Candle tips, extended edition!

Candles are such an easy way to create a relaxing and cozy atmosphere in your house. However, you gotta use them correctly to prevent accidents and to make sure you get the most out of them! Read on for my best practices.

  1. Trim the wick before lighting (this tip doesn't apply to a new candle - the wick should be trimmed to the correct length already). Before lighting your candle, make sure the wick is trimmed to in and around 1/4 inch. If you can't imagine what this looks like (same), just pinch off the top bit. This prevents the wick from becoming too long and creating a large flame, which can lead you into yikes territory. A long wick can also cause the candle to burn too quickly, leading to wasted wax (noooo!) and a shorter burn time. If you accidentally give your candle wick a scalping and it won't light (or only lights with a lil sad looking flame), simply melt some of the wax away from beneath the wick with a match and tip it to the side. This allows more of the wick to be exposed. If you can't imagine THIS, I'll make a video, eventually. Check out the YouTube, it'll be up there sooner or later.

  2. Burn for the right amount of time. The first time you light your candle, try and let it burn for at least 2 hours. It's not really that specific, but the main thing you want to avoid is lighting your candle for really short bursts - this can cause 'tunnelling' where the candle burns in a little tunnel, and the melt pool never reaches the edges, even after lots of burns. This means you're not getting the full 'throw' (scent potential) and longevity of the candle.

  3. However, don't worry too much if the melt pool doesn't reach all around the candle in your first couple of burns, it will catch up the further you go down the jar. In fact this is in many ways a bonus - it's safer as the heat build-up is less, and it means your candle is burning slower - prolonging it's life. 

  4. Keep the wick centred. As the wax melts, the wick may move around and become off-centered. This can cause the candle to burn unevenly. If you notice that the wick is moving to one side, use a skewer or other tool to gently push it back into place while the wax is still warm. If you want to get really fancy you can use a wick dipper to extinguish your candle and re-coat it in some wax (making sure you centre it again afterwards). The benefit of this method is you don't get any smoke after extinguishing.

  5. Don't burn for too long. A candle should not burn for more than four hours at a time. If you want to enjoy your candle for longer, extinguish it and allow it to cool down for at least two hours before relighting it. This helps to prevent the wick from becoming overly long and the jar from overheating, which can be dangerous. Now, I've tested my candles for long 'power' burns, and although they stay intact and self-extinguish if the wax runs out, the glass will become extremely hot. This could potentially damage what the candle's resting on, not to mention any unfortunate fingers. I do these tests because safety is my number 1 priority, and people do forget to blow out candles on occasion (we are only human, after all).

Hope these tips help you get the very best out of your beloved scents. 

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