Always trim the new wick to a length of about ¼ inch or ½ a centimeter. Too short and your candle won’t light. Too long and it will sputter and smoke. Always remove the excess wick before re-lighting your candle.
Candles don’t like drafts. If you see the flame bouncing about and flickering there is likely a draft in the room. Even if the windows are closed, there are sources of drafts throughout your home: The air circulation from an open flue or heating registers, or from a stairwell leading from a colder part of the house are all likely suspects.
- REMEMBER: Even the best candles will drip and run in a draughty location!
- ALWAYS keep lit candles out of the reach of children!
- NEVER leave a burning candle unattended.
- ALWAYS have a protective surface under candles.
- ALWAYS extinguish candles before they burn down to their holders or the flame nears decorative candle rings.
Do not leave wick trimmings or foreign matter in the wax. This may cause uneven burning as they may re-ignite or cause the candle to become too hot.
While a high quality taper candle will just disappear as the flame consumes the wax as fuel, pillar and three wick candles require a little extra care:
- Always burn a pillar candle for a number of hours each time it is lit. This enables the candle to melt enough wax to create a pool that reaches almost to the edge. The edge will then be soft enough to curl over into the candle. You may need to help this process along by curling the warm edge into the candle after extinguishing the flame. If one edge is thinner than the other or looks like it may burn through, extinguish the flame and push the wick gently to the thicker side of the candle with the end of a spoon (while holding on to the candle, of course!). A little nudge is enough. That way, when you next light the candle, the flame will be a little bit closer to the thicker side and will even out the edge.
- Three wick candles need a little more care to get going properly: Light each wick once and let it burn by itself for at least an hour or until it has formed a nice little well. Put it out and let it cool. Then repeat the process for the same length of time for the other wicks. When you have a nice clover-leaf pattern on the top, you are ready to burn all three wicks at once. If you don’t do this the heat from all three wicks will cause the top of the new candle to run over and you will just get a big mess!
While it is fun to decorate with candle arrangements, you need to keep them well spaced when they are lit. Too many candles too close together will generate too much heat and the convection currents can make the candles run or cause neighbouring candles to melt.
Any pillar candle can be made into a scented candle! Just add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the molten pool of wax, and the next time you light it you will have the scent.
Because wax is lighter than water, all candles float. However, unless the centre of gravity keeps the wick out of the water they will not all burn. Floating candles are usually cup shaped and will burn until the wick falls through the bottom or water seeps over the sides. One way or another they will drown eventually, and by design always leave behind a shell of wax. While burning candles in water is an excellent safety feature, remember to keep the flame away from overhanging glass if the bowl has concave sides.