You’re Burning Your Candles All Wrong

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Hand Made Candles at The Devilish Egg in Raleigh


Did you know there was a wrong way to burn candles?  Neither did I until I started making them.  There are a couple of important things to know when burning your favorite candles so you can get the most out of them.

  1. Never burn your candle for more than 4-6 hours.  If you do, the wick can “mushroom” creating all kinds of problems like soot, too large of a flame, crackling, and smoking.

Always make sure your wick is trimmed to no more than 1/4″.  This can lead to mushrooming – see above.

  1. Stop burning your candle when it has 1/4″ of wax left in the bottom.  If you burn it until all the wax is used up, you run the risk of burning your tabletop or whatever surface your candle is placed on, or worse – starting a fire.  Most candles will have a little label on the underside telling you this, but you’ve probably never read it.  This isn’t just CYA either – I’ve got a friend who ruined her coffee table with a candle that burned to the bottom and almost lit her table on fire through her glass tabletop.  If you simply must burn the whole thing – put it on a non-flammable coaster (but I still don’t recommend it.)  And if you have a glass container – just don’t, it’s very likely it could shatter from the heat and that’s not a mess you want to clean up.

  2. You shouldn’t blow your candle out – you should snuff it.  Blowing it can create smoke and soot and pieces of the burnt wick can fall into the wet wax.  If your candle has a top, this is a great way to snuff it and protect it from dust and dirt.

  3. Keep away from drafts – this may seem like a no-brainer.  But, if your candle is in a drafty place, even if it doesn’t blow out it can blow soot which will collect around the rim and look ugly.

So, keep these rules in mind the next time you burn your favorite candle, and hopefully you’ll be able to extend its life and keep it looking beautiful!

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