A beautifully scented candle is one of life’s simple pleasures, and of course, all you really need to do to enjoy it is light it, and sit back and relax. However, there are a few things that are useful to know, to help you get the most out of your candle. Here are some top tips to help you savour that perfect ambience for longer!
Keep the wick the correct length
Ideally, the wick should be about an eighth to a quarter of an inch in length. If it’s too long, then the flame will be too tall, and will burn at a faster rate, which shortens the life of the candle. It will also leave marks and deposits on the jar or container, or the walls if it is placed too near. Keep the wick trimmed with scissors or nail clippers.
If the wick becomes too short, then the candle will be difficult to light. When the wax is at room temperature, scrape out the area surrounding the wick until a sufficient length is exposed.
Tunnelling occurs when the middle of the candle burns down faster than the edges, so you have a build up of unused wax around the side, but the centre is hollowed out. To avoid this happening, when you first light the candle, allow it to burn for at least an hour, or until all the surface area of the wax has melted.
If you find that your candle has, a good trick is to wrap a piece of tin foil around the edges, leaving an opening for the wick to burn. This encourages the heat to spread more evenly over the surface area of the candle, and after a couple of hours, you should notice that the tunnel has levelled out.
Choose the right location
Avoid placing your candle in draughts, near fans or open windows. This is for obvious fire safety reasons, and also because if the flame is dancing about in the breeze, it will burn unevenly, and burn down the candle more quickly. It will also generate more smoke, which will be blown around the room.
If you want to use your candle outdoors on a breezy evening, you can always place it in a lantern holder.
Extinguish it properly
Blowing on a candle to extinguish it spreads smoke around the room, disrupts the fragrance, and risks splashing wax and sparks on surrounding surfaces. Instead, place a glass lid over the candle to exhaust the supply of oxygen until it goes out.
Alternatively, you could use a to dip the wick in the melted wax, and lift it out again, or a candle snuffer, which is a bell-shaped tool with a handle, which snuffs out the flame. As we previously mentioned however, always wait until the entire surface area of the wax has pooled before putting out the candle, to avoid tunnelling.
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