How to tell if a candle has reached the end of its life

A candle’s lifespan varies based on its size, the type of wax used, its fragrance and its colour.


There are two main reasons a candle will reach the end of its life. Either your candle has been burnt to its fullest, or something about the candle has gone wrong. In general, you should burn your candle within 12 months of buying it. 


Here are some signs it’s time to say goodbye to your candle. 

The wax has reached the bottom of the jar

If a candle has burnt all the way to the bottom of its jar, it has truly reached the end of its life. Don’t throw your candle jars away, as can repurpose them into vases, storage containers, succulent pots or terrariums. 

The candle has tunnelled and collapsed

Though tunnelling can be reversed if dealt with as soon as possible, there is a point of no return. If your candle has tunnelled to the point where it is collapsing, with parts reaching the bottom of the jar, it is time to purchase a new one.

Its colour has faded or changed

When coloured candles are exposed to light for long periods of time, they may fade or change colour. This is especially the case if your candle is left in sunlight. It is important to store your candle in a dark place between uses. 

It doesn’t smell as strong as it used to

This may indicate that your candle has expired. Over time, a candle’s fragrance will deteriorate, making it smell fainter and fainter. How quickly a candle’s scent fades will depend on the type of fragrance used and how strong the candle’s aroma was to begin with. The type of wax your candle is made from can also affect how quickly its scent weakens, as each wax bonds with fragrances differently.