how to burn a candle correctly

How to burn a candle correctly

02 February 2022

Candles are a staple accessory in interior design, providing your home with hours of fragrant bliss. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there’s actually a right way to burn a candle – and most have no idea what that is!

If you’re looking to extend the life of your favourite Mila Maven scented candle, prevent tunnelling, and light a wick like a pro, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide on how to burn a candle correctly. We’ll also look at some of the ways in which you can keep your candles looking and working at their best!    

A step-by-step guide on how to burn a candle correctly:

Follow these simple care tips and you’ll get a lot more burn time from your candles – with no wasted wax!

How to trim candle wick

The first mistake people make when lighting candles for the first time is that they only trim the candle wick before the first burn and not every time after. If you want to keep your candle in good condition, you need to trim your candle wick every single time you light it.

Start by cutting off a quarter of an inch (6mm) from the top of the wick, which will give you a cleaner and brighter burn. Untrimmed wicks can form a weird shape that dulls and obscures the flame of your candle, and excessively long ones can result in dirty smoke stains on the glass jar.

Be sure to check and remove any debris on the wax surface too, as this can add more fuel to the candle than it’s designed to handle.

When it comes to lighting candles, how long should they burn for?

How long do candles last? Well, that depends on how long you burn it for and how well you care for your candle. One mistake that a lot of people make is leaving their candles to burn for hours at a time.

If you burn your candle for too long, carbon will collect on the wick leading it to ‘mushroom.’ This makes the wick unstable and causes your candle to burn dangerously large flames, which produce an excessive amount of smoke and soot too.

As a general rule, you should never let your candle burn for more than 4 hours at a time. Make sure you also allow around 2 hours after you’ve extinguished the flame so that your candle can cool before you relight it.

Why should you avoid moving air?

When burning a candle, avoid placing it near electric fans, open windows, air conditioners,  or areas in your home with a lot of footfall. This is because moving air causes your candle to burn unevenly, resulting in those nasty black marks on the jar. In some instances, it can also cause candle tunnelling.

How do you stop a candle from tunnelling?

Candle tunnelling is when your candle burns down into the outer layer of wax, leaving a gap between the wick and the jar. This not only makes it difficult to relight but it can also lead to an uneven burn in certain spots.

Once you’ve lit your candle, wait until the top layer of wax has melted all the way across until you extinguish the flame. This will help you to prevent the candle from tunnelling.

How should you extinguish the candle flame?

One of the best ways to make sure that you burn a candle correctly in the future is by protecting the wick. And you might not realise it, but if you blow the flame out to extinguish it, this can actually end up damaging the wick more in the long run.

When you blow out a candle, the wick often smokes for a short period afterwards. This is because the core of the wick is actually still burning inside. The problem is that it turns the inside of the wick into carbon, making it brittle and harder to light the next time you use it.

To properly extinguish the flame, dip the wick of the candle with either a pair of tweezers or a ‘wick dipper.’

Browse our collection of scented candles at Mila Maven

If you’re looking for a stylish candle for your home, then when not take a look at our collection of scented candles? All of our candles are simple yet elegant, and they fit in with any interior styling! If you follow the steps above on how to burn your candle correctly, the scent of a Mila Maven candle will not fade, giving you a long-lasting fragrance!

If you have any questions about our candles or any of our other products, feel free to get in touch. And don’t forget to tag us in your interior design masterpieces on Instagram @milamaven!