Let’s Start With Fire Safety
Although candles are a beautiful and calming presence in any room, they are still open flames and, therefore, a potential fire hazard. Safe candle storage and handling are essential for keeping your home warm and cozy without the unnecessary risk of fire damage or injury.
Placement is the first key. Be sure to keep candles well out of the reach of children and pets. This may seem obvious, but that harmless candle on top of the dining room table can be wrenched to the floor if a toddler gets ahold of that tablecloth when no one is looking.
Even if the candle is out of reach of children, you may be surprised by how easily a pet can knock it over. Cats can get themselves up into some unlikely places. If you have a cat that likes to climb all over everything, be sure to keep any candles away from its usual patrol.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
Everyone wants candles that last long. To maximize that burn time, it’s important that your candle storage routines include storing them at room temperature. Too hot, and the wax softens and gets misshapen. It could even melt altogether if you’re not careful.
Too cold, and the wax becomes harder in some spots than others. The heat from the flame can take longer to melt the wax along the surface. Only the wax beneath the wick will melt, causing the wax along the outer wall to remain solid as the flame slowly dips further and further into the center of the candle.
This is called tunneling, and it kills the lifespan of your candle since only a fraction of the wax has the opportunity to melt. This makes the wick burn faster than it would if the wax were melting evenly.
How to Prevent and Fix Candle Tunneling
For some tips on how to make a candle last longer, let’s take a closer look at tunneling and find out how to keep it from happening to your candle collection.
One way to prevent tunneling is by always trimming the wick down to ¼ – ⅛ of an inch. When the wick is too long, the flame can get too large and burn too intensely, causing the wax in the middle to melt before the rest of the surface gets a chance.
Not only does a long wick create uneven wax melting, but it also contributes to a smokier burn that can leave a layer of black soot on the inside of your candle jar. If you trim your wick with a pair of nail clippers before each time you light it, then you won’t have to worry about dirty jars or uneven wax melting again.
While tunneling can occur with any candle, it does happen more often with lower end candles. To avoid it from happening in the first place, it’s important to know that wax has a memory, and it remembers the shape it was in as it hardens.
If the candle was tunneling when you blew it out, then you can expect it to continue doing so the next time you light it. To start your candle on the right track, make sure to keep an eye on it the first time you light it. You want to melt the whole top layer of wax before blowing it out to ensure the melting happens evenly throughout the life of your candle.
If you melt the whole top layer every time you light the candle, then you should have no problem with tunneling. If it’s already begun to happen, you can fix tunneling by taking a blow dryer and heating up that top layer until it’s evenly melted. Melting all of the wax in a candle as opposed to only the wax in the center is a great way to make a candle last longer.
Avoid UV Rays From the Sun
Another great technique is to store your candles in dark places away from the sun’s UV rays. Direct sunlight will fade the colors and fragrances of your favorite candles, so remember to keep them in a cupboard or pantry when you’re not using them. The darker their storage area, the longer they will last.
While all these tips are helpful for maximizing the life of your candles, nothing beats candles that last long on their own. Soy wax is great for this purpose, and our line of Large Jar Candles burn cleanly for up to 150 hours. With these in your home, you won’t have to use a search engine to find out how to make a candle last longer. You’ll already know.
Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas for protecting and maintaining your candles. We know you love them as much as we do.
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