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The Illuminating Guide: 10 Best Practices For Candle Care

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

How To Best Use and Care For Your Candles

Two burning coconut apricot candles on a table

Candles have been an integral part of human history, providing both light and ambiance to countless occasions. Whether you enjoy scented candles, decorative candles, or simple votives, proper care is essential to ensure their longevity and safe use.

“Candles have been a symbol of illumination, tranquility, and ambiance for centuries, enriching our homes and spaces with their soft glow and delightful scents. To ensure that your candles burn beautifully and safely, it is essential to practice proper care and maintenance.

In this article, we'll explore the 10 best practices for candle care, enabling you to savor their beauty and fragrance while maximizing their lifespan.

Choosing the Right Candle

Before diving into candle care, it's crucial to select the right type of candle for your needs.

It is true that quality matters, so consider opting for candles made from high-quality materials, such as soy, coconut apricot wax, beeswax, or other natural waxes, as they tend to burn cleaner and longer.

10 Best Practices For Candle Care

Trimming the Wick

One of the most crucial aspects of candle care is regularly trimming the wick. Before each use, trim the wick to approximately ¼ inch (0.6 cm) in length. This prevents excessive flickering, soot production, mushrooming of the wick, and uneven burning. Long wicks can cause the candle flame to become too large, leading to potential hazards and uneven melting.

Trimming the wicks on a 3-wick candle

The Initial Burn

When you first light a new candle, allow it to burn long enough for the entire surface to liquefy evenly, typically about two hours. This helps prevent "tunneling," where the candle burns down the middle, leaving unmelted wax around the edges. Tunneling can shorten the candle's overall burn time and waste valuable wax.

Avoid Drafts

Candles placed in drafty areas can lead to uneven burning, excessive smoking, and potential hazards. Keep candles away from open windows, fans, air conditioning units, or any other sources of air currents that might disturb the flame. Candles placed too closely together can also create a draft which may effect burn quality.

Window with a plant and white curtains

Prevent Overburning

Avoid burning a candle for more than 4 hours at a time. Overburning can cause the wick to become too long, leading to soot and excessive heat. Allow candles to cool for at least 3-4 hours before relighting.

Refrain from Moving a Lit Candle

Moving a candle while it's lit can be hazardous and can also adversely impact the liquid wax inside. Always extinguish the flame and allow the wax to cool before moving the candle to a different location and strive to keep candles on a level surface until the have solidified.

Container Candles

For container candles (candles in jars or containers), ensure the wick is centered before lighting. If a wick becomes off-center during the burn session, extinguish the flame and gently re-center it once the wick has cooled. Avoid burning the candle all the way down to the bottom of the container, as this can cause the glass to crack or break.

White container candle surrounded by babies breath

Extinguish Properly

Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguishing a candle with a snuffer rather than blowing it out helps prevent hot wax from splattering and minimizes smoke. Candle snuffers are gentle tools that suffocate the flame, ensuring a clean and smoke-free extinguishing process. Blowing out the flame can cause soot and disturb the centering of the wick, potentially affecting the candle's burn quality.

Avoid using the candle lid or any other object to smother the flame, as it can create smoke and cause the wick to move off-center.

Residue Removal

If you notice any soot buildup on the inside of the container or around the edges, carefully wipe it away with a soft cloth. Keeping the container clean will improve the appearance and ensure a cleaner burn.

Storage and Display

Store candles in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and sunlight can cause candles to discolor or soften. When displaying candles, ensure they are placed on a heat-resistant surface and away from flammable materials.

Three lit clear container candles with fall background

Keep The Dust Out

Most candles come with a lid or cover of some sort, and that's for a reason. Dust and small particulates can cause a wick to become clogged and a candle to burn unevenly or poorly. To avoid this and extend the life of your candle, always replace the candle's lid until the next burn session once it has cooled.

Final Words

By following these best practices for caring for candles, you can ensure a longer and more enjoyable candle-burning experience. From selecting high-quality candles and trimming the wick to managing burn times and proper storage, each step plays a significant role in maintaining the performance and safety of your candles.

With a little attention and care, your candles will continue to illuminate your spaces with warmth, beauty, and delightful scents.

Sweet Ginger Candle Co. strives to bring you a high-quality product using the finest material sourced in the USA. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We'd love to hear from you!

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