Lighting candles is easy. Fortunately, so is following the guidelines for proper candle care and safety. Follow these simple tips to extend the life of your favorite candles, prevent unsightly soot and tunnels and burn them like a pro.
Before lighting your candle, always trim the wick to 1/4 inch and remove any debris left in the wax pool, such as wick trim or matches. Any debris will add more fuel to the candle than it is designed to handle. Too much fuel can cause the flame to burn accidentally or even start a small fire near the candle flame. A long or bent wick can cause uneven burning, dripping, burning, and soot. Trimming the wick helps to prolong the life of the candle. If you trim the wick every few hours, the candle will burn for up to 25% longer.
Just as the first cut is the deepest, the first burn is the most important. The candle should burn one hour for every 1-inch increase in the actual diameter of the candle. For example, a candle that is 2 inches wide should burn for 2 hours. If the candle does not burn long enough for the wax to liquefy or melt from edge to edge of the container, a "memory ring" will be created. Once a candle has a 'memory ring' it will continue to tunnel for the life of the candle.
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When lighting candles, avoid being near fans, air conditioners, open windows, or crowded areas where people are walking back and forth. Moving air can disturb the flame and cause those nasty black marks on the glass.
Burning the candle for too long will cause carbon to build upon the wick, leading to 'mushrooming'. The wick will then become unstable and produce a dangerously large flame. In addition, your candle will start to smoke and release soot. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid this. As a general rule, it is recommended that the candle does not burn for more than four hours and that it cools for at least two hours before being re-lit.
Store your candles under cover in a cool, dark, and dry place to keep them clean and free from dust and debris and to help protect the wax and fragrance. Highly scented candles have a lifespan of 6 to 12 months, depending on the scent. If you like scented candles, use and replace them regularly to avoid a deterioration in appearance and performance.
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