Candle Care: The Guide to Candle Longevity & Safety

Candle Care: The 2023 Guide to Candle Longevity & Safety


candle care



Are you a candle lover? If so, you'll know that proper 'candle care' is key to getting the most out of your favourite scents.


But how can you make sure your candles burn longer, smell better, and stay safe? That's where we come in.


This comprehensive guide is packed with actionable tips and strategies to help you master the art of candle care.


From trimming the wick to finding the perfect storage spot, we've got you covered. We'll even delve into the science behind why certain care practises work, and how you can make eco-friendly choices.


Ready to make your candles last longer and burn brighter?


Let's start.


Why Candle Care Matters: The Key to Longevity and Safety

candle care 


Proper candle care is crucial for two main reasons: it extends the life of your candles and provides safety.


Ever noticed how a well-cared-for candle seems to burn forever, while a neglected one burns out quickly?


That's no coincidence.


Proper care can make your candles last significantly longer, saving you money and letting you enjoy your favourite scents for more time.


But it's not just about longevity.


Candles, if not handled correctly, can pose safety risks. We've all heard stories of unattended candles causing accidents. By following a few simple care rules, you can significantly reduce these risks.


Know Your Candle: The First Step to Proper Care

Before we dive into the specifics of candle care, it's important to understand that not all candles are created equal.


Different types of candles have different care needs. For instance, soy candles and beeswax candles burn differently and thus require slightly different care.


Understanding your specific type of candle can help you provide the best care for it.


Mastering Candle Longevity: Make Your Candles Last Longer


The Art of Wick Trimming: A Simple Step for Longer Burns


candle care


One of the most important aspects of candle care is wick trimming. But why is it so crucial? Well, a long wick can cause a high flame, leading to soot and uneven burning.


By keeping your wick trimmed to about 1cm each time you light your candle, you can provide a clean, even burn. A handy tool for this is a wick trimmer, which can reach into deep candle jars and give a clean cut every time.


Timing Your Burns: The Secret to Even Candle Burning


candle care


The burning time of a candle is another key factor in its longevity. A good rule of thumb is to let your candle burn for about one hour for each inch of its diameter.


This process allows the wax pool to reach the edges of the candle, preventing tunnelling.


However, don't burn your candle for more than four hours at a time. Overly long burns can cause the wick to form a 'mushroom' shape, leading to excessive flickering and soot.


Always keep your candle free from wick trimmings, matches, or any other debris that could‌ ignite.


Storing Your Candles: The Overlooked Aspect of Candle Care


Proper storage can significantly extend your candle's life. You should store candles in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and harsh indoor lighting.


Extreme heat can cause candles to melt or lose their scent. When not in use, cover your candle to protect the wax from dust.


Prioritising Safety in Candle Use: Avoiding Common Hazards

Burning Safely: Essential Practises for Candle Users


Safety should always be a priority when burning candles. Always keep burning candles within sight and away from flammable objects. Be sure to keep your candles out of reach of children and pets.


And remember, never move a burning candle or try to extinguish it with water. Instead, use a candle snuffer to put out the flame safely without splashing hot wax.


Knowing When to Say Goodbye: Safe Retirement of Your Candle


Candles bring warmth and ambiance to our spaces, but knowing when to retire them is essential for safety. As a rule of thumb, it's advisable to stop using a candle when there's only 1/2-inch (or about 10mm) of wax remaining at the bottom. This guideline particularly pertains to pillar or dining candles, where the wick is anchored by the leftover wax.


In today's design, many container candles are equipped with a 'long neck' sustainer. This is specially designed to keep the wick upright as the candle burns down, making sure the flame doesn't make direct contact with the base of the vessel. This feature means that, if positioned on a suitable surface, there's no harm in burning them right to their end.


However, no matter the design, burning a candle beyond the recommended limit can risk overheating its container. This not only compromises the integrity of the vessel, potentially leading to breakage, but also poses a threat to the surface underneath. So, as much as we love the glow and scent of our favourite candles, safety should always come first. Recognise when it's time to say goodbye and retire your candle responsibly.



Essential Tools for Candle Care: Boosting Longevity and Safety

candle care


There are several tools available that can aid in candle care. A wick trimmer, as previously noted, is fantastic for keeping the wick of your candle at the perfect size.


A candle snuffer is perfect for safely extinguishing your candle, and a wick dipper can help you avoid smoke when putting out your candle.


Unveiling the Science of Candle Care: Why These Practises Work


Ever wondered why trimming the wick or controlling the burn time makes such a difference? It all comes down to the science of how candles burn.


The heat from the flame of your candle melts the wax near the wick. This liquid wax is drawn up the wick. The heat of the flame vaporises the liquid wax, causing it to react with the oxygen in the air. This reaction creates heat, light, water vapour, and carbon dioxide.


Always ensure the candle is clear of wick clippings, matches, or any flammable materials that might catch fire.


