Candle Perfection!

Getting a candle to burn perfectly is not actually that hard.  Getting familiar with how to burn different styles of candle will make experiences more safe, economical, and pleasurable.  Burners will hardly even need cleaning when candles taken care of, as there will be no soot or wax left over.  Burning candles flawlessly is a form of art. Here are my favorite tips on get the most burn for your buck.

The smallest candle can sometimes bring the most clarity.  Meditation candles, also called “chime candles” after the popular angel chime Christmas decorations, are about one half-inch in diameter and four inches high. They burn two to two and a half hours each.  Always use a mini candle holder to burn these, also set the holder on a plate to catch running wax.  I usually don’t worry about trimming the wick as long as they are short and burning in a draft-free area.  If you choose to anoint the candle with oil, please use natural essential oils. Sometimes it’s nice to scratch  names or an affirmations into the wax before lighting the candle. The purpose is to send your intentions into the universe, manifested.  If the goal is to burn a bunch of candles and you don’t have burners, put at least an inch of sand into the bottom of a dish and stick the candles into the sand.  Always watch these quick burning candles, especially if you’re burning them in sand.  For extra meditation candle fun, combine color and aromatherapy, or consult Llewellyn’s 2011 spell-a-day almanac.  Large dinner candles  can also be used in meditation.  We carry high quality hand dipped tapers from Canada.

Although a burning candle should never be left alone, votives are a good choice of candle for burning in bedrooms and bathrooms.  Smaller areas really don’t need all the scent thrown from a large candle anyways.  The typical votive lasts up to fifteen hours.  The snugger the fit of candle in holder, the longer it will burn.  More space left on the sides of the candle allows more heated air to circulate around the flame, thus burning the wax faster.  If the holder is shorter than the candle, the wax will spill all over as it liquefies.  Removing the bottom sticker on candles is important and easy to forget.  I’ve just about given my self a heart attack more than once when out of the corner of my eye flames are shooting out of my burner.  When the candle is gone and left over wax remains in the burner there are easy ways of getting it out.  Think ahead by adding about half a teaspoon of water to the bottom of a votive glass. This prevents the wax from ever bonding to the bottom of the container.  The second method employs the freezer.  Make sure the wax has cooled to a solid and place container in the freezer for about one hour.  Free wax from sides of container with a butter knife if it doesn’t just fall out.  If neither of these work,slowly heat a small amount of water in a pot, set container in the warm water.  Soon the wax will start to liquefy and release from the bottom and sides of container.  Do not let any water get into the wax, this will cause a huge spattery mess.  Pour out what you can, wipe with tissue, wipe with vegetable oil, and last wash with hot soapy water to remove any traces of oil.  I say clean waxy glass with vegetable oil because as we learned in chemistry; like dissolves like-and it works. If black soot accumulates around the rim, wipe with a dry paper towel or even newspaper. Whatever the reason, dry works better than moist towels when it’s soot you’re dealing with.

Pillar candles look elegant and offer a warm glow.  Always make sure to trim the wick to one-quarter inch before lighting.  Allow to wax pool to extend all the way across the top, and if the sides start bowing out hug the edges in toward the flame by gently pushing in with thumbs .  Typically, this takes one hour for every inch across, and when done properly prevents the candle from tunneling.  If tunneling already has begun and you’re trying to keep the wick from being buried there’s a couple of ways of trouble shooting the problem.  Start by removing only the carbon buildup from the wick tip.  This usually resembles a little mushroom on the top.  If the candle will not stay lit try heating with a lighter while holding sideways to drip out over a coffee can, trash bag, etc revealing the wick.  Keep the candle burning by pouring out small amounts of wax as needed while hugging the tall sides in as they soften.Eventually the walls will level with the center  Once in a while, I’ve had one so bad that I pull out a saw and cut off some of the top rim.  If the wick is  far down the wax sides will only continue to drown it. To prevent tunneling,  make sure the wick is center when you blow it out. If it’s leaning to one side, use the end of your wick trimmers or a pencil to push it to center while the wax is still warm.  When the wax cools the wick will remain centered and ready for the next time it’s lit. If you need to blow a candle out early, just allow it to burn a little longer next time to even it out.  Don’t forget to use a pillar plate or coaster to protect surfaces from oil staining.

Jar candles are a low maintenance way of enjoying light and fragrance.  Really, the only keys to remember are keep the wicks centered and trimmed to prevent the flame from touching the side of the jar, blackening it or breaking it. Allow them to burn one hour for every inch in diameter to make sure all the surface wax pools.  Extinguish flame when there is less than half an inch of wax remaining in the glass. The glass gets extremely hot when the candle is that low and could ruin table surfaces or crack the glass.

Take into consideration what’s overhead and underfoot in areas you burn candles.  For instance, a candle may look nice on a shelf above the television but what happens if there is an accident?  Or areas where there are pictures or cabinets overhead, feel the areas above burning candles and make sure they’re not getting too hot.  The same rule applies to burning clusters of different height candles, if placed too close together they will melt each others sides.  High traffic and pet areas are, for obvious reasons, big no-no’s as well.  Instead of blowing candles use a snuffer to prevent spraying wax everywhere.  I hope these tips light the way to perfect candle burning and clarity.  If there are any further questions about, feel free to stop in the store and ask a sales associate.

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