Wicks and Wax
Posted on August 24 2020
To Trim? Or Not To Trim?
Like all the greatest things in life, candles require maintenance too. Care, love and attention. Sometimes you can tell them you love them - or is that just me?!
We need to do the work to get the results (thats adulthood baby gah!) and by putting in the care and love with candles, we'll get more time out of them, stronger burns = stronger scent, longer burns = amazing smelly spaces within our home, and right now during ISO/Semi ISO/ Unprecedented times, that is EXACTLY what we need.
Staying safe at home would not have been as pleasant without a candle flicker and a beautiful scent to break up the monotony and home schooling madness.
But do I need to care for my candle?
Is it hard work? I'm not ready for more hard work.
Not at all. Lets deep dive into the tips and tricks of wicks and wax.
Not all candles are created the same, nor should they be. They are all different and the makers are too but these are TLFC tips on how to care and love candles and its based on the same principles for any candle that you may have at home or the office that needs a lil extra care to get it burning right.
So here we go; my top tips for a cleaner, longer, stronger BURN!
- Burn for 4-5hrs each time;
Now you may say WHAT?! I'm not home for that long, I can't guarantee that kind of commitment! I get you friend, I do. But your candles will tunnel. Trust me you don't want that. All of that beautiful scented wax will go to absolute waste if you just burn it for 20 minutes and blow it out. Hell even an hour. This relationship is not going to work.
The first burn is the most important. It sets the scene and the candle memory for all future burns - the melted wax needs to reach the edges of the jar, as much as possible. There is some leeway here; if you can't reach the edges first go but get as close to it as possible, next burn if done for that length of time, will heat the wax which in turn warms the jar and the wax slides down into the pool. Voila.
If you are only burning the candle for 30 minutes to an hour each time, the tunnel will appear and it will continue. I abhor the thought of saving candles for a "special occasion" but if you aren't going to be home to give it a good 4-5 hrs, it might be best to leave the lid off and let it do its thing for cold throwing of scent.
- Trim your wick -
Every. Time. Before. You. light. that. candle.
Grab some wick trimmers. Grab some scissors! Use your fingers. Whatever but break off that mushroom or the long black dead wick bit at the top.
If you don't your wick won't disappear, it will grow upon itself (the mushroom) and the following will ensue:
Large flame - dangerous. Large wick - it smokes which if not extinguished properly will effect the scenting of your space, masking all that hard work the candle has done for the last 5+ hours. Gah.
Overheating - the flame will heat the wax, the pool will grow deeper, the scent will disperse quicker and your candle will burn out quicker. Nope. No body wants that.
The jar will overheat and become too hot to touch. See point one.
Debris from the wick will end up in the wax - flammable and also, dirty wax ewww.
The beautiful white ceramic inside of the jar will be black from soot that is caused by not trimming your wicks. It will come off but messy and it wrecks the hole vibe.
- Keep out of drafts -
The flame can't do its best when there is a light breeze moving through, it won't get to its strongest and hottest potential AND in all likely hood it will blow out before its 4-5 hours.
- Storage -
Out of sunlight.
Soy wax is a wonder because it has such a low melt point (great for safety and longevity, they burn forever! ok well maybe not that long but a good amount of time, 40hrs when testing a candle is quite a time frame!) but if you have it in a warm place - like the book shelf, near the heater in the middle of winter, chances are it could melt. Leave it in the car after buying it at a market in the middle of summer? again a no no. Keep it upright and in a cool spot (preferably below 25 deg)
The lids aren't just for looks, they keep the wax free of dust and other matter and also keep the cold throw (the scent when the candle is not lit) strong! It protects it from sunlight as well, as some fragrances are UV sensitive and can change the colour of the wax (French Pear, Green Tea and Lemongrass, Lavender Vanilla are the main offenders).
Now, I am no saint, I leave my candles burning longer than I should, I even light them thinking I'll be home for 5 hours I can burn a candle and then STOP I have now to run an errand, candle extinguished. Life happens - but this little handy post is about giving you more tools in your candle basket and have a few handy tips and tricks up your sleeve!
Our FAQ's page is updated regularly with troubleshooting questions or little gems we've discovered along the way to give you a BETTER burning experience.
Soon, not long from now, we'll have a NEW product release which has everything to do with candle care and wick trimming and nothing to do with difficult difficult lemon difficult candles.