Tips for Successful Candle Use and Care
Traditional wax candles provide a classic ambiance that cannot be replaced by any other type of lighting. However, a live flame in any setting requires some basic care to prevent fire and any damage that could be caused by melted wax. Please review the following safe burning instructions to get the maximum enjoyment from your candles:
● Trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting: If your wick is too long, it will cause a larger candle flame, causing wax to melt past the edge of the candle and drip.
● Periodically check on your candle for the correct wick length: Keep the wick at 1/4 inch long: long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring. Conversely, if less than a 1/4 inch wick remains exposed, light the candle and tilt to allow enough wax to melt off the edge and expose the wick to a 1/4 inch.
● Check the wick for carbonization or mushrooming: Wick carbonization and mushrooming (when the wick is crumbly and expanded at the top) also indicate the need for wick trimming. Check for carbonization when the wick is unlit by squeezing between your fingers: if it crumbles (texture like charcoal), trim the wick down to the solid part.
● Allow candles with a burn time of 25 hours or more to burn at least two hours at a time: This will allow the wax to melt out to the edges of the candle to ensure an even burn and to prevent tunneling (when the wick gets too far down into the candle center).
● Prevent or remedy tunneling so your candle burns properly: Tunneling blocks oxygen flow to the wick, suffocating it and making it difficult to light. You can prevent this by burning your candle for the proper amount of time (see above) or by “hugging” your candle. For hugging, burn the candle until the wax pool is about 1/4 inch from the edge of the candle, extinguish the candle for a few minutes, and then gently push the top rim of the candle in toward the wax pool with your fingers or a utensil while holding the candle stable. Be careful with the hot wax. Retain a small rim around the melted wax pool to prevent the wax from spilling over the sides. If a tunnel has already developed, carefully trim or peel down the wax off the sides to remove the tunnel and allow more oxygen flow around the wick.
● Burn candles in a draft-free environment to prevent dripping: Drafts are the chief source of uneven burning and items like hurricane glass candle holders can significantly reduce exposure to drafts.
● Place candles at least three inches apart from each other: Candles that are spaced too close together can melt one another and create their own drafts that can cause improper burning.
● Keep candles free of any foreign materials including matches and wick trimmings: Such foreign materials can catch fire, shorten the life of your candle by using extra wax, and cause breaks in the candle wall.
Beeswax and Bloom
Being a natural substance, the color and shade of beeswax varies. We seek out a golden yellow color. Over time, all beeswax develops a powdery film on its surface. This is called “bloom.” It is not a sign of deterioration, but natural tannin exuded from the wax. Simply remove the bloom with a heat gun or hair dryer on a low setting or use a damp rag. Enjoy!
Troubleshooting Candle Issues
With just a little knowledge, these commonly perceived issues are quite easily solvable!
“Wick will not stay lit.”
If a candle will not stay lit, it is likely due to either tunneling (which affects oxygen flow to the wick) or the need for some quick wick grooming (optimal wicks are ¼ inch in length). Please see the wick trimming and tunneling prevention sections above for troubleshooting.
"Extinguishing The Flame."
The best way to extinguish the candle flame is to dunk the burning wick into the melted/liquid wax using a wick dipper then straighten the wick upright. The wick will then be saturated with beeswax and ready to be easily lite the next time you want to enjoy your candle. This will also prevent the wick from charring which will make the candle more difficult to relight.
“Wick is too short to light.”
If the wick gets buried in the wax, simply hold the candle horizontal over a drip safe surface (hot wax will drip), hold your lighting tool up to the wick and let the wax melt off around it. This should be enough to get it going again.
“Candle has lost smell.”
Essential oils may evaporate off the surface wax of the candles. If you give the candle a little rub or peel away the bottom sticker slightly, the oils will be released, allowing you to smell the candle’s scent. Burning the candle also releases the oils.
For more tips check out the National Candle Association tips page and the National Fire Protection Association candle page. Sunbeam Candles is not responsible for any damages that result from improper burning techniques.