Candles add so much warmth and ambiance to any room of the house. Perhaps they play a key component in your nightly ritual or remind you of favorite seasonal memories. But in order to ensure that your candles function at their best, it’s important to properly care for them every step of the way: before they’re lit, while they’re burning, and when it is time to extinguish the flame.
Following a few key steps will elongate the life of your favorite candles and ensure that they perform to the best of their ability.
Every time you prepare to light a candle, you’ll want to trim its wick to between ⅛” and ¼". Following this quick, preventative ritual will ensure that your candle’s flame isn’t overly large or unstable while burning. In addition to allowing for a clean burn, trimmed wicks also minimize soot. After you trim your candle’s wick, discard the remnants picked up by the wick trimmer and wipe clean after use.
While your candle is burning, it is important to keep a few pointers in mind. First, you’ll want to burn your candle until the wax melts to the edge of the jar—this is especially key on the first burn. Typically, this process will take two to three hours—or one hour for every inch in diameter. The scent of a quality candle will fill the room in one to two hours. To ensure that your favorite candles will last as long as possible, it is advised to only keep them lit for a maximum of four hours at a time. This will help to avoid an unstable flame and minimize the appearance of soot.
The proper way to extinguish a candle involves using a special tool, known as a snuffer. Blowing out a candle may splatter wax onto your coffee table or another surface atop which a candle is resting. Using a snuffer avoids wax splatters and debris from the wick from falling into the wax pool. While a snuffer may look ultra sophisticated, it is quite simple to use—just place it over the flame to extinguish it. In addition to preventing messes, candle snuffers are extremely versatile. They’re suitable for tapered candles and allow you to reach into deep jar candles nearing the end of their use.
Looking for a smoke-free way to extinguish your candle? You can achieve this using a wick dipper. Utilize its curved end to move the wick into the wax pool. The candle's flame will vanish without smoke. This will prime the wick with a small amount of wax, allowing it to be easily lit for the next use. Additionally, keep in mind that you will not want to burn your candle to its very end, as this could cause the vessel to break. We suggest leaving at least 1/2" of wax in the jar and then repurposing the container. Candle jars make for excellent vessels to hold beauty products, hair clips, office supplies, and more.
On the rare occasion you don’t have a candle burning while you’re relaxing at home, you will want to ensure that it remains clean and free of dust. First, clear the wax pool of any wick trimmings or debris to ensure a clean burn. Use your wick dipper to remove any debris that may have fallen into the wax pool. We also suggest covering your un-lit candle with a lid. The lid included in the candle’s original packaging will suffice just fine, but if you’re feeling a bit fancier, a glass cloche will also add elegance to the candle when it isn’t in use.
Updated November 29, 2021