Updated: Oct 14, 2022
How to care for your soy wax candle to get the most out of it, and why these steps are important.
Before I started making candles I had no idea that there was more to burning candles than just lighting them and letting them burn until I put them out. As a matter of fact, I used to use the wooden lids that came with the candle to put them out, completely unaware of how dangerous that could be. Of course, now that I make candles and deeply care about the safety of my customers I’d like to pass what I’ve learned to you. After all, not everything fits on the candle warning label that's on the bottom or on the care cards that come with your purchase.
Continue reading to learn these important candle care steps and why they are necessary.
Tip #1 (I cannot express this one enough): Trim your wick to ¼” before you burn it each time
Trimming your wick will help control your flame size and help prevent soot which is the black stuff that typically ends up on the sides of the candle jar. Mushrooming, which is when the tip starts to form little balls, can be common whether the candle has cotton wicks or hemp wicks but you want to make sure you trim this off and that your wick is approximately ¼” before you relight it.
To trim the wick you can use your fingers but it’s messy. I do recommend using a wick trimmer which will come in very handy, especially as you get towards the bottom of the candle jar.
If you’re burning a wooden wick candle I believe it needs to be trimmed to ⅛” but always check the warning label on the candle to be sure.
Tip #2: Always let your candle melt completely to the edge before blowing it out
Soy wax has memory and by letting it melt completely to the edge you will help prevent tunneling and extend the life of your candle.
Tip #3: Stop burning your candle when ½” of wax is left.
This is important to help prevent heat damage to both the candle container and the surface it is burning on.
Another important reason for this is that the glass can shatter if it gets too hot, so this then becomes a safety issue too.
There are a few things you can do with the remaining wax such as put your jar in the freezer for a few hours, take it out, and use a spoon to pop out the wax. Soy wax is biodegradable and the fragrance oils I use are completely non-toxic so you can throw the remaining wax away, or better yet, break up the pieces and throw them in your wax warmer if you have one to use every bit of wax possible.
I do have other suggestions on my Instagram page if you want to check it out. Before moving to the next tip I want to make sure you know to NEVER pour wax down your sink. Once the wax cools it will harden and clog your sink.
Tip #4: Keep your burning candles away from drafts, vents, or any type of air currents.
Airflow can blow something flammable into your candle's flame that can catch on fire such as a light curtain. Airflow can also push your candle flame to one side of your vessel causing uneven burning and tunneling. Another risk is it can also lead to flame flare-ups, sooting, and rapid burning. We don’t want any of those things, so please, keep your burning candle away from drafts, vents, and air currents.
Tip #5: Make sure all debris or dust is removed from the container before burning.
Again these can be considered flammable objects and/or clog your candle wick while burning. It's best to store your candle with the lid on or with a dust cover.
Tip #6: Only burn your candle for up to 4 hours at a time.
If you let your candle burn for more than 4 hours at a time it will start to cause issues for your wick and can cause the flame to become too large and unstable. If you need to, blow it out at 4 hours, let it cool, trim the wick and relight it. The reason I suggest letting it cool before you relight it because if you just trim the wick and then immediately relight it the wax is still hot it will continue to burn at a higher temperature and cause you to burn through your candle faster.
Tip #7: Never leave a burning candle unattended.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
Tip #8: Don’t use objects that aren’t meant to put out your candle's flame to extinguish it
This could be a wooden lid, a lid lined with rubber mold, paper or plastic dust covers, etc.. I highly suggest purchasing a candle snuffer to put out the flame or gently blow the candle out. If you chose to do the latter, be sure not to blow too hard or you risk blowing hot wax everywhere which can be a hazard and hard to clean.
Tip #9: Do not store your candles where they will be exposed to bright or direct light and/or heat.
This last tip mostly pertains to my candles. The reason for this is that I use 100% natural soy wax without ANY additives (which are very common in candles). I don’t use additives that protect my wax from specific types of lighting so they may discolor (I learned this the hard way with a wholesale order), and my wax is not mixed with other types of waxes that will harden it and give it a higher melting temperature point such as paraffin wax, so they can easily start to melt when exposed to high heat. I’m not by any means trying to turn you away from buying and enjoying my candles, but I am letting you know that because they are natural and free of unnecessary additives, these are the possible side effects that come with them. The burn quality of the candle is not negatively affected, it's purely a cosmetic side effect.
Thank you for taking the time to read through these tips.
I wanted to share this information with you so you could enjoy your candles as much as possible and because I really care about your candle experience whether it be with my candles for another candle brands.
If you have any questions please reach out to me. Feel free to follow me on social media where I share these tips along with video representations. @lionhearthandcrafted