The Best Tips & Tricks to Become an Unstoppable Candle-Burning Pro

The Best Tips & Tricks to Become an Unstoppable Candle-Burning Pro

Want some tips to make the most of your candle? We've got you covered. From larger-than-life flames to barely-there scents, we’ll answer all your burning questions about candle burning.

Our top two must-do tips? Trim your wick before you light it and ensure your first burn lasts at least two to three hours.

Before you strike the match, trim the wick to 3/8”. This will create a smaller, safer flame, and help ensure your candle burns cleanly and evenly. 

Your first burn is key – it’ll let the wax pool evenly and help avoid “tunneling”. So, light up and let the candle burn for two to three hours. This will maximize the fragrance throw and give you a longer lasting flame.

What if my flame is too high?

Enthusiastic about candles? Then you should know that a flame that burns too high can be a problem. Not only does it look bad, but it can also burn through your candle faster and create a fire hazard. Two potential causes: either the wick is too “thick” from the manufacturer or it is left too long and needs to be trimmed. To stay in control of the flame, make sure it’s 3/8 of an inch or shorter before lighting. To trim your wick, use a wick trimmer, nail clippers, or Joyce Chen scissors. Extinguish any flame that is too wild, flashing, or smoking. Now you can safely enjoy your candle without the excess flame!

Why is my candle smoking?

Candles bring warmth and beauty to any room – unless they’re producing smoke. So, what’s the cause? Smoke is created when a flame is unable to completely combust the fuel – in this case, vaporized wax – due to a lack of oxygen. This incomplete combustion leads to sooty carbon instead of the regular water and carbon dioxide.

But the culprit may not be the candle itself. Candle enthusiasts should watch out for drafts, as these can cause air currents that can ruin a perfect burn. If the wick is trimmed correctly, these drafts can cause the flame to consume fuel inconsistently, resulting in too much oil in the wick. When the flame corrects itself, it can’t burn through all the fuel, resulting in smoke. To avoid this, move your candle away from any vents, fans, open windows, or air conditioners. You’ll be able to enjoy the smooth, smoke-free burn you’re looking for.

How to fix "tunneling"

Say goodbye to tunneling in your candle! Tunneling, or when a candle only burns down its center leaving wax residue around the edges, is a problem that all candle enthusiasts can understand. Don't worry, as this issue can be easily avoided. To ensure the wax melts evenly to the edges of its container, your first burn should last two to three hours. This will create a “memory” that the wax will follow for the duration of the candle, ensuring a consistent burn. If you find that your wick is too small, try removing some of the wax surrounding the wick for a better chance of the melt pool reaching the edges. With these simple steps, you won't have to worry about your candles tunneling any time soon!

Why is my candle sweating?

Candle sweating can be caused by a few factors, but the most common is the oil content of the candle. Soy and coconut wax candles have naturally-occurring oils that can sometimes cause sweating, while a scented candle may be made with additional fragrance oils added. It's important to note that, although unsightly, this usually doesn't affect the performance of the candle. To keep a candle looking its best, store it away from heat sources and direct sunlight, and allow it to cool fully before wiping down any excess moisture with a paper towel.

Not smelling much?

When you invest in an expensive scented candle, the last thing you want is to discover it doesn't emit a fragrance. If this happens to you, it may be due to the fragrance itself, the heat of the melt pool, or the candle's surface area. To troubleshoot the problem, try burning the candle in a smaller room or for a longer period of time. If that doesn't work, it may be that the fragrances used were not sufficiently potent or concentrated. To prevent this in the future, look for candle makers that prioritize high-quality fragrances and test their candle's hot throw systematically. That way, you can ensure your candle delivers on its scent promise.

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