PHOTO COURTESY OF CIRE TRUDON
The joys of transforming your space with a luxury scented candle are apparent to many. The right fragrance choice can whisk you away on an olfactory journey and leave you in a better mood. Plus, it doesn’t hurt when they come in aesthetically pleasing vessels that elevate any room.
If you have a penchant for scented candles and enjoy indulging in the experience they offer, here are five candle rules to help them burn better and last longer. After all, these candles don’t always come cheap and there’s much more to burning a candle than just striking a match.
01 – Lighting Your Candle
You’ve got a brand-new candle, what’s next? The very first burn is the most crucial of all. While it may seem harmless to just light it up, take in the scent and blow it out whenever you want, you’ll want to exercise patience to get the most out of your candle.
For the first burn, you’ll want to have the fire going for approximately two hours. Wait until the entire top of the candle is liquid and transparent before extinguishing the flame. This prevents tunnelling (the unsightly hole that caves in), wasting of wax and most importantly, helps your candle burn better and more evenly in the future.
Subsequent burns should be kept to a maximum of one to two hours, and you should always allow the melted wax to completely solidify before relighting. Choosing an area free from drafts will also help your candle burn slower and prevent uneven burning.
02 – Extinguishing The Flame
If you’ve been blowing out the flame of your scented candle, it’s time to stop. The burnt wick smell that emanates undoes all the good work your candle has done to scent your space.
When you’re ready to extinguish the flame, use a wick snuffer accessory that’s specially created for the purpose. Alternatively, you can always use something in the form of a stick to push the wick into the melted wax to put it out, before adjusting the wick back into an upright position. Doing so also helps re-coat the wick in wax, priming it to burn more evenly the next time.
03 – Caring For Your Wick
Wonder why black smoke appears when your candle is lit? Your candle’s wick might be too long. Frequent wick trimming is an important step in candle care and you’ll want to keep it around 0.5 cm before you light it. This helps the candle burn more slowly and prevents smoking, soot from forming (the black smoke marks that form around the edge of the candle jar) and wax contamination. You can always use a wick trimmer to do this, or a pair of scissors will do the trick.
Another thing to note is that you’ll want to keep your wick centred for the best burning experience. To re-centre the wick, gently pinch the non-incandescent wick between your fingers, or some have suggested tweezers, and delicately pull it back to the centre, while the wax is molten.
04 – Storage
If your candle comes with a lid, use it to prevent dust from settling on the surface of the wax when the candle is not in use. If you don’t have one, you can always DIY a simple paper candle lid to keep the dust out. And if dust has settled on the wax, simply use a cotton pad with warm water to gently wipe it off.
And if your candle jar has turned black from soot accumulation, go in with a cotton pad dipped in warm soapy water to gently rub the stains off.
05 – Cleaning Your Empty Candle Jar
Besides the beautiful fragrances luxury scented candles offer, some come in beautiful vessels that you can totally reuse after. Planning on giving your empty candle jar a second lease of life as a vase or to store beauty essentials? Here’s how you can remove all that residue wax.
First, don’t burn your candle down completely. You’ll want to leave approximately 0.5 cm of wax at the bottom of the candle jar. Pop the jar into the freezer overnight and the wax will contract and pop out after. If not, use a spoon handle to help. To finish, wipe the inside of the glass with a wet soapy cloth, rinse, dry and you’re all set.
Alternatively, you can try cleaning it all out by pouring hot water in the glass (please protect your hands if you’re doing this), swirling the water around gently in the jar, pouring out the water once the residue wax has softened and wiping it down with a paper towel. Repeat this until the jar is completely clean and you can turn the empty vessel into anything you want, really.