Candles add to the beauty and decor of any room and help to provide a fresh air scent – especially helpful if you have rooms that are prone to becoming musty or are besieged by stagnant air. At night, candles are superb for enhancing the ambience of any setting.
When you first start living with candles on a day-to-day basis, you probably don’t expect you’ll be doing much more than just striking a match, then sitting back to enjoy the candlelight. Well, there is a bit more to burning candles.
For a few of us it’s a science; for most all of us, it’s definitely an art—indeed, a lost art. These links below were created to help you learn more about candles; give you safety information and simple tips that can maximize the life and enjoyment of your candles:
CANDLE SAFETY AND HELPFUL TIPS
Some of these tips and tricks you may already know. Some you may not. They’re all very, very useful:
Display candles away from direct light, as they can fade or discolour if left in a window or directly exposed to bright light for extended periods of time.
Burn your jar candle one hour for every 2 cm of its diameter the first time you light it. This will allow the pool of wax to extend to the outside rim and prevent your candle from forming a “canyon” in its center. Burning your candle this way will also set its memory. Each time you re-light the candle it will “remember” to burn out to the rim.
Trim the wick of your candle to 5-7 mm every time you light the candle. This will ensure clean, smoke-free burning. Be sure to remove any wick debris that has fallen into the candle.
If in the unlikely event that your candle is smoking, and you’ve already trimmed the wick to 3 mm, extinguish the candle immediately. Pinch or trim the wick just a bit more and the smoking will stop.
If you’ve bought a superior-quality candle, you shouldn’t have problems with smoking. Fine quality candles are virtually smokeless.
In addition, scented candles will smoke more than unscented candles. Therefore, the scent in the candle needs to be of the highest quality as well.
Candles need oxygen. If you burn a candle in a small, confined area it will smoke. So consider the size of the room when you arrange your candles.
The most effective way to extinguish the flame of a candle is to use a candle snuffer. The snuffer helps prevent the wax from spraying, and keeps the wick centered as well.
If you don’t have a snuffer, here’s an effective way to extinguish a candle: Position your forefinger between the candle and your mouth, aligning it with the flame. When you blow at the candle, the “air” will circle around your finger, and hit the flame from both sides, rather than approaching it directly. It’s a clever trick. Try it!
You can keep your candles smooth and silky-looking by gently rubbing them with ordinary nylon stockings. This will remove scratches, and will also rub off the “bloom” that forms on a beeswax candle.
If you store candles, be sure they are in a cool, dark, dry place. Tapers should be stored flat to prevent warping.
Before you slip a votive candle into a votive cup or holder, drop a teaspoon of water into the cup. This way, when you want to remove the votive candle to replace it with another, the candle should slide out easily or put used votive cups in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Left over wax will fall out very easily. You won’t have to struggle, or run the risk of damaging the holder.
Check periodically to make sure there is ample water remaining in the holder.
Special tip: To sample a scented candle, breathe the fragrance in from the bottom of the candle rather than the top or side. Undisturbed by circulating air, the aroma will be intensely concentrated there, more so than on any other part of the candle.
Important! Burn your candles mindfully.
Do not light misshapen or damaged candles, as they will not burn properly and might present a safety hazard.
TO ENJOY JAR CANDLES SAFELY
1. Handle with care, as the container is fragile. Do not use if jar is cracked, chipped or scratched.
2. Place on protected, heat resistant, dry surface, well away from anything flammable, and out of reach of children.
3. Keep wick trimmed to 7mm or less at all times. Keep candles free of wick trimmings, matches or other matter.
4. Do not allow flame to directly touch side of glass container. Keep wicked trimmed and centered.
5. Sides and bottom of container may become hot while candle is burning. Handle carefully.
6. Discontinue use when 5mm of wax remains. This will prevent possible heat damage to the counter surface or the container itself.
7. Extinguish candle before replacing lid.
8. Store in a cool, dry place. Exposure to moisture might inhibit relighting. Color, fragrance and specific usage affect wax consumption. It is normal for some wax to be left lining the edges of the container.
THERE ARE MANY FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE DEGREE WE CAN SMELL CANDLES WHEN THEY ARE BURNING.
1. The specific fragrance — some scents are stronger by nature than others.
2. The size of the room — a smaller room will contain the fragrant vapor in higher concentration creating a stronger impression.
3. Air flow and quality — since fragrant vapor is carried in the air, factors such as humidity, air conditioning, a fan, an open window, etc. may affect its movement.
4. The size of the wax pool — the greater the surface area of liquid wax, the more fragrance may evaporate into the air.
5. The size of the flame — a large flame will burn more of the fragrant vapor before it can escape into the air (keep the wick trimmed to 7mm).
6. The temperature at which a fragrance vaporises — some vaporise more readily, permeating the air to a greater extent.
7. Other sources of fragrance — our fragrance perceptions are easily confused by multiple scents.
8. Other burning candles — their flames may burn off the fragrant vapors.
9. Length of exposure — our noses desensitise to fragrances over time.
10. The person smelling the fragrance — the sense of smell varies from person to person, much like eyesight, hearing or taste
GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
We strongly recommend your following these important steps for using your candles safely.
Never leave a burning candle unattended.
Keep lit candles away from children and pets.
Candles other than jar candles must be used in an appropriate non-flammable holder. All candles should be placed on a safe, heat resistant dry surface.
Do not let wick trimmings, matches or any foreign matter collect inside the wax pool. This flammable material might create a fire hazard.
Burn candles away from drafts, other heat sources, and all flammable objects or materials.
Never allow candle flame to touch any glass surface.
Always light candles in draft-free areas, to prevent dripping and smoking. If a draft cannot be avoided, turn the candle 180 degrees every hour.
Never burn a candle completely. Dispose of it when it burns to within one inch of the base or holder.