Five tips to help you burn your candle efficiently

It can be saddening when your favourite candle comes to the end of its life. However, there are things you can do to prolong its life and maximise burn time, performance and scent.

  1. Trim the wick after every burn

A trimmed wick is essential to an efficient burn. It is highly recommended that you trim your candle’s wick after every single burn. To do this, extinguish your candle, wait until it has solidified, then use a pair of nail clippers, scissors or a specialised wick trimmer to trim the wick back to 1/8 of an inch.

Trimming a candle’s wick gives you a cleaner, brighter burn, keeps the flame under control and prevents a candle from smoking. Untrimmed wicks can become crooked and cause uneven burning, which will shorten your candle’s life. 

  1. Don’t burn your candle for too long

Never burn your candle for more than three to four hours at a time. Excessive burning will cause carbon to collect on the wick, causing it to take on a mushroom shape. A ‘mushroom’ wick can become unstable, and the flame can grow too large, which is a safety hazard. Once it has been extinguished, a candle should always be left to resolidify before being lit again.

  1. Always let the candle wax melt all the way across

It is also possible to burn your candle for too little time. It is important to allow the top layer of wax to melt all the way across before extinguishing a candle. If not, your candle will begin to tunnel. Tunnelling occurs when the wax in the centre of the candle begins to sink lower, due to being burned more than the wax on the outside. Tunnelling is detrimental to the burning experience. You won’t see a clean, bright flame and, eventually, the tunnel will grow so deep that it will be difficult to light your candle at all. 

  1. Pay attention to the first burn

The success of a candle’s first burn will determine how well it performs throughout its life. It is important to make sure the wax melts across the entire top of the candle before it is extinguished. This sets the ‘candle memory’, prompting the candle to burn to the edges every time it is lit. If you extinguish a candle before the wax has melted to the edges, the wax will create a ‘memory ring’. From then on, the candle will only burn to the memory ring, not to the edges of the candle jar. This causes candle tunnelling and will significantly shorten a candle’s life.

  1. Don’t blow out your candle

Instead of blowing out your candle, use a specialised candle snuffer. Despite what many believe, candle snuffers are not simply a way to trick you into spending more money; in fact, they are essential to correct candle care. They keep wicks in the centre and prevent particles of ash from getting stuck in the candle wax. Blowing out a candle can cause the wick to shift off-centre, which will cause the candle to burn unevenly. Blowing out candles is also dangerous, as you may splash hot wax onto yourself or others.