle burning. Here at Waxing Kara, we have created a list of tried and true (and simple!) methods in order to get the most out of your candle from our collection of unique nostalgic fragrances. By following the steps listed below, you can ensure maximum freshness and a longer burn life, plus a safer household!
Proper candle burning, begins with the wick. Wicks function the best when they are a ¼ inch in height. Here at our honey store we hand cut each cotton wick at the perfect height, so there is no need to worry when you first receive your candle. Following the first burn (which I’ll get to soon), make sure the wick is trimmed in order to prevent smoke stains that are prevalent with candles made in glass jars.
Candle Burning: First Burn
The first burn is always exciting! The candle’s first burn is an important step to avoid tunneling. Your goal on a first burn is to fully melt the top layer of wax, evenly. If you do not, a “tunnel” will form in the center of the candle, creating a memory ring.
Tunneling happens when the first-burn is not a long enough period of time. A short first burn creates a candle memory ring of wax in the center of the candle. It’s wasteful. It not only leaves precious wax leftover in the candle it also often leads to an extinguished flame and a candle that cannot be burned.
Following the proper first-burn procedure will also help prevent the wick from mushrooming. A mushroom wick is a wick that has not been burned properly where carbon deposits on the wick and make it top-heavy. The wick appears to be a mushroom in shape, hence the name. Keeping the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch will afford a cleaner burn and proper-sized flame!
Please note, at Waxing Kara we recommend burning our candles for at least an hour and a half, to fully melt the top layer and ensure even melting for future burns on all of our candles.
Extinguishing Burning Candles
After burning candles, gently blow out the flame to avoid any hot wax from splattering. Long burning candles can become very hot to the touch. For the purpose of safety, we recommend our candles to be burned for only up to two hours at a time.
Do NOT extinguish a candle by topping it with a lid. Although it does extinguish the flame, it will cause smoke to penetrate the wax. This causes the fragrance to be smothered by a smoky odor.
For Future Burns
For each future burn, start with a trimmed wick and ensure the top layer is fully melted before extinguishing the flame. When the wax has cooled and before you light the wick again, be sure to trim the wick to the ¼ inch size as mentioned previously.
In the interest of safety:
- Practice common sense in everything you do in life.
- Never leave a burning candle near anything that can catch fire
- Always keep a burning candle in sight, and away from children or pets
- Extinguish a burning candle upon leaving a room
- Burning candles should be kept a few inches apart to ensure even melting
- Do NOT burn a candle all the way down
- Never leave a burning candle on all night, extinguish before going to sleep
You can find a few candle safety rules of thumb to follow when burning candles here.
Candle Burning FAQs
Is candle burning bad for the environment?
Different wax and fragrance combinations yield different results. For instance, paraffin wax is petroleum-based and is known to release toxic compounds into your home. Some of these compounds are known carcinogens. They may also contribute to upper respiratory issues such as asthma and impact allergies.
How long should you burn a candle?
It depends on the size of the candle. If you are burning candles that are 4-6 ounces, the safest amount of time to burn the candle is no more than 2 hours. Larger candles may burn four hours at a time. After burning candles for the recommended period, extinguish, allow to cool for at least a few hours and trim the wick to 1/4 inch before burning again.
What happens if you burn a candle too long?
If you burn a candle in glass for longer than the recommended time, you run the risk of broken hot candle glass. If you burn a candle for too long, carbon collects on the wick and makes the wick unstable. An unstable wick may burn unevenly, hotter, and smoke. When a candle smokes, it releases soot into the environment, and it also deposits on the candle glass and the area that surrounds the candle.
Why is the first-burn in candle burning so important?
When first burning a candle, burn the candle for at least an hour to fully melt the top layer of wax, evenly to avoid tunneling. Tunneling happens when the first-burn is not long enough. A tunnel is a “memory ring” of wax in the center of the candle, leaving precious wasted wax in the vessel also often leads to an extinguished flame.
Why is my candle flame burning so high?
There are a few reasons why a candle flame burns too high. The wick may be the wrong size for the selected vessel and wax. It could be that the fragrance load is too high for the wax and vessel size. It could be the kind of fragrance that used in candle making. If all else is perfect, check for a draft where you burned the candle. Drafty rooms can impact the size of the flame.
Can I just let my candles burn and put themselves out?
Please use common sense when burning any candle. We hope you enjoy your candle as much as we enjoyed making it for you. Candles are safe products and must be used safely and observed to avoid accidental fires. We urge our customers to be careful when burning candles. Please burn candles safely. Do not let a candle burn long enough to extinguish all wax in the container, leave at least 1/2 inch of wax on the bottom.
How do you store candles?
When cold, trim wick and store candles in a cool, dark and dry place. If dirt and dust accumulate on top of the candle, you can easily clean the surface with a damp paper towel.
Follow these simple steps to burn candles the right way and to stay safe during the process. Check out Waxing Kara’s newest candle, Drone, that artfully combines the warmth of vanilla with a hint of honey and tobacco to create an inviting warm masculine fragrance.
Happy candle burning!