How to get the most out of your candle’s burn time

Candles don’t last forever. It can be disappointing when your favourite candle reaches the end of its life, especially if it was a gift from a friend or loved one. Though you can’t make your candle last forever, there are steps you can take to prolong its burn time and get the most enjoyment out of it as possible. 

Burning your candle

Don’t burn your candle for too long

Burning your candle for more than three to four hours at a time can cause the wick to ‘mushroom’. This occurs when carbon collects on the wick, causing it to become mushroom shaped. This can be dangerous, as the wick can become unstable, and the flame can grow too large. An unstable wick may shift off centre, which will cause your candle to burn unevenly, drastically shortening its burning life.

Always let the candle wax melt all the way across

Though you shouldn’t burn your candle for too long, it is important to burn it long enough for the wax to melt all the way across. If you don’t allow this to happen, 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 surrounding wax. Not only will this affect your candle’s life, but it will eventually ruin your burning experience. As the candle tunnels deeper, it will become difficult to light, and you will no longer see a clear, bright flame.


Create a candle-friendly environment

Burn candles away from breezes

Before lighting a candle, consider whether there is any breeze nearby. Burning your candle near windows, doors, fans or air conditioners can cause an uneven burn. Eventually, your candle will become lopsided, which will shorten its burn time significantly. 

Don’t keep candles where it’s too hot

It is important to store your candle in a cool, dry place. If your candle is kept in a warm environment, or in direct sunlight, it may melt. This will either ruin your candle completely, or, if it can be salvaged, cause the wick to shift off centre and the candle to burn unevenly.

Store candles upright

Always store your candles upright, in case they do happen to melt. This will allow the wax to resolidify in the same position, and will reduce the likelihood of the wick shifting off centre. 


Candle care to prolong burn time

Trim the wick 

If you want to get the most out of your candle, trimming its wick is essential. Untrimmed wicks can become crooked and cause uneven burning, which will shorten your candle’s life and can eventually lead to candle collapse. Trimming your candle’s wick also creates a cleaner, brighter burn, giving you a quality candle experience. 


To trim your candle’s wick, wait until it has cooled and the wax has solidified. Then, using a pair of scissors or a specialised wick trimmer, cut the wick back to 1/8th of an inch. To prolong a candle’s life as much as possible, it is advisable to do this after every burn.

Don’t blow out your candle

Not only is blowing out your candle dangerous, as it can cause burns, but it is terrible for your candle’s health and can dramatically reduce burn time. When you blow out a candle, it can cause the wick to shift off centre, which will cause the candle to burn unevenly and even cause it to eventually collapse. Instead, extinguish your candle using a specialised candle snuffer.

Keep your candle clean

Once a candle has been burned a few times, you may begin to notice debris, such as soot, ash and wick trimmings, gathering on its surface. This is a safety hazard, as these pieces of debris may ignite on their own and you’ll end up with multiple flames in one candle. This will affect the quality of your candle’s burn and can lead to uneven burning.

To clean your candle, you can use a pair of tweezers to gently pull the pieces of debris from the surface, or use a microfibre cloth and lukewarm water to gently wipe the candle. To avoid injury, make sure that the candle has completely cooled and resolidified before trying to clean it.