These tips can help increase the life of your favorite container candle and keep it looking (and feeling!) new.
From correct burn methods to cleaning tips that'll ensure a great looking candle down to the last bit of wax you'll learn how to care for your candles. And let's not forget about some basic safety tips to ensure the flame of the candle stays contained where it should!
Okay real quick before we get to the tips, I've got to put a couple disclaimers on here for legal purposes (bear with me).
I write all of these from my years of experience as both a personal user along with as a seller of the Mining for Soul affirmation candles. Mining for Soul is not liable for any damage caused by lit candles. It's up to you to practice safe burning.
Okay, now let's get to the TIPS!
1. Allow time for candle top to melt completely.
The most important thing you can do to extend the life of your candle is allow the entire surface of the candle to melt down before blowing it out. Depending on the candle width this could take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour or more. Typical tea lights or votives will be the fastest to melt while wider containers may take the longest. Our 6.7 ounce affirmation candles take approximately 40 minutes for the surface to melt.
Why do we do this? Well by allowing the wax to melt completely you'll help prevent "tunneling" of the candle wax for future burns. Basically wax left unburnt will pile up on the sides and any subsequent burns will never melt them. Over time a tunnel of melted wax is created and will burn through to the bottom quite fast, leaving a ton of wax residue all around the sides of the candle. It doesn't look pretty and it ends up wasting a large portion of this candle you purchased.
If you are starting to see bits of wax pile up along the side of the candle you can decrease them by gently swirling your candle wax around during a burn. Pick the candle up and s-l-o-w-l-y move it around in a circle so that the melted wax will begin melting the side wax.
Conversely, it's a good idea to extinguish the candle flame if more than1/2 of the wax is melted. This depends on the container, but if it's too hot for you to pick up then it's probably a good indicator that it's done burning for that session.
2. Trim the candle wick before each burn.
Another important tip mainly for safety's sake. The longer the wick, the bigger the flame which will create more heat (aka, burn through the wax faster), soot, and a flame that may not be safely contained to your container. In extreme cases it can cause wax to melt too fast and burn so hot that the container could crack. Now again, that's an extreme case and not too common, but it can happen so it's worth mentioning for full transparency.
The good news is the solution is simple! Trim that candle wick to 1/4-inch before every burn. By trimming the wick the flame will be more controlled and make for a safer burn temperature.
3. Clean between use.
In the past couple years I've become aware of the reason for my urge to shop. To be more concise, why I shop for items I already have at home that work perfectly well. I realized that part of my shopping urges is from wanting shiny and new items. It turns out by cleaning a used item you can get it looking (and feeling) good again. Yeah, it's pretty obvious when I say it, but how many of you actually DO this?
I even created a video about caring for our most used items over the summer. While the video uses beauty products as the example, this translates to this topic of candle care as well.
Container candles can get black soot along the container after use. Take a soft dampened rag with your cleaner of choice (white vinegar mixed with water is my preferred all purpose cleaner) and gently wipe the inside edges and along the outside to remove any soot, dust and fingerprints. To be on the safe side I'd allow the candle to dry completely before use (this will depend on the cleaning spray you use).
You don't have to be anal and clean between each use, a simple monthly wipe can make a big difference here. By taking a minute to wipe the container you'll keep the candle feeling fresh like it did the day you brought it home. And perhaps it'll prevent you from having half a dozen candles littered around your home (raising my hand to this one) that you don't feel like lighting anymore.
4. Location matters.
Location, location, location. Important in real estate success AND candles! Most of us use candles in our homes to relax and chill. A respite from an often chaotic feeling outer world. The last thing we need is for a candle induced fire. So let's all agree to the safe candle burning I'm about to talk about, okay? Great let's get to this final tip!
Decorative items like our affirmation candles may look good placed on a bookshelf or near that post worthy succulent, but before lighting the candle you'll want to ensure there is enough open space around and above the candle. The heat of the flame could burn a shelf above the candle or singe / light a plant leaf.
Be sure to place the candle upon a surface that can handle the heat. And most importantly you want to be with eyesight of the candle. Don't leave them unattended especially if children or pets are nearby.
My black cat Pouncer loves watching candle flames and I allow him to sit nearby me when he wants, but I'm always watching to ensure he doesn't get too close or accidentally burn his tail. If I leave the room I either take the candle with me (if you do this be sure the container isn't too hot to touch and walk very slowly so the flame doesn't start fanning towards you) or I blow it out. And yes I'll blow it out even before the wax is melted all the way on the surface. Because safety over looks.
Thanks for reading along today! I hope I haven't scared you from using candles. They can be great tools to ease anxiety and get the creative juices flowing so by following these tips to keep your candles burning longer and looking good throughout their lifespan.