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Longer candle’s life – 5 tips

california orange scented candle

How to make your candle last longer

Today I’d like to share with you 5 simple tips for a longer candle’s life. Most likely you think: what’s this about? You just light the candle and enjoy it; blow it off and light again next time. But like with any other thing, you can use your candles right or wrong way. And there are a few simple hacks that will help you get the best out of your candle and enjoy it longer. Remembering these tips will ensure the best burn and fragrance quality.

Here are the 5 tips for a longer candle’s life:

Trim the wick before each burn

wick trimming
Wicks before and after trimming. Trim the wick for a longer candle’s life.

This might have been told many times before, but it’s never enough: you should trim the wick before each following burn. Why? When the wick is burning, it’s getting longer and it collects black residue from the flame. The bigger wick, the higher flame. Higher flame produces more heat and makes the wax burn out faster. It can also have a negative impact on the fragrance, making it evaporate too fast or in an unbalanced way. The wick can also form a so-called ‘mushroom’ – a thick black cap at the top of the wick, which will can make it too heavy to support its own weight (this can lead to the wick drowning in a melted wax pool). The flame can also be uneven.

The optimal wick length is about 5 mm. You can use a professional wick trimmer but small scissors or nail clippers will also work just fine.

Bonus tip: Let the candle cool off completely before trimming the wick. It’s not only safe for you but useful in case if pieces of trimmed wick would accidentally fall into the container – it will be easier to remove.

Let the wax melt to the edges by first burn

A melted wax pool that reached the edges

When you’re lighting a new candle for the first time, remember to let the wax melt to the very edge of the container. Typically it will be about 1 hour per each 2,5 cm diameter (so if the candle diameter is 5 cm, it should burn about 2 hours for the first time). This is because of what is called ‘wax memory’. Next time you will light the candle, the wax will most likely melt just to the same point as it did for the first time. As a consequence, your candle may start tunneling – burning down the wick forming a tunnel in the wax. This will cause wax waste, shorten the candle’s life, and the deeper it goes, the more difficult it will be for the wick to keep flame.

Keep the wax pool clean

When you trim the wick, try to not let the rests of it fall into the wax pool. It should be kept clean at all times. Dirt in the wax pool can have a negative impact on the burn and fragrance quality. If it happens that something will get into the pool, try to carefully remove it with a Q-tip or a teaspoon (blow off the flame first to not get burned).

Avoid drafts and air conditioning

When you’re burning a candle, you don’t want the flame to dance on the wick and make you think that there are ghosts around πŸ˜‰ Avoid drafts. Don’t place lit candles close to open windows and don’t turn the air conditioning on. Sometimes the air movements can be even imperceptible for you, but the candle’s flame is very sensitive to it. As a result, it will burn in an uneven way, it will be thrown out of balance, and burn out faster.

You will know that there’s a draft when the flame is unstable, uneven, and acting like someone is trying to blow it off.

Avoid burning a candle longer than 4 hours

photo of lavender scented soy candle burning
Don’t burn a candle longer than 4 hours at a time and it will last longer.

This is especially important in the case of container candles. It is advised to not burn candles longer than 4 hours. Why? First of all, when a candle is burning for a few hours, the melted wax pool becomes deeper and deeper. It can thus happen that the wax will not be able to support the wicks in a vertical position anymore. This can lead to the wick getting too soft to stand upright. It may bend to the side and drown. The second reason is that the carbon will start collecting on the wick and it will form a mushroom. This will result in an uneven flame, that will often become too big and too strong. Then it can start producing smoke or soot that will stain your container with a black, smoky residue. It can also result in a poor fragrance release.

Now you know how to make your candle’s life longer!

As you can see, these simple tips are useful and won’t cost you time or effort. To sum up, all you need to remember is to keep the wick short, keep the wax clean, and pay attention to how long you let the candle burn.

For a more detailed guide on how to fully enjoy candles read our article “Where to place candles to get the best out of them”.

Share this article with your friends; it’s never enough life-hacks! πŸ˜‰