Tapers, columns, votives, containers, pillars and novelty – chances are you have at least one of these types of candles in your home. Surveys done by candle manufacturers suggest that 7 out of 10 U.S households use candles, 96% of which are purchased by women.
The basics for candles are easy, just light them! However, if you want to get the most out of your candles and not watch your money go up in smoke (literally), here are seven tips to follow.
1. KEEP THE WICK TRIMMED
One of the best things that you can do for your candles is to keep the wick trimmed to ¼ of an inch. Wicks that are allowed to get larger than ¼ of an inch tend to burn faster and smoke. If you are noticing black soot accumulating on your container candles, the wick is too long. Nail clippers are a great tool for trimming wicks that can’t be reached with scissors.
2. AVOID DRAFTS
Burning candles in drafty areas can cause uneven burning and excessive smoking. Not to mention that your candle will burn faster. If you notice the flame of the candle flickering in any direction other than straight up, there is a draft. Prevent drafts by keeping burning candles away from heating and air-conditioning vents and open windows.
3. REFRIGERATE THEM
Candles that are cold will burn slower. To cool you candle, first wrap in foil or cling wrap to prevent the wick from absorbing any moisture. Pop them in the fridge for about an hour and light! Make sure you don’t put them in the freezer instead. They will break!
4. BURN THEM LONG ENOUGH
Have you ever seen a three-wick candle that looked like Mickey Mouse? For pillar candles, make sure you burn them for at least one hour for every inch in diameter. Skip this step and you’ll end up burning a tunnel through your candle.
5. EXTINGUISHING THE FLAME
To blow out a candle, a candle snuffer works best. If you don’t have a candle snuffer readily available, you can blow out the candle by placing an index finger in front of the flame and blowing gently. This causes the air to surround the flame and minimizes splattering of hot wax from the wax pool.
6. SAFETY FIRST
Keep all lit candles out of the reach of children and pets. Never leave a burning candle unattended. And always burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
If wax has spilled on the carpet the best way to remove it is with paper and an iron. Place a paper towel or brown grocery bag over the spill. Place a heated iron over the paper towel. The heat from the iron will cause the wax to melt and be absorbed into the paper towel.