Most Common Candle Burning Mistakes
Besides being one of the most universally amiable presents, I believe the right candle can transform your home. Not only can a good glass-jar candle instantly warm up any room, but it also triggers the strongest sense tied to memory: scent. But all of that can go right out the window if you’re not burning your candles correctly. (Yes, there *is* a right and wrong way to do it, and yes, I *do* know how snobby I sound. I stand firmly nonetheless.)
Here are three common mistakes you’re probably still making when burning your favorite candle:
Trim The Wick
Please, please, please trim your wick between each burn—and never relight a wick that’s longer than 1/4 inch. Trimming it down can correct for things like the flame not burning straight, constant black smoke when it burns, soot buildup, and the wax turning yellow over time. Give it a quick trim (or, if you don’t have a proper wick-trimmer, take a tiny bit of toilet paper around your thumb and pointer finger and remove the already-burnt ball of wick, then discard it. Oh, and if you tilt your candle to light it, it’s time to get a longer matchstick. That’s what’s causing the sides of the candle to blacken.
Find The Right Spot
It can be easy to relegate candles to burn on the mantle or in the corner of your kitchen, but you’d be doing yourself a real disservice if you’re cornering it. The same way you wouldn’t want to burn one underneath an overhang, you also want to be sure you place a burning candle as close to the center of a room as possible, like on a coffee table or other centerpiece. Just remember to keep the flame away from fans, windows, or heavily trafficked areas, as the moving air can cause the flame to dance and hit the sides of the container, causing black soot marks.
Let it Burn for Longer
I like to light my candles before I start my nighttime routine, which usually takes about an hour from start to finish. That’s long enough for the top layer of wax to melt completely across the candle. If you blow it out before the top layer liquifies, your candle can start to tunnel, which drastically reduces the total burn time of your candle.
Here’s a quick bonus tip for you: Make sure you don’t blow your candles out, but rather, you smother them. The lack of oxygen will cause them to die out quickly without any possibility of spilled wax or scattered soot. Happy burning!