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Most of us don't know how to use a candle correctly. Most of us don't realize that there is a right way to burn a candle and most of us have no idea what that is. As a result, we have to scrape the soot off a candlestick and experience other unfortunate consequences. Follow these tips and you'll be a real candle-burning pro.

How do you light a candle and treat it while it is burning? Many do not have the slightest idea how to use the purchased candle to the maximum. Follow these guidelines and you'll get way more out of your candles every time with no wasted wax (or scent).

  1. Trim the wick

How to use a candle correctly5


Don't be lazy, each time you want to burn your candle, start by trimming the wick to between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long. You can use scissors, nail clippers, or a wick trimmer. Why every time? Trimmed wicks will make your candle burn cleaner and brighter. Untrimmed wicks are a lot more likely to take on a strange shape that dulls and obscures the flame. Also, excessively long wicks cause nasty smoky stains that end up on your glass jar candles.

By the way, the most convenient way to light a candle is to use long matches.

  1. Let the wax melt all the way across

When you have your candle lit, do not extinguish it until the top layer of wax is completely melted. This may take several hours. If you are not ready to wait that long, it is better not to light a candle at all.


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If you do not let the wax melt completely, you're contributing to a process called tunneling. Tunneling happens when only a small portion of the wax around the wick melts while the candle is burning. Instead of having the entire surface of the wax melt evenly, it will appear as though the flame is burrowing into the candle and creating what resembles a small, vertical tunnel. Inside the tunnel, the wax directly underneath the flame quickly melts into the liquid while the surrounding wax remains hard. This causes the tunneling to become worse over time. Once the wick descends deeper into the surrounding wax, the flame won’t be able to get enough oxygen to sustain itself, causing the candle to go out. Tunneling is bad because it can drastically reduce the total burn time of your candle.


How to use a candle correctly 1


Yes, it takes patience. But if you let the wax melt completely every time you light a candle, the surface of the candle will remain smooth and the walls of the candlestick clean.

  1. Buy Candles with Multiple Wicks

If you don’t have time or patience to wait for the wax to melt all the way across, buy candles that have two or more wicks. More flames mean more heat, which leads to a quicker melt. It also throws more scent. Avoid very wide single-wick candles. The heat from one wick is clearly not enough to completely melt the entire candle.

  1. Keep your candle flame away from high traffic areas




Try to keep the burning candle far away from fans, air conditioners, open windows, or high traffic areas. Moving air can disturb the flame, which can also stain the tin or jar, and can give you tunneling and other issues.

  1. Don't blow out the candle

To extinguish a candle, cover it with some kind of lid, but do not blow it out (unless, of course, this is a candle from your birthday cake). This way you can avoid unpleasant odors.

Now you are ready. Use your candles the way the pros do, save money and effort, and enjoy your candles to the fullest.

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3 hours ago, ErronB said:

You literally have no idea what you’re talking about, sorry.

Agreed. Is this “General Wax” THE General Wax?  I feel like I’m missing something with these posts.

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"To extinguish a candle, cover it with some kind of lid, but do not blow it out ..."


I agree with the last part of this, but to cover with "some kind of lid" is completely inappropriate, imo.  Snuffing or dipping the wick is best, but placing a lid over it isn't the best way to put out a candle. 

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