Candles and the Environment: Minimising Your Impact


Burning candles, especially those made from paraffin wax, can have an environmental impact.


However, by choosing candles made from beeswax or soy, you can reduce this impact.


These candles burn cleaner and longer than paraffin candles. Plus, they're renewable resources and biodegradable.


Tailored Care for Different Candle Types: From Soy to Beeswax


Different types of candles require slightly different care. For instance, soy candles have a lower melting point than paraffin candles, which means they can form a full wax pool faster.


Beeswax candles, on the other hand, burn slower and drip less than other candles. Understanding these differences can help you provide the best care for your candles.


Ensuring Safe and Effective Use of Different Candle Types


candle care


Candles, in their various forms, add a unique touch to our homes. From creating a cosy ambiance to providing a soothing aroma, they serve multiple purposes. However, different types of candles require different care and handling for best use.


This guide will walk you through some best practises for caring for various types of candles - dinner candles, tin candles, tea lights, jar candles, and pillar candles. The goal is to help you get the most out of your candles, prolong their life, enhance their performance, and make sure their safe to use.


  • Dinner Candles: Achieving the Perfect Burn

candle care - dinner candles

    Dinner candles or taper candles, known for their slender and elegant design, are perfect for adorning dinner tables and adding a sophisticated touch to your ambiance.

    • Keeping Your Dinner Candle Straight: One simple hack to keep your dinner candle straight in its holder is by using a small piece of blue tack. Warm the blue tack slightly in your hands, stick it to the base of the candle holder, and then press the base of your candle into the tack. This not only keeps the candle straight, but also prevents it from toppling over.
    • Optimal Placement for Performance and Safety: Make sure to place your candles on a heat-resistant surface and away from any flammable materials. Also, remember to keep candles at least 12 inches apart to prevent heat damage.
    • Avoiding Draughts and Drips: Avoid placing your candles in draughts - near open windows or air conditioning vents. Draughts can cause the candle to burn unevenly and lead to dripping. However, if you seek a dripping effect, for instance, in a wine bottle, make sure the surrounding area is non-flammable and protected from wax drips.
    • Tin Candles: Portable Comfort

      candle care - tin candles


      Tin candles, encased within a metal tin, offer portability and convenience, making them perfect for travel or adding a homely touch to any space.

      • Place on a Heat-Resistant Surface: Always keep your tin candles on a heat-resistant surface while burning. This protects your surfaces from potential heat damage
      • Preventing Tunnelling: Allow the entire surface of the candle to melt with each burn to prevent tunnelling - a phenomenon where the wax melts unevenly, forming a 'tunnel-like' shape.
      • Remove all packaging before lighting: Removing all packaging before lighting your candle is an essential safety measure. Packaging materials, including labels, are usually made of paper, plastic, or other flammable substances. If these materials come in contact with the flame, they could ignite and cause a fire.
      • Removing labels from the tin also provides an even distribution of heat when the candle is lit, reducing the risk of overheating one section of the candle. It also helps to preserve the aesthetic of your candle, giving a clean and uncluttered look to your decor.
      • Preserve the Scent: Wait until the candle cools down fully before replacing the lid. This can help keep the candle’s scent and prevent accidental burns or heat damage.
      • Wick Trimming: Regularly trim the wick of your tin candle to about 1cm before lighting. This maintains a clean, steady flame, minimising soot and smoke. 
      • Tea Lights: Tiny Yet Versatile

        candle care - tea lights


        Despite their small size, tea lights can illuminate different settings beautifully. From dinner parties to baths, they create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

        • Use a Suitable Holder: Despite their small size, the aluminium container of a tea light can become hot when lit. Always use a suitable holder to prevent potential heat damage to your surfaces.
        • Burn Time: Tea lights typically don't suffer from the problem of tunnelling. Choose the right size for your needs - for a short dinner party, a 1.5-hour tea light might be enough, while for longer events or for use with a wax melt burner, a larger tea light with a longer burn time might be more appropriate.
        • Using Tea Lights with a Wax Melt Burner: Make sure the tea light is centred under the melting dish for even heat distribution. There should be at least 2 inches of space between the flame and the dish to prevent overheating.
          • Jar Candles: Enhancing Home Ambiance


          candle care - jar candles


            Jar candles, with their wide array of sizes and fragrances, can enhance the ambiance of your home. The jar confines the wax as it melts, helping to prolong the candle's life.

            • Keep the Jar Clear: Always keep the jar free from wick trimmings, matches, or any other debris that could‌ ignite.
            • Prevent Tunnelling: On the first burn, let the wax pool reach the edge of the jar. This sets the 'memory' of the candle, providing an even burn in future uses.
            • Burn Time Safety: Avoid burning a jar candle for more than four hours at a time to prevent overheating.
            • Wick Trimming: Trim the wick to about 1cm before each burn. This helps to make sure a clean and even burn, reducing soot or smoke.
            • Pillar Candles: Adding a Dramatic Flair

            candle care - pillar candles


              Pillar candles, known for their long burn times, can add a dramatic flair to any setting.

