By now, I’m sure you guys are aware of my obsession with home decor and furnishings, and most of all… candles! My collection is embarrassingly huge but nonetheless I’m still frequently adding to it. What most people are unaware of is the care that should go alongside owning lots of candles. Just lighting a candle again and again may prove very inefficient after a while, causing the quality of the candle to suffer. Below are some tips on how to keep your candles burning strong.
Trim the wick
Now I don’t mean to state the obvious but just in case you don’t know, the wick is the bit of the candle that you light. When you first purchase a candle, the wick is usually white and it is important to straighten it before lighting. When you go to light the candle for a second time, the wick would have obviously darkened and may seem rather long. You don’t necessarily want a long wick that has been previously burnt as it will cause the flame to be rather large and lively, and will not melt the candle as efficiently. Take this picture for example, if I were to light this candle now, I would gently cut the wick about 1/3 of the way down before lighting. Shortening the wick before lighting will allow a much calmer flame to burn and will allow your candle to melt much better. I would recommend performing this step every time when lighting a candle, apart from the first burn, and be sure not to trim the wick too short as it will be difficult to light. Also, when caring for a previously burnt wick, ensure it is straight and handle the wick with care, as it can be easily broken.
Watch out for Tunnelling
A candle which has tunnelled refers to candle that does not have an even surface and simply just burns in the middle. This usually occurs if a surface of the candle is too wide for the flame, therefore the heat doesn’t reach the sides of the wax but continues to melt the wax in the middle. Sometimes there is little to help this issue as some cheaper candles just aren’t high enough quality to deal with this issue. Of course it may not be a major issue, and sometimes can produce a lovely effect when burning, however you won’t get all you can get from the candle as all the wax isn’t melting, leaving large amounts of the product going to waste. I do have some techniques to help this issue, one of which is to hold the burning candle and tilt it so that the flame is directed at the sides, but be sure to be careful and watch out for any melted wax dripping out. This will allow the sides to become warm and hopefully melt. It is best to do this with a relatively new candle that hasn’t tunnelled huge amounts. Another tip is again one that needs to be handled with care. Once you have blown out your candle, try pushing the sides of the wax down to meet the melted hot wax in the middle. This should create less of a tunnelled look, but be sure that none of the wax covers the wick as you way lose the wick when the wax sets.
Candles need time
With a brand new candle, you will need to let it burn for a certain amount of time. With a large candle, say the size of a standard Yankee Candle for example, it is recommended to let it burn for a minimum of three hours, where as smaller candles will need slightly less time, with the exception of tea lights which have no minimum burn time as they don’t last as long anyway. The longer a candle burns means there is less chance of tunnelling occurring.
Illuma lids are a fantastic candle accessorise from Yankee Candle.
They are little metallic candle toppers which looks adorable and come in a range of designs. They are not only amazing because of their appearance, oh no, they have a much bigger role in candle burning! They control the flame and keep it healthy and calm. They also allow the heat to stay within the candle and prevent the candle from tunnelling, and some say these fantastic lids even distribute fragrance more efficiently! Being a Yankee Candle product, they only fit candles of the same size as their medium and large jars, however I’m sure it won’t be long until similar products pop up in home decor stores.
I love candles, and always want to make the most out of them, lets face it some can be pretty pricey! By following these tips, you can ensure your candles continue to burn brightly for as long as possible! I’m planning on lots more candle based posts so let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in. If you have anymore candle tips, be sure to comment below!