You may think this sounds stupid and that burning candles isn’t rocket science (and you’d be right!) – but there are a few candle burning tips that can help you get the best out of your burn, and most of these are wick related! Because the wick is an integral part of any candle, it should always be trimmed before use. This applies the very first time you burn it, and before you relight…every single time. Trust us. Candle wick trimming will help with:-
- Ensuring safety
- Preventing sooting
- Melting the wax evenly
- Preventing candle ‘Tunnelling’
So, how do you trim a candle wick?
The best way to trim a candle wick is with a candle wick cutter, other wise known as a Candle Wick Trimmer. These can be purchased online for around £10. You can also use sharp scissors, nail clippers or wire cutters (Tom’s preference!). No matter what you use, always trim! And try to avoid using blunt scissors, so the wick doesn’t get frayed.
Each time you want to burn your candle, start by trimming the wick to between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long. This is between 3mm and 6mm, we recommend about 4mm.
Why are we telling you this?
Firstly, trimmed wicks will give you a cleaner, brighter burn. We all love the cosy glow of a good clean candle flame. Untrimmed wicks are a lot more likely to take on a weird mushroom-esque shape that dulls and obscures the flame, and frankly looks quite unsightly.
Secondly, excessively long wicks are one of the main causes of those nasty black soot stains that end up on your glass candle jars. Trimming the wick keeps the flame in control and prevents those marks from forming in the first place.
Let the wax melt all the way across.
Once your candle’s lit, don’t blow it out until the top layer of wax has melted all the way across. This might take a good couple of hours, so make a night of it!
Whenever you fail to achieve full melt, you will often trigger a process called candle ‘tunnelling’. This is where the wick starts to sink lower and lower, like a tunnel is forming right through the center of the candle. Eventually, the tunnel will get so deep that it’ll be tough to light the wick at all. More importantly, all that unmelted wax on the sides represents hours of lovely fragrance and burn time you bought but won’t ever get to enjoy!! And we can’t have that!
If you melt the wax all the way across every time you burn, the surface of the candle will stay flat and the sides of the jar will stay clean, all the way down to the bottom.
Keep the flame away from moving air.
Do your best to keep your burning candle away from fans, air conditioners, open windows, or heavily trafficked areas where people walk back and forth a lot. Moving air can disturb the flame, which can also lead to unsightly black marks on the glass.
Obviously, don’t ever leave burning candles unattended – my Dad can vouch for that as this Christmas Eve could’ve ended a whole differently if the melting plastic of a knife handle didn’t smell so goddamn awful!! Lesson learnt! Jeez.
We recommend burning candles for a maximum of 4 hours at a time to ensure the best performance.