              • Store Upright: Always store your pillar candles upright to prevent warping.
              • Prevent Tunnelling: Allow the pillar candle to burn until the wax pool reaches the edge of the candle to prevent tunnelling.
              • Wick Trimming: Trim the wick to about 1cm before each burn. This provides a clean, even flame.
              • Usage: Pillar candles can stand alone but should always be used on a heat-resistant surface or holder. They can also be used in stands or lanterns for a decorative touch.
              • Burn Time: Avoid burning a pillar candle for more than 4 hours at a time. Extended burn times can cause the sides of the candle to become too hot, warping the candle.

                This guide provides best practises for candle care to make sure you get the most out of your candles, prolong their life, and enhance their performance while providing safety. Remember, every candle is unique and requires different care.

                DIY Tools for Candle Care: Economical and Effective Solutions


                If you don't have access to specialised candle care tools, don't worry. You can make do with items you likely have at home. For instance, a pair of nail clippers can double as a wick trimmer. A spoon is useful for extinguishing the flame without causing any wax splash.

                This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of candle care. Follow these tips and your candles will burn longer, be safer, and be cleaner. So, why not give it a try? Your candles (and your wallet) will thank you.


                Candle Care: It's in Your Hands


                You've now unlocked the secrets of candle care, and it's time to put your newfound knowledge into action.

                Start by taking a closer look at your candles. Trim those wicks, check the burn time, and remember, proper storage is key. You're now ready to extend the life of your candles, make them burn safely, and produce a warm, inviting atmosphere in your home.

                So, why wait?

                Grab your favourite candle, a pair of scissors, and let's start this candle care journey together.

                Remember, every time you light a candle, you're not just creating light, but a lasting experience.

                Now, it's over to you. Let's make those candles shine brighter and last longer!


                Harnessing the Art of Candle Care with Shearer Candles: Empowering Your Candle Experience


                In conclusion, being a part of the Shearer Candles community is about more than just enjoying beautifully crafted candles; it is about embracing the art and science of candle care. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to maximise your candle experience.

                From understanding the importance of candle care and the specific needs of different types of candles, to mastering techniques that enhance candle longevity and safety, we're here to guide you every step of the way.

                Together, we can make every candle burning experience a special occasion and a testament to your commitment to excellent candle care and thoughtful home decor. Remember, with Shearer Candles, you're never alone on your candle care journey; we're here to help and illuminate your path.



                Candle Care FAQs

                How do you take care of a candle?

                Candle care is a breeze once you know the basics. Start by trimming the wick to about 1cm inch each time before you light it. This tip helps provide a clean, even burn.

                Check your burning time, ideally allowing the candle to burn for one hour for each inch of its diameter. And remember, proper storage is key. Keep your candles in a cool, dark place when not in use.

                How do I stop my candle from tunnelling?

                Tunnelling in candles can indeed be disheartening, but there are ways to combat it. The key to preventing tunneling is setting a "memory" for your candle during its first burn.

                To do this, make sure you allow the candle to burn long enough so that the melted wax pool reaches the candle's edges. A good rule of thumb is to burn the candle for about one hour for every inch of its diameter.

                This initial burn establishes a memory that deters tunnelling during later uses.

                However, if tunnelling still occurs later, you can remedy the situation by pouring off a bit of the liquid wax. This simple step can rejuvenate your candle and create a more even burn.

                How do you keep scented candles fresh?

                To keep your scented candles smelling lovely, store them in a cool, dark place when not in use. Heat and light can cause the scent to fade. Also, consider using a lid or a candle cover to protect the candle from dust, which can interfere with the scent.

                How do you take care of candle jars?

                Candle jars need love, too! Once your candle has burned down, you can clean the jar with warm, soapy water. Be sure to remove any leftover wax and the wick holder. Once cleaned, you can repurpose the jar as a container for small items or even as a plant pot.

                Should you keep lids on candles?

                Absolutely! Keeping the lid on your candle when it's not in use can protect the wax from dust and help preserve the scent. Just remember to remove the lid before lighting the candle!

                Do candles in glass jars last longer?

                Candles in glass jars can often last longer because the jar helps contain the wax and directs the heat upwards, leading to a more even burn. Plus, the jar protects the candle from draughts that can cause uneven burning. So, it's a win-win!

                What's candle mushrooming?

                Candle mushrooming refers to the phenomenon where a 'mushroom' or 'clubbed' shape forms at the top of the wick during burning, especially noticeable in scented candles. It's more common with candles that have darker colours or ones that carry complex, deep scents. To ensure a better and cleaner burn, it's recommended to trim off this 'mushroom' formation. However, always exercise caution to prevent any debris from falling into the wax.

                Can melted candle wax be reused?

                Absolutely! Any wax that's poured off from candles or any residue left at the end can be repurposed into wax melts. It's a great way to guarantee minimal wastage and enjoy the fragrance a little longer.

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