Wicks and Wax
To Trim or Not to Trim?
Like all the greatest things in life, candles require maintenance too. Care, love and attention. Sometimes you can tell them you love them - or is that just me?!
We need to do the work to get the results (that's adulthood baby, gah!) and by putting in the care and love with candles, we'll get more time out of them, stronger burns = stronger scent, longer burns = amazing smelly spaces within our home, and right now, that is EXACTLY what we need.
But do I need to care for my candle?
Is it hard work? I'm not ready for more hard work.
Not at all. Let's deep dive into the tips and tricks of wicks and wax.
Not all candles are created the same, nor should they be. They are all different and the makers are too, but these are SL tips on how to care and love candles and it's based on the same principles for any candle that you may have at home or the office that needs a lil' extra care to get it burning right.
So here we go! My top tips for a cleaner, longer, stronger BURN!
- Burn for 4-5 hours each time -
Now you may say WHAT?! I'm not home for that long, I can't guarantee that kind of commitment! I get you friend, I do. But your candles will tunnel. Trust me you don't want that. All of that beautiful, scented wax will go to absolute waste if you just burn it for 20 minutes and blow it out. Heck, even an hour. This relationship is not going to work.
The first burn is the most important. It sets the scene and the candle memory for all future burns - the melted wax needs to reach the edges of the jar, as much as possible. There is some leeway here; if you can't reach the edges first go but get as close to it as possible, next burn if done for that length of time, will heat the wax which in turn warms the jar and the wax slides down into the pool. Voila.
If you are only burning the candle for 30 minutes to an hour each time, the tunnel will appear, and it will continue. I abhor the thought of saving candles for a "special occasion" but if you aren't going to be home to give it a good 4-5 hours, it might be best to leave the lid off and let it do its thing for cold throwing of scent.
- Trim your wick!
Every. Time. Before. You. Light. That. Candle.
Grab some wick trimmers. Grab some scissors. Use your fingers. Just break off that mushroom or the long black dead wick bit at the top.
If you don't your wick won't disappear, it will grow upon itself (the mushroom) and the following will ensue:
Large flame - dangerous. Large wick - it smokes which if not extinguished properly will affect the scenting of your space, masking all that hard work the candle has done for the last 5+ hours. Gah.
Overheating - the flame will heat the wax, the pool will grow deeper, the scent will disperse quicker and your candle will burn out quicker. Nope. No body wants that.
The jar will overheat and become too hot to touch. See point one.
Debris from the wick will end up in the wax - flammable and also, dirty wax <ewww!>
The beautiful white ceramic inside of the jar will be black from soot that is caused by not trimming your wicks. It will come off but messy and it wrecks the hole vibe.
- Keep out of drafts -
The flame can't do its best when there is a light breeze moving through, it won't get to its strongest and hottest potential AND in all likely hood it will blow out before its 4-5 hours.
- Storage -
Out of sunlight.
Soy wax is a wonder because it has such a low melt point (great for safety and longevity, they burn forever! Ok, well maybe not that long but a good amount of time, 40 hours when testing a candle is quite a time frame!) but if you have it in a warm place - like the book shelf, near the heater in the middle of winter, chances are it could melt. Leave it in the car after buying it in the middle of summer? Again a no no. Keep it upright and in a cool spot.
Now, I am no saint, I leave my candles burning longer than I should, I even light them thinking I'll be home for 5 hours I can burn a candle and then STOP I have now to run an errand, candle extinguished. Life happens - but this little handy post is about giving you more tools in your candle basket and have a few handy tips and tricks up your sleeve!
Light up and shine bright!