March 13, 2010

Do you know how to burn correctly?

Although burning a candle doesn't seem like a big deal, it can be!

It is believed that all you have to do is just get a candle, light it and its all good. Nope, no, not, nada, wrong! Okay that may have been a bit strong, but all in all it is true. There is a bit more to it than just lighting it and moving on.

When you purchased that candle sitting in your living room, dining room, bedroom, etc. you may have thought, wow that smells great or its appearance would fit your decor perfectly with that room. You got it, put it in place, lit it and walked away. Later you blew it out. From there most would say well next time i will just light it and it will be as great as it was before. Wrong! Now you have potential of having it smoke and sooting up the jar/container, pieces of burn wick getting in the wax that can catch fire. Your candle can also start creating a sink hole, cutting the life of your candle in half. A number of things can happen when burning a candle and not knowing the proper way to do so. Here are a few tips to help extend the life of your candle as well as some safety tips as well.

  • Before lighting your candle make sure the wick is trimmed to 1/4 in". Any longer and the flame gets too high, can cause smoking (soot) and can cause the liquid pool to get to hot and cause a flash fire. All scent oils used in candles have a flash point and keeping the wick trimmed can keep from this happening. Trimming it any shorter than 1/4 in" can cause the melted wax to "snuff" out the candle repeatedly, causing a very poor burning candle. Causing you to have to remove melted wax that can burn you , if not done properly as well as cause you to "throw away" needlessly.
  • Make sure that you have a flat, heat safe, level place to put your candle. This is important to allow your candle to burn evenly. Un-level, non-heat safe areas are an accident waiting to happen.
  • Avoid Drafts! It is very unwise to place a lit candle near a window, under a ceiling fan, in front of a heating and air vent. Drafts cause the flame to flicker, which in turn causes the candle to burn unevenly, cause the candle to smoke and if near any flammable items such as curtains, it can cause the item to catch fire.
  • Always keep lit candles out of reach of Children and Animals!
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended!
  • When extinguishing the flame it is recommended that you use a wick dipper. By dipping the wick down into the liquid wax, it will put the flame out safely and there will be no smoke! So you don't have that burn smell that usually always follows blowing a candle out. If you don't have a wick dipper readily available, you can blow out the candle by placing an index finger in front of the flame and blowing gently. This causes the air to surround the flame and minimizes the splattering of hot wax from the liquid wax pool.
  • Burn candle for the proper length of time. For Jar Candles you want to burn the candle 1 hour for every 1 inch in diameter. So if you have a 3" in diameter candle you will want to burn it for at the least 3 hours to allow the candle to reach its maximum melt pool. This will allow your candle to burn down evenly and get the most out of your candle. if you burn for too short of a time, you will see that this causes your candle to form a "sink hole".
  • Know when to "blow out" the flame. You know it is time to put the candle out when the melt pool has reached 1/2 in deep. IF you allow the melt pool to go any deeper than 1/2 inch deep, this can cause it to super heat the wax and can cause a flash fire from the scent oils reaching their "flash point" Stay on the safe side and snuff it at no more than 1/2 in deep.
  • Keep your candle wax clear of "junk" referring to burnt pieces of wick or anything else that may have fallen into the wax. Doing so may prevent a flash fire once the wax has heated to a liquid pool.
  • Allow candle to cool to a hardened wax before relighting again.
I hope these tips have been helpful to you. By following these tips you will extend the life of your candle and in a safe manner, while getting the maximum burn time your candle may have. Take care when burning any candles!

~ Mary

These tips are those that I strongly suggest to all my customers. If you have other tips on candle burning that you would like to share please feel free to leave them in the comments. Have a great day!

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