Candle Care

How do you keep a candle wick fresh?

The best way to keep a candle wick fresh is to trim it! You will undoubtedly extend the candle’s life by keeping the candle wick trimmed. Trimming a candle wick is the first thing you should do for a new a candle, and every time before you light it again! 

What happens if you don’t trim candle wicks? 

If you don’t trim the candle wick, it will burn at a hotter, faster rate. When this happens, the wax gets used up quicker. And when the wick is too long, it is more likely to flicker and move or bend as it burns. Therefore you will also have an uneven melt pool. 

Luckily, these issues can be avoided by using a wick trimmer to control the wax being drawn up the wick. 

How to Trim a Wick with a Candle Wick Trimmer

  • Open the wick trimmer and place the base almost flush with the surface of the candle
  • Hold the candle wick trimmer at a 45-degree angle to ensure a proper wick length of 1/4  inch 
  • Bring the two handles together to close and trim the wick
  • Do not allow the wick trimming to fall into the candle (carefully blow it out if it does) 
  • Discard the wick trimming before lighting

Continuously keep your wick trimmed to this ideal length before each lighting. This is the wick trimmer I use. 

How do you keep candles from tunneling?

It’s a little-known fact that candles have a memory. 

Let me explain,

When and where you blow a candle out, it remembers. For example, if you light a new candle to see what it smells like and then blow it out 15 mins later, a small ring will form in the middle. Why? Because you only let that small ring of wax around the wick melt. 

The next time you light the candle, it will only melt to that ring, creating a tunnel. This is known as a memory pool in the candle-making world. That is exactly why it is important to learn how to burn a candle properly.

 How to Burn a Candle Properly and Light the Wick

  • Start by trimming the wick to ¼ inch 
  • Discard any debris
  • Place the candle in a safe place to burn (see the tips below)
  • Next, light your candle with a long match or bendable candle lighter (This allows you to avoid tilting the candle to the side when lighting)
  • Allow the candle to burn until the entire top layer of the candle is liquid, reaching from edge to edge across the candle (this can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for a single wick candle and longer for a multi-wick candle, typically 1 hour per 1 inch of the candle diameter

Following these candle care instructions avoids candle tunneling and ensures a great scent throw and a long-lasting candle.

Candle Care Tips for Safety

Avoid Drafts 

Always burn candles away from open windows, fans, or drafty areas. Bursts of wind can cause a candle flame to dance, smoke, bend, or flame higher, and all of which cause an uneven burn and unsafe conditions. 

Avoid Uneven Surfaces  

Never burn a candle on an uneven surface. The candle could knock over at any time and start a fire. If you have a pet or little one in the house, like me, choose a surface that is out of reach. 

You might also consider burning candles on a tray or decorative plate. 

The 4-Hour Rule 

You may have heard of the 4 Hour Rule, but do you know why you shouldn’t burn a candle longer than four hours at a time? 

If you burn a candle longer than 4 hours, the scent throw could be reduced, and the candle wick will likely mushroom due to the excessive carbon buildup. When a wick mushrooms, it becomes unstable, and the flame will grow very high. Another thing to consider is that the wax will become too hot and could risk exploding the container.

All things considered, the 4 Hour Rule is not one to break! 

If you would like to burn a candle throughout the day, say during the morning and evening hours. Extinguish the candle flame properly, then allow the wax to cool and harden. Trim the wick and light the candle again to enjoy for another few hours. 

What’s the Best Way to Put a Candle Out?

The last thing I want is to have a candle burning for a few hours, making a room smell wonderful, only to blow it out and cause smelly smoke to fill the space. It just drops the mood in the room immediately. 

I blame the tradition of blowing out candle wicks on every birthday cake for our confusion about putting a candle out the right way. Blowing a candlewick out can also cause debris to fall into the candle. Nevertheless, all you need is a candle snuffer or wick dipper to instantly put out the flame (you can find both in this gorgeous candle care kit). The scent you’ve been enjoying will linger as smoke will be nonexistent or sparing at the least. 

How to Put Out a Candle Flame the Right Way

  • With your candle on an even surface, use the bell shape candle snuffer to extinguish the flame by lowering it over the flame, close to the surface of the melted wax.
  • After extinguishing the flame, use a wick dipper to straighten the wick, so it doesn’t dry bent (you can also use it to center the wick if needed).

Your candle wick will be straight, centered, and ready to trim before the next burn when you use these candle care instructions for putting out a candle correctly. 

    Stop Using a Candle When This Happens

    When a candle burns down to less than ½ an inch, extinguish it and do not use it again. If you don’t stop using a candle before there’s no wax left, heat from the direct flame could burn against the metal wick tab or the bottom of the container. You could end up cracking the container and damaging anything near the candle.