How to Care for Your Candles

Wicks, wax, and what not

Jessica  S.
ByJessica S.
Staff

Lighting a candle is one of the easiest ways to not only add glowing ambiance to any space, but to also create a warm aroma that turns your house into a home. While burning candles may seem like a chore-free task, did you know that candles require care and maintenance in order to keep their burns consistent, smoke-free, and prolonged?

 

We asked experts Justin Healy, founder of Backyard Candles, and Christine Flores, founder of The Beeswax Co., to offer key tips on how to best care for our candles so that you can get the most out of your burns!

 

What are the essential tools needed when going the extra mile for candle care?

Christine: My personal favorite is the wick-dipper. If you’re like me, the smell of candle smoke after you blow one out puts a damper on the whole vibe you just created. Save your breath and enjoy the lingering candle fragrance by using a wick dipper. Once you are ready to extinguish your candle, simply push your wick into the molten wax pool submerging it completely. The flame will extinguish sans the less than pleasant smoke. Caution though, don’t leave the wick submerged. Straighten the wick back upright and centered, this primes the wick for your next burn. The wick dipper is a game changer!

Justin: The most essential tool is a wick trimmer. Far too often people aren't trimming their wick which leads to a few things you don't want; a larger flame than necessary that is going to burn more inconsistent, won't be as still and most of all will burn through the wax much quicker! Also, an untrimmed wick can become clogged and prevent the candle from properly throwing wax.

 

How and when do I trim the wick? 

Justin: Before every use! You never want a wick more than 1/2 in., and ideally 1/4 in. Just make sure not to trim it too low or your candle can tunnel. Using a wick trimmer is the simplest method but scissors or even just using your fingers works.

 

What’s the best and safest way to extinguish a candle?

Christine: Don’t blow it out! Doing so can potentially blow wax and ember onto other surfaces. *With the exception of birthday candles, of course.

If you are burning a pillar or container candle, use a wick dipper to extinguish. If you’re burning thin candles such as tapers or candlesticks, use a candle snuffer.

 

Is it true that candles have a “first burn” memory?

Justin: Yes, very true. The first burn is the most important. Always burn for 3-4 hours the first use to ensure a full wax pool! The number one thing I tell all my customers. And then of course trim your wick!!

 

Any other tips or tricks about using and taking care of candles? 

Christine: If you are new to candle care, start small and work your way up to bigger candles. Each candle type is unique and can vary slightly on how they will burn.

Justin: Never burn a candle to completion. The candle is done when 1/4in of wax remains.

 

What’s the perfect candle to burn when transitioning into fall? 

Justin: Well, I'd say that is based on the person. Since I number my fragrances to match the weeks in the year, I quite literally have transitional fragrances. Or at least I see them as that. Numbers-wise it's 35-37 with week 38-39 generally being the beginning of fall. 35 is Caribbean teakwood and 36 is Mediterranean which I view as holding onto summer fragrances. 37 is cranberry woods which is probably my favorite early fall fragrance. Of course, some dive straight into Fall which is why 38 is apple harvest, 39 is fallen leaves and 40 is for those fall lovers, Pumpkin Spice latte.

 

Christine: Like the classic black dress, tea lights are a timeless staple. Especially transitioning from summer when the weather is still on the warmer side, into fall when it begins to cool down, tea lights offer the convenience of a self-contained no-fuss option that won’t produce excess heat.

 

 

What candle will you be burning this season? Let us know down below!

About the Author
Jessica  S.
Jessica S.
Staff
Social media maven with a passion for beauty, TikTok, and discovering new brands.