July 12, 2022
When it comes to burning a large candle, it’s essential that you understand the best practices to keep it in optimal condition. Practicing proper candle care is important because it prevents mishaps like tunneling. Tunneling, for a large candle especially, means a bigger waste of product and money. When tunneling begins to occur, it disrupts the wax memory and negatively affects the longevity of your candles.
One of the most important ways to keep your candles in optimal condition is by burning them evenly. When you take care to burn your candles correctly and evenly, you ensure long-lasting fragrances to enjoy in your home. Continue reading for the best ways to burn your large candles evenly.
The first step in keeping your candles burning evenly is trimming the wick. You should be trimming the wick ¼ inch per burn to ensure an even and bright burn. When you neglect this step, carbon collects on the tip of the wick, forming a “mushroom” bulb of ash.
This mushroom bulb causes uneven and rapid burning, which is not ideal for a large candle or any size candle. This occurs because the wick is too long, and the bulbs cause sparks that result in ash getting in the wax. The ash will release soot, which causes the wax to burn quickly and unsafely. You can use a pair of scissors, nail clippers, or a wick-trimmer to trim your wicks before use.
It’s important to always melt the wax fully across, especially on the first burn. This simply means allowing the wax to burn through a full, even layer before snuffing out the light. This is important because wax has a memory.
Candle wax holds the memory of how it burned the first time and continues to burn in that pattern every time. If you only allow a small ring of wax to melt the first time you burn it, it will continue to only melt in that small pool of wax. This is what essentially creates the tunneling phenomenon. So before you snuff out the candle, make sure a solid layer of wax has been evenly melted through.
Using multi-wick candles is a great way to ensure an even burn. A 5-wick candle bowl, for example, helps to avoid tunneling and burn pools. This is especially true if the diameter of the candle is wide. If the candle is large, it will likely have multiple wicks to encourage even burning throughout the candle.
It’s important to avoid drafts when burning your candle. Keeping your candle near vents, fans, or open windows allows the wind to blow the flame, which creates large flames and rapid burning. The constant flickering of the flame caused by the drafts may also produce soot, which is bad to inhale and unfavorable for the chemistry of the wax.
To ensure safety, keep your candle on a flat, even surface away from drafts or high-traffic areas in the home. You want to prevent moving air from disrupting the flame and producing soot.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t allow your candles to burn for more than four hours at a time. When you burn your candles for more than four hours at a time, you risk burning the wax and creating a dangerously large flame with soot and unwanted debris. This can create an uneven burn for the next time you light your candle due to the excess carbon, soot, and mushroom wick formed by the excessive burn time.
You reduce the lifespan of a candle when you burn it for too long, so take care to burn it for four hours to keep your candles evenly burning for as long as they safely can.
When examining your candle, have you ever noticed your wick leaning and crookedly shaped? A misaligned wick can cause uneven burning and tunneling as well as damage to the glass. A crooked wick is created due to uneven placement, rapid burning, and burning for too long. To avoid this, you can simply use at-home methods to recenter your wick.
Here are a few ways you can recenter your wick for an even burn:
It’s best to attempt to recenter the wick when the wax is relatively soft. This way, you won’t risk breaking off the wick into pieces. This is a gentle process, so take your time pushing the wick back into a standing position. You can press and hold the wick in place for a few seconds to ensure it doesn’t simply fall back over. When the wax dries, the wick should be centered again.
It’s best to avoid blowing out the flame when extinguishing it. When you use your breath to blow out the flame, the sudden and forceful gust of air quickly spreads ashy debris into the pool of wax. It’s better to alternatively use a candle snuffer or even just close the candle lid over the flame to snuff the candle out.
You can even snuff out the flame slowly by sprinkling iodized salt into the wax. This will allow it to burn out slowly and evenly, preparing an even layer of wax for the next burn.
There are plenty of easy ways to burn your candles evenly. Investing a little time in learning about proper candle care will save you money and product in the long run. If you don’t want to worry about candles and the proper methods of maintaining them, consider trying reed diffusers. They are an excellent low-maintenance option for adding a delightful fragrance to your home.
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