How to care for your candles
Over the past decade candles have become part of our everyday life adding style and moods to our living areas. Once they were only associated with birthdays and celebrations. With the variety of candles available today there is a colour and style to suit every taste and decor. Whether you just have your candles as part of the decor or whether you burn them, you will still need to take care of them to keep them looking nice.
If you have your candles just to look stylish, now and again you will need to give them a refresh to keep them looking like new. All you need to do is get a cloth and some vegetable oil and rub gently. You can also use an old nylon stocking and this will buff your candle and take away any minor scratches and keep your candles looking like new. Never use chemicals on your candles when cleaning them as this will affect the essential oils in the candle.
You will need to make sure your wick stays centred. If you are burning candles in a glass holder and the wick is off centre this could cause the glass to crack. Also if the wick is off centre your candle will burn unevenly and the melted wax will spill.
To trim the wick on a standard pillar candle it will burn best if the wick is trimmed to around 6mm. On wider candles that are between 5-10cm the wicks should be slightly longer to allow the burning wick to heat the outside of the candle. It is best not to trim the wick on extremely wide candles including the three wick candles.
Always centre the wick after each burn. If the wick becomes too short just get a knife and scrape around the wick. It is normal for a wick to curl slightly when it is burning. Just be sure that it doesn’t become uncentered too much. If this happens just put your candle out and re-centre the wick before lighting again. If after burning the wick becomes very blackened just trim slightly with scissors.
It is also best to burn candles in a still environment. If the candles are placed where there is even a slight draft it will cause the candle wick to flicker which will cause the candle to smoke and also burn the candle unevenly.
If when your candle has been burning for some time you notice that the flame is very small it is best to extinguish the candle and pour off any excess wax. This will make the candle last much longer also.
When you have pillar candles they need to be ‘hugged’. This is where you use your thumbs and fingertips to very gently roll the softened wax around the top of the candle towards the middle. You should be careful not to push too hard or you can cave the top of the candle in. This should be done while the candle is burning. If you are burning your candles for long periods of time this should be done every hour or so to keep the shape. You should also hug your candle just before putting it out. This will make your candle last longer and keep it looking even.
- Make sure to only burn candles in a well ventilated area
- Never burn candles in enclosed spaces
- You should not expose your candles to extreme temperatures
- Always make sure that you place your candles where there is nothing above or immediately beside them. This includes shelves, books, lights, material objects, curtains or even plants.
- Never burn candles beside each other. If you do be sure that you leave a space of at least 10 cm between them
- Always place candles on a heat resistant surface
- Never burn candles near gas appliances or other flammable material
- Never move your candles unless the wax has gone hard
- Never burn candles near an open window or door as the breeze could blow curtains or other materials into the flame where a fire could start
- Always keep out of reach of children and pets
- Never go to sleep without extinguishing your candle first
- Never leave buring candle unattended
- Never use candles as emergency lighting if looking for something in a closet (don’t laugh, it has been done!).
- And to provide you with responsible information, I must tell you to never put out a candle with your fingers as you might get burnt (yes, this has been done too!).
Putting out your candles
The only safe way to put out your candle is with a candle snuffer. Old Indian folklore says that you should never blow out a candle because it offends the spirits.
It can also be very dangerous a sometimes when you blow out the candle you will get hot wax splattering everywhere, which you will have to clean up and often you can get sparks coming off the wick which could cause a fire hazard.
- Again, do not put out your candle with your fingers
- Do not put out candles with water
- Put out your candle if the flame gets too close to the holder
- Put out your candle if the flame gets too high then trim the wick and re-light
- Always put out candles when going to sleep
- Put out your candle if you are going out
- And again…never leave a buring candle unattended