Caring For Your Candle

Caring For Your Candle - an article highlighting the best ways to look after your new candle. From the 'first burn' to maximising scent throw and burn time.

SAFETY FIRST

  • Remember to only light candles in well ventilated spaces. 
  • Keep candles away from sources of ignition - clothes on the back of doors, curtains, soft furnishings or cleaning fluids.
  • Place candles on a flat surface to avoid wax spills
  • Do not place candles on flammable surfaces - it's usually best to place a small saucer under the candle, to capture any overflowing wax.
  • Keep away from animals and children - candles are intended for adult use only. Children are not always aware of the danger from flames and animals can jump on to surfaces and knock candles to the floor. Dogs tails are also a cause for concern, so make sure candles are well away from the wagging tail of your pooch.

THE FIRST BURN

The first burn is super 'critical' - it begins the process of fragrance release and is vitally important for you to achieve maximum 'scent throw'.

The term 'scent throw' means the reach and distance that any fragrance will reach in the room. If you get the first burn wrong, the full fragrance may not be released and you'll end up with a very weak or even non existent scent when burning your candle.

We recommend a minimum burn time of 2 hours for the first burn - allowing the wax to melt fully across the width of the candle. This helps to avert the problem of 'tunnelling' too, see below.

TUNNELLING

Tunnelling is the term used when a candle doesn't heat wax to the full width of the candle holder.

If you only light the candle for a few minutes, it won't have enough time to heat the wax all the way round.

This leads to tunnelling, where the wick ends up deep in the middle of wax and eventually refuses to work at all, because there's not enough oxygen in the tiny wick tunnel.

This leads us on to 'memory'.

CANDLE WAX 'MEMORY'

Did you know, your candle the ability to remember? 

Wax memory occurs when a candle is burned for a short time consistently. If you burn the candle for only 30 minutes on the first burn, it's likely that the candle will not have melted the wax all the way across. 

The next time you come to light and burn your candle, you're likely to find that it will continue to melt wax to the same width, all the way down the glass. This is called tunnelling but the reason for it is due to wax memory and incorrect burn times.

Wax needs heat. A narrow wick takes a long time to produce enough heat to melt wax - so, the more time allowed, the more wax burned. (don't go over 4 hours though, else the heat will be too much and you risk cracking the glass - more on that later).

MAINTAINING AN EVEN BURN

To maintain an even burn, it's critical to allow the candle enough time to heat up and melt as much wax as it can. We recommend burn times between 2 and 3 hours - but certainly no longer than 4 for safety reasons! 

An even burning candle should gradually heat and melt wax at the rate of 1 inch per hour.

MAXIMUM BURN TIME

Please do not exceed 4 hours consecutive burn time for a candle. It heats the glass far too much and could result in cracking. 

It also creates a lot of molten wax - which takes a long time to cool down and this wax is unlikely to be left with much fragrance after 4 hours of burning. The next time you come to light your candle, you might find there's a lot less scent than you were expecting.

MAINTAINING YOUR WICK

At ILLUMIGI, we use 'self trimming wicks' as standard in all of our candles. This means the candle will burn for about 2 cm and then snap, with the flame burning up the remaining flakes of wick as it continues its journey deeper in to the glass. 

For candles that are not self trimming, it's super important that you ensure wicks do not exceed 1/4 inch above the wax. This is to prevent 'mushrooming' - a term used to describe carbon build up. This makes it much harder to re-light your candle in the future and it also looks unsightly. Keep your wicks fresh by trimming them down regularly.

LEAVE A LITTLE AT THE END

Don't forget to leave a little bit of wax at the bottom of your candle glass. Failure to do so could result in your wick becoming detached from the base of the candle - this is potentially dangerous. The burning wick will drop on to the glass and could cause the glass to crack or smash once it reaches a high temperature.

Please ensure you leave an inch or so of candle wax at the base before disposing of your candle.