Q:  How can I get the most from my candles?

 

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A good candle is a pure pleasure, its rich, peaceful, living light warming and illuminating our special moments.

But when good candles go bad, they can ruin a rug, devastate a dinette, or burn down your home.

We take pride in making our pure beeswax candles to burn without dripping, smoking or tunnelling (leaving thick walls), and they burn best with a little care and attention. (Be sure to also read Choosing the right candle.)

Safety:

  • Always burn candles in an appropriate, fire- and heat-proof holder, out of drafts and the reach of children and pets and anything that could catch fire, and never leave a burning candle unattended.  Keep a fire extinguisher.

General:

  • Wicks should normally bend and be "self-trimming", and they should never need to be cut once lit.  After a wick has been burned, extinguished and is cold, it is very fragile and should not be touched.

  • That said, if a candle begins to smoke, or the flame becomes very large, extinguish, check wick length and trim to 1/2-inch while the wick is still warm and flexible

  • If a candle begins to drip, extinguish and re-light when cooled.

  • Candles burned in a strong draft may burn unevenly and drip. 

Tapers:

  • should be firmly stuck in an appropriate holder so they do not tip over.  If too small in diameter for a holder, wrap some honeycomb around the base.

  • should burn free-standing (not within 2" of any container such as a hurricane

  • may be burned for any length of time at each lighting. 

  • extinguish with a snuffer.

Votives:

  • are designed to liquefy while burning and must therefore be burned in a proper votive container. The best is a simple, tight-fitting, tempered glass container, the inside of which is the same size and shape as the votive candle.

  • perform best if allowed to burn completely in one lighting, but...

  • should burn at least long enough so the wax surface melts out to the side of the container. Since the wick may bend to one side the wax may melt unevenly, but in the proper container the candle will, in time, completely melt the wax and clean the sides of the glass.

  • once the candle has only 1/2" or less of wax remaining, let it burn out completely.  i.e. do not extinguish with less than 1/2" of wax remaining, as it may not then be able to melt and burn all the wax and you will need to clean the container.

  • only the burn-control metal tab should remain after burning.  Pop it out and drop the next candle in.

  • the container will get very hot while burning and should be on or in a heat-resistant holder.

Tea Lights:

  • should be burned in the cup that they come in

  • otherwise, same as votives, except that tea lights should really be burned continuously to burn well.

Pillars:

  • solid cast, solid rolled and rolled honeycomb pillars, with burn control metal tabbed wick, may be burned free-standing (on a surface) or in a tight-fitting container (like a votive)

  • if burned free-standing, they should be allowed to burn until the melted wax pool almost reaches the edge or to the maximum that it is able to melt at each lighting - not just the first time.  If burned longer, they may sometimes drip (though they should not, and the generally burn better if burned longer); if shorter, they will certainly tunnel, leaving thick walls

  • if it appears the wax pool is not centered due to wick curl and dripping is imminent, use a non-flammable implement to push the wick a little towards the thick side; also, a pillar's wax pool will be pushed "down wind" by a draft and this may be remedied by periodically turning the candle 180 to even out the effect.

  • if a pillar does drip, it should be extinguished and allowed to cool before re-lighting, and if a channel has formed in the side, it should be plugged with some wax

  • if a small, thin wall develops during each burn, push in from all sides towards the center just after extinguishing.

  • if a thick wall develops due to not burning long enough over several burns, the candle will have difficulty burning and may eventually drown itself.  Never pour off wax to expose more wick.  Instead, cut the wall down to the level of the wax pool inside and resume proper burning times.

  • Extinguish pillars by pushing wick into wax pool, then pulling it straight. Never pour wax out of the candle, and never touch the wick when it is cold as it may break.

  • a carbon cap may form on the head of the wick.  This is good, as it disperses heat and helps melt more wax. 

  • Also, beeswax, although filtered, may contain some natural debris from the beehive and you may see some dark material around the wick as the candle is burning.  This is normal.

Leftover wax?

Use leftover beeswax for furniture polish (mix with turpentine), batik, driving nails, to wax sewing threads, or to make new candles. You may also be able to return it to a candle maker (to our store, for instance) for credit.  Beeswax is precious.

Bloom?

"Bloom" is the natural frosting that appears over time and only on beeswax.  It's a good indicator of whether a candle is, in fact, made of beeswax. To remove, wipe candles with expired nylon stockings or by hand - it's good for the skin.

 

Alternate:

The right candle?
Different types of candles (pillars, tapers, votives, tea lights, etc.) are designed for different purposes, and it's worth considering your uses, needs and habits before purchasing. Beeswax candles melt more slowly than paraffin (great for summer) and need to burn longer to burn well.

A good candle is a pure pleasure, its rich, peaceful, living light warming and illuminating our special moments. But when good candles go bad, they can ruin a rug, devastate a dinette, or burn down your home. We take pride in making pure beeswax candles that burn without dripping, smoking or
tunneling, and they burn best with
a little know-how, care and attention. If you approach burning a candle as a ritual, all this can seem less like work.

