Dos and Don'ts of Candle Burning

Since all of us are social distancing in our homes for the time being, we need something to quickly add a little something extra into our space that doesn't drain our bank accounts. Enter the candle!

Source: @nativecandle

Candles can add some beautiful ambience and make your home smell heavenly while they're lit. They can also be easily incorporated into your other decor when not lit. Candles are truly an unsung hero in our homes!

But did you know that there's actually a WRONG way to burn candles? I didn't either! Lucky for me and you, I've tapped my friend, Alanna, to help school us on candle burning.

Alanna is the owner of Native Candle. She has taken the time to carefully research all of the ingredients that go into her candles so that they're all natural and free of funky chemicals that can seep into the air when you burn them. She's a one-woman operation, hand pouring all of her candles on her dining room table. It's safe to say she knows A LOT about candles!

Without further ado, take it away, Alanna!

Did you know that there’s a correct way to burn a candle? Here are some tips to help you get the most mileage out of your favorite candles!

1) Trim your wick! You don’t need any fancy wick trimmers, just scissors, nail clippers or even grabbing that mushroom-y looking tip right off with your fingers will do the trick. Wicks should be about 1/4” long. Trim each time before you light the candle to ensure a cleaner, brighter burn and to help prevent that nasty black smoky type staining that can build up on the glass. Trimmed vs. untrimmed below:

2) Let the wax melt completely across the top of the vessel before blowing out the candle. Making sure you have at least 3-4 hours to commit to burning will allow the wax to fully melt across the top which helps prevent tunneling.

You may have experienced tunneling if you have ever had a candle that has tons of wax left on the sides. Wax has a memory, and it will burn in the same pattern every subsequent time you light it. If the first burn doesn’t melt totally across, the unused wax stays on the sides of the jar which means all of that precious scent that you paid for gets wasted.

If you have a favorite that IS tunneled, you can try to fix it by popping it in the oven at 175 degrees for about 5 minutes to even out the top, or use a hairdryer on low.

You could also use a candle warmer: it’s your new best friend when it comes to enjoying scented candles that can no longer be lit! A candle warmer is an electric heater that melts candles and releases the scent without the need for a flame. Intended to be used with container candles, it gently heats the wax allowing the scent to escape into the room.

3) Watch your burn time! It is not recommended to burn candles for longer than 6 hours at a time, as the candle can overheat. If you let the whole candle become liquid, the wick can float around causing an uneven burn and potentially more soot or even a cracked vessel from excessive heat.

There you have it! A special thank you to Alanna from Native Candle for sharing her great tips! Until next time...

Happy Designing (and safe candle burning)!

- Angela :)

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