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Did you know, if you follow simple candle care instructions, you could make your candles last longer?

If you’ve ever bought a bougie candle ($$) you know the feeling of wanting to make it last as looooooong as you can. 

But without proper candle care, you may end up with a candle that either burns down way too fast or tunnels down the middle wasting ½ of the precious wax. Either way, poor candle care = candle waste. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some very simple candle care tips that will help ensure you get the very most out of your candle. 

5 of the most important candle care instructions

These candle care tips are specific to natural wax candles (soy, coconut wax, beeswax) but can be applied to any type of candle. 

There are a few cardinal rules when it comes to candle care. Let's get into it. 

#1 Avoid the tunnel: Always burn to a full melt pool  

Wax has a memory. Hear me out. 

Here’s a for instance: 
  • You just got a new candle, and you’re so excited, you can’t wait to turn it on. You leave it burning for 20 or 30 minutes before you leave for the night.
  • But there wasn’t enough time for the wax to fully melt to the edges (a full melt pool).
  • The next time you light the candle, the wax will “remember” this. The wax is likely to only burn to that same edge – again, and again. Creating the dreaded candle tunnel and possible wick drowning.

A tunnel is like a giant hole in your beautiful bougie candle. 

Candle Care 101 | How to Fix Candle Tunneling - Hotel Collection

This is the worst and most common candle mistake.

That’s why creating a full melt pool on every burn (but especially the first burn) is the #1 cardinal rule of proper candle care. 

Wicks and Wax – Sea Love

Heres an example of a full melt pool.

Here’s how to properly burn a candle for the first time.

  • Don’t trim the wick this time around.
  • Light it up, and allow it to burn for 1 to 3 hours. 
  • Do not extinguish the candle until it’s melted to the sides of the candle. 

Always melt to full melt pool. If you’re not planning on leaving the candle on for one to two hours, then don’t light it – trust us! 

#2 Don’t exceed a 4-hour burn

Don’t burn too little, but don’t burn too long either. 

When you burn a candle for longer than 4 hours (a power burn) a few things can happen. When you power burn, the candle can get very hot, causing fast evaporation, carbon build-up on the wick, and even soot creation.

The heat also causes the melt pool to get very deep. If the melt pool is TOO deep, the wick can shift while lit, causing a fire hazard. 

I burn my candles somewhere between 3 to 4 hours and let them fully cool/re-harden before relighting.

#3 Always trim the wick before you burn

An untrimmed wick burns very very hot. When you don’t trim your wick your candle burns down faster and evaporates more readily. Skipping wick-trimming is simply a waste of a candle especially if it's made of natural waxes.

Always trim your wick ¼ of an inch before you burn. BUT don’t trim too short because the wax may drown out your wick. 

A good rule of thumb, if you’re not sure, is simply to trim off any carbon buildup on your wick. This is often called mushrooming. That little mushroom must go. (It’s okay if the wick is black, but get rid of the chunky bit.) 

Wick trimming also reduces any possibility of soot. 


#4 Try dipping the wick to extinguish instead of blowing it out 

When you dip your wick in hot wax, it seals it off and starves it of oxygen, causing zero smoke. This means you’ll have an easy trim, and cleaner burn the next time you light. 

You can do this by gently dipping the wick sideways into the wax with a wick dipper (or a butterknife or tweezers) and then straightening the wick back up again. 

This will immediately extinguish the flame and cause no smoking or soot output. 

#5 ALWAYS consider candle safety

  • Burn the candle within sight at all times.
  • Don’t leave the candle unattended.
  • Stop burning the candle when ¼ inch of wax remains. Burning with too little wax can cause overheating. 
  • Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that could catch fire. 
  • Protect your surfaces and put the candle on a wooden coaster, a cute plate, or anything ceramic – vessels can get hot.

Troubleshoot: How to fix candle tunneling

If you’re dealing with candle tunneling and are super bummed, don’t worry. There are a few things you can try to fix candle tunneling. 

Read This: How To Fix Candle Tunneling In 3 Steps

Article Summary: Candle Care Instructions 

You probably love candles just like we do. Taking care of your candles properly will help ensure you get the most out of your candle. Always burn to a full melt pool (1-3) hours, always trim your wick and ALWAYS consider candle safety. 

Check out our non-toxic candle collection of pure soy candles.


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