December 19, 2013

     Almost everything in life requires a little care and pampering to give you its best ~ your car, your home, your family.  Oh Darn!  Candles are the same way.  "Can't I just light and forget it?"  Yes, you can.  However, you will be much happier with your candle if you follow a few simple tips:

     A very common complaint is there is too much candlewax left on the sides of the container.  This can happen to any container candle you buy from any candlemaker.  Be certain to let your candle burn all the way out to the sides of the container.  A light veil of candlewax on the inside is normal for a properly burning candle.  (Personally, I love the delicate, lace-like pattern that my Soy Blend candles sometimes leave on the inside of a container.)  However, if you do not allow your candle to melt all the way out to the edge each time you burn it, it will tunnel.  On the other hand, if you let your candle burn and burn and it never achieves a full burn pool, don't buy that brand again.  The wick is too small.   

     Creating a properly burning candle is a delicate business.  Ideally, a fragranced container candle will achieve a full burn pool in two or three hours depending on the diameter of the container.  One inch of burn pool per hour is the recommended rate.  The burn pool should be no more than 3/8 to 1/2 inch deep.  If the burn pool is deeper than that, or, heaven forbid, liquifies the entire container, you will be wasting the fragrance.  Some people even suggest that the container may crack from the heat.  Candles from a reputable candlemaker who uses containers designed for candles should not have a problem.  However, you WILL definately waste fragrance.

     Why?  As the wax liquifies, fragrance oil escapes into the air.  That is how your fragranced candle makes the room smell so nice.  When the burn pool is too deep, too much fragrance oil is released.  This may sound like a good thing and for a short time it may be.  However, two things can happen.  1) A larger proportion than usual of the fragrance oil will be consumed by the flame so you never smell it.  2) Long before all the wax is gone, the fragrance will be gone.  Some people suspect that "cheap" candlemakers only fragrance the top half of the wax.  That may be possible, especially with mass produced, imported candles from you-know-where.  However, it is much more likely that the wick is too large for the container and or the candle user has allowed the burn pool to get too deep. 

     A word about wicks... allow your candle to solidify then trim the wick to about 1/4 to 3/8 inches.  This ensures that the flame is not too high.  Large flames are dangerous and can also consume too much of the fragrance that was meant for YOU to enjoy.  Wick trimmers are available on-line and from many candle sellers.  Guess what?  Experienced candlemakers simply purchase a pair of new, clean toenail clippers to trim their wicks.  Not as elegant as a fancy wick-trimmer but they work just as well.  And, they are easier to find!

     Happily, my container candles are wicked so that the burn pool grows at the proper rate but does not get too deep.  Many young candles met an early demise during my search for the best combination of waxes, fragrance oils, wicks and containers.  On the bright side, my trash bin smelled like Heaven!

     Please remember to burn your candle all the way out to the edge and to trim your wick every 3 to 4 hours of burn time.  Love your candle and it will love you back!

Smiles from French Flower Farm