Candles, especially decorative and scented candles, have aesthetic value in many homes and businesses. They are beautiful and fragrant elements that can enhance and accentuate your space. Candles, such as aromatherapy, can even have a therapeutic effect.
Ever wonder what makes candles explode? Have you ever considered stopping buying candles because you were afraid they would explode? Today, I want to talk about why candles explode and what to look for to prevent them from happening.
Candles only need three components to burn properly: wax, heat, and oxygen. The wick is the catalyst that holds the heat and absorbs the fuel, so while the candle does have a wick, it acts as a heat helper in the candle.
Since your candle flame already has a source of oxygen from the air, water (H2O) can cause a break in the connection by the way the oxygen reaches the flame, creating a smooth process.
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When you mix heated and melted wax with water, there are actually two things that can happen.
First, the water is less dense than the wax, so it will sink and settle to the very bottom of the candle or wax container.
Once the heated wax gradually reaches a hot enough temperature, the water will evaporate.
The instantaneous evaporation of water creates a reaction when the water is converted to steam (gas). Then, the water vapor expands violently. This eventually results in layers of hot wax being thrown into the air like small drops of water.
As the thrown wax (at this point) is exposed to oxygen in a larger surface area, the candle burns faster, which means that combustion occurs faster.
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When you consider using barriers, water is simply not the answer to your wax-fueled fires. It will only make the problem worse. However, using something like baking soda as a barrier between oxygen and heat is a much more effective way to put out a wax or oil fire.
To clarify, sometimes water will extinguish the flame of a candle. For example, let's say you are outside enjoying the weather and there are some candles burning. Then you notice that it starts to rain outside. You may notice that your candle flame goes out in the drizzle.
This is not entirely contradictory, because in this particular case, even though the flame is lit by wax, it is.
1. In an enclosed environment
2. In an open oil fire continuously struck by small drops of water or water droplets, not by large amounts of water.
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The hot, melted wax is not dispersed over the contained surface, providing fuel for the flame source along the way.
In addition, these droplets have the ability to absorb large amounts of heat, quickly producing steam (or vapor) that interrupts one side of the fire triangle by creating a foggy mist in the air that cools the fire as it spills over the candle flame, thus delaying it.
This is much more reliable in situations where the flame is contained and does not have the ability to spread (and increase its intensity).
If it is a completely solid candle, use an absorbent paper towel to soak up the small amount of drizzle on the surface of the candle. Let it dry further for about 48 hours and then light it again.
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Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and the best way to protect your life, home, and property when a wax fire occurs is to remember and keep candle safety tips in mind. Check out some of the most effective, proven, and real tips to prevent candle fires.
Follow the instructions on how to use your candles. Most candle manufacturers will explain how to use candles and prevent accidents such as candle burns and explosions. Read the instructions carefully before lighting the candle.
Keep candles away from pets and children. Do not leave candles in places where they can be easily tipped over, especially when lit.
Avoid using water as a candle extinguisher. Chemicals in water react dangerously with heated candle wax, causing candles to explode and catch fire. Use baking soda and make sure they are always within reach.
Don't let your candles burn. Keep a close eye on lit candles and keep them in a room where they will not come in contact with flammable materials.
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