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How To

The Right Way to Burn A Candle

Following a few simple steps can actually help your candles last longer. Read about them here.

Dec 04, 2019

There’s nothing more magical than burning candles on a cold winter’s night—preferably lots of them—with their subtle scent filling the room. But did you know you might be doing it wrong? Follow the right technique and you can not only increase the longevity of your candles by burning more evenly, but you can also make them look (and even smell) better. Here’s how:

Trim the Wick

Before every use, trim the wick to about ¼ to ⅛” long—regular scissors should do the trick. Trimming the wick will not only give you a brighter and more shapely flame, but will also help prevent the glass jar (if you’re using one) from accumulating those dark, unsightly soot marks. Also, make sure to re-center your wick each time.

Let it Burn

The first time you light your candle, make sure you do it when you be will be at home (and awake) for at least a few hours To ensure the longevity of your candle, you need to let it burn for about 3 to 4 hours the first time. This will allow the wax to melt evenly all the way across, rather than tunneling downward. When your candle tunnels, all that peripheral surface area is lost and you’ll have to toss it much quicker.

Scented Candle in Wake | ALIGN : LEFT

But Don’t Give Up

Just in case your candle does fall prey to a slight tunneling effect, it doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. You can actually fix the problem by using a hair dryer on low to even out the wax surface. Use a butter knife to cut out any wax that is above the level of the wick

Stay Away from Airstreams

Your candle will burn best when kept away from any source of air flow, such as open windows, air conditioners, fans, or even heavily trafficked areas. The constant movement will not only disturb the flame and cause soot marks, but will cause the flame to waver and burn unevenly.

Don’t Overdo It

As tempting as it is to keep a candle burning for hours on end, cap your burn time at six hours max. This will prevent your candle from overheating, which can cause it to burn unevenly and decrease its shelf life. 

Scented Candle in Dusk | ALIGN : RIGHT

Keep it Clean

If your candle comes with a lid, put the lid back on after each use to prevent dust from accumulating. If you don’t have a lid, you can use a nylon stocking or another thin cloth to carefully wipe it clean.

Reuse (or Recycle) the Candle Jar

Candles so often come in the prettiest jars. Don’t let it go to waste! When your candle has burned all the way down, you can get rid of any remaining wax residue with hot water and a little elbow grease. The resulting vessel makes a lovely little spot to hold your pens or trinkets.

See how easy it is? Now go forth and burn your candles like a pro! Our candles have a new look, but the scents are still amazing. Shop here!


Written by Kamala Nair

Kamala Nair is a London-based writer. Her work has appeared in 1stdibs Introspective, Luxe Interiors + Design and architecturaldigest.com, among other publications. Read an excerpt of her debut novel, The Girl in the Garden (Grand Central Publishing, 2011) here: kamalanair.com.

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