Lighting the candles is a timeless tradition and there is nothing that compares to the warmth of candle light in your home. Of course, there is some etiquette involved in the process that will help ensure a pleasurable and safe candlelight experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your candles.
Never Leave a Candle Burning Unattended. This is one that should need no explanation. A candle is a beautiful thing and the light that it gives is peaceful and calm but it is an open flame. Always extinguish your candle if you are feeling sleepy or if you are called away from the room.
Trim the Wick! Maintaining a short wick is crucial to safely burning a candle. It also ensures clean soot free burn. Trim the wick to ¼ inch before each light. Keeping it this length will avoid wick “mushrooming” and extra carbon which result in unnecessary soot (even in all natural waxes). This also controls the size of the flame allowing you to get the most time out of your candle".
Keep the Flame Smaller than ½ inch. If you’ve been burning your candle for a good long time keep an eye on the flame. If it’s dancing around and growing too big it’s trying to get your attention. You can extinguish, trim the wick, and relight for a sweeter and safer experience.
The First Burn. When lighting a candle for the first time, burn the candle until wax melts across the entire surface up to the sides of vessel. This will prevent tunneling, and create an even burn for the duration of the candle's 'life'. This may take awhile but it’s worth the effort.
Soot Happens. Every candle is fueled by its wax. The wick is the vehicle that carries the fuel and keeps the flame going. A process, called combustion, is what happens when a carbon (wax) reacts with oxygen in the air. That combustion process is to blame for the black smoke and soot that all candles are capable of creating if circumstances are poor. First and foremost you need to keep the wick trimmed appropriately. The object for ideal circumstances is consistency in the burn. A flame that dances about is trying to tell you something. It has either been placed in a draft or the wick needs tending. If you can keep your candles away from the wind and keep that wick trimmed you can keep the smoke to a bare minimum. Keep the wax pool clean and free of wick trimmings, matches and debris. This will keep the wick from clogging up. Of Course, if your candle is made from high quality clean burning waxes and oils you can breathe easy while enjoying your candlelight mood.
How to Put Out the Candle. Don’t blow it out! The best way to extinguish a candle is with a snuffer. You may also dip the wick into the melted wax and then straighten the wick. The object is to smother the flame rather than blowing on it. This will prevent smoking. Do not continue burning a candle when there is 10mm of wax or less remaining. Although it is tempting to continue burning your candle until the wax is gone, don’t do it. If it is a jar or a tin the vessel can overheat.How to store your candles. Always store your candles in a cool, dark and dry place. Avoid placing your candles where they will be directly exposed to sunlight or harsh indoor lighting.