Safety: Remove packaging and labels before lighting any candle. Burn all candles in appropriate, fire- and heat-proof holders, out of drafts and the reach of children and pets and anything that could catch fire. Please never leave a burning candle unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher close and smoke detectors working. Flame, wax, holders and containers can cause serious burns if touched.
The Happy Healthy Candle Rule:
Every time a candle is lit it should be allowed to burn long enough that the wax pool melts to the edge - or as far out as it is able.

Burning tips (for all candles):
- Always light from the base of the wick, where wick and wax meet, so that the wax absorbs into the wick.
- Wicks normally bend and are "self-trimming", and they should never need to be cut once lit. After a wick has been burned, extinguished and is cold, it is very fragile and should be touched carefully lest it break.
- That said, if a candle begins to smoke or the flame becomes too large, extinguish, check wick length and trim to 3/8" while the wick is still warm and flexible.
- If a candle begins to drip, speak to it politely and extinguish with care; block any channels and re-light when the wax has cooled.
- Candles burned in a strong draft will burn unevenly and most likely drip.

Tapers:
- Should be firmly stuck into an appropriate holder so they cannot tip over. If too small in diameter, wrap some honeycomb around the base. If too large, cut or mold to fit.
- Should burn free-standing (not within 3 inches of any container such as a hurricane or any other object).
- May be burned for any length of time at each lighting.
- Trim wick to 3/8" before first lighting. - Embedded decorations such as pearls may cause dripping if left in the wax pool and should be removed.
- Extinguish tapers with a snuff.

Votives (and all container candles):
- Must be burned in a container.
- Are designed to liquefy past their edge and will fill with wax whatever space they are given. To burn all the wax, the best container is a simple, tight-fitting, tempered glass, the inside of which is the same size and shape as the candle.
- Perform best if allowed to burn
completely in one lighting but...
- Should burn at least long enough each time lit so the wax surface melts flat to the edge of the container. Since the wick may bend to one side, the wax may melt unevenly, but in the proper container the candle will, in time, liquefy to the edge.
- Do not extinguish with less than 1/2" of wax remaining, as it may not then be able to re-light, melt and burn all the wax, and you will need to clean the container; only the burn-control tab should remain after burning. Pop it out and drop the next candle in.
- Hot containers can burn you badly.

Tea Lights:
- Should be burned in the cup that they come in - which can then be put in a decorative holder.
- Burn the same as votives, except that tea lights should really be burned fully in one lighting to burn well.

Pillars:
- Solid cast, solid rolled and rolled honeycomb pillars, with burn control metal-tabbed wicks, may be burned free-standing (on a plate holder) or in a tight-fitting container (like a votive - follow votive directions).
- Free-standing, they should always, at each lighting, be allowed to burn until the melted wax pool almost reaches the edge or to the maximum that it is able to melt. If burned longer, they generally burn better, but should be monitored for dripping due to drafts, wick curl and other factors; if burned shorter, they will certainly tunnel, leaving thick walls.
- Ideally, the outer wall of wax should melt and not get more than 1 inch above the wax pool, and the flame should be visible from the side.
- If a very thin wall remains and you like that, its alright so long as the candle is burning well.
- The wall may be pushed down if it becomes too tall or, as a matter of maintenance, after every burn. The wall will be thin, soft, malleable, and easy to push in after a proper burn. Be careful to not drown the wick.
- If the wick is drowned or broken, it must be dug out and the wall cut down so that 3/8 of wick is exposed.
- If a thick wall develops due to not burning long enough over several burns, the candle will have difficulty burning, the flame will become small, and the wick may eventually drown. Never pour off wax to expose more wick. Instead, while still warm (but not burning) cut the wall down to the level of the wax pool inside and resume proper burning times.
- If it appears the wall is thin on one side, the wax pool is not centered, and dripping is imminent, use a non-flammable implement to push the wick a little towards the thick side; also, the wax pool will be pushed "down wind" by a draft and this may be remedied by periodically turning the candle 180 to average the effect.
- If a pillar does drip, it should be given the benefit of the doubt, extinguished with respect, and allowed to cool before re-lighting; if a channel has formed in the side, it should be plugged with some wax; if a hole has formed and wax is dripping out, the walls have become too tall, probably because of too-short burn times. Cut the wall and resume proper burns.
- A carbon cap may form on the head of the wick. This is OK as it disperses heat and helps melt more wax.
- Although filtered, beeswax contains natural debris from the beehive and you may see dark material around the wick as the candle burns down.
- Extinguish pillars by pushing wick into wax pool then pulling it straight.

Leftover wax? Beeswax is precious, so please don't throw it away. Use leftover beeswax for furniture polish (mix with turpentine), batik, driving nails, to wax sewing threads, or, of course, to make new candles. Find recipes, clean-up tips and more good ideas in our online learning center.

Bloom? "Bloom" is the natural white frosting that appears over time on the surface of beeswax. It's a good indicator of whether a candle is, in fact, made of beeswax. To remove, which is not necessary, wipe candles with a cloth, expired nylon stockings or by hand - it's good for the skin.

 

 
 
 

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