Every year thousands of people across the UK light candles in their quest to create the perfect Christmas ambiance. With this in mind we thought what better time to offer ten handy hits to help you get the most out of your candle. It may appear as easy of lighting the wick but add a bit of science and your candle will burn cleaner and brighter than ever before.
Hint No 1: Trim your wick.
We can't stress this enough, all candles smoke if the wick is too long. The scent throw comes from the melt pool, which is the amount of melted wax that forms around the flame. You do not require a blazing flame to produce a good sized melt pool. Different wicks produce hotter flames without making it necessary to have a larger flame. You can literally double the life of your candle, just by keeping the wick trimmed so before lighting, trim the wick to approximately 1/4".
Hint No 2: Votive Containers
Probably the most important tip for burning votive candles is to burn them in a tight-fitting container, one that is snug all around the sides. A quality-made votive will completely liquify in the votive holder, which will give you the maximum amount of scent throw. Scent throw is how we define the amount of fragrance released into the area... and whether or not you can smell it!
Hint No 3: Say NO to mushrooms
Highly scented candles can form a 'mushroom' on top of the wick which can lead to smoking. This does not mean your candle is poor quality, it's just another sign to trim your wick!
Hint No 4: Keep it clean
Each time before your relight your candle, check for candle debris around the surface. Where possible, keep a lid on your candle in between uses.
Hint No 5: No drafts
Keep burning candles away from drafts. Drafts cause candles to burn unevenly, thereby increasing the chance of smoking or dripping.
Hint No 6: That's hot!
Candles are best burned on a heat-resistant surface, even when they are already in a jar or tin, as the containers can become hot!
Hint No 7: Trim, trim and trim again
I know we spoke about wicks in hint no 1 but we can't stress enough the importance of trimming your wick. Every couple hours or so during the burning time, put out the flame, trim the wick again and relight (be sure to remove any wick trimmings from your melt pool of wax!). This will not only help to keep your candle from smoking, but will also extend the life of your candle!
Hint No 8: Melt Pool
To assist your candle in a clean and even burn, allow it form a complete melt pool each time you light it, this is the amount of melted wax that forms around the flame. To create a full melt pool, burn the candle for a minimum of one hour for every inch of it's diameter. All future burns should follow the first ones path and melt fully to the sides. And depending on the diameter of the container, those future burns should be no longer than four hours. Just follow the rule for creating a melt pool to calculate the length of time a candle can burn safely.
Hint No 9: Every little bit counts!
Discontinue burning when only 1/2" of wax remains on the bottom of your candle.
Hint No 10: NEVER LEAVE A BURNING CANDLE UNATTENDED!!
Yes, it's so important we written this title in block capitals. Keep an eye on your scented candles, this is how terrible accidents are avoided!
Don't forget to enjoy your candles, a little bit of science goes a long way!