Something's up if you have to dig for your candle wick like you'd burrow away for a treasure chest. And, if your favourite candle has stopped smelling like it did last month - what's going on?
Don't panic though.
If you're wondering how to care for your candles, we've got you covered. Here at BareNaturals, we want you to get the most out of your precious candles while keeping candle care as simple as possible.
So, here are 5 secrets that'll help your candle burn better and keep diffusing that delectable scent that got you hooked in the first place.
It's time to get trim happy
You know how you have to keep trimming your hair to keep away the split ends from hell? Your candle also needs this attention to detail if it going to perform best for you.
Each time before you spark up your candle, get trim happy with your wicks and give your candles the TLC they deserve.
We can't stress this enough.
Trim your candle wick to about 1/8th of an inch before you light it
Every single time!
A good way to go about it is to use small scissors or even a nail cutter. For all candles and especially ones in deep candle holders, like the Barenaturals mason jar candles, a specialised tool known as a wick trimmer is perfect.
If you're wondering why wick trimming is such a big deal, we're happy to clear that up for you.
Essentially, when a candle wick is too long, it's unable to draw up the wax around it to fuel the burn. As a result, the wick itself burns, producing way more soot than it's supposed to. A trimmed candle wick, on the other hand, ensures a steady, soot-free flame.
(Pro tip: Keep the candle surface free of wick trimmings and matches.)
This is how you can stop your candle from tunnelling
Are you wondering how to care for your candles when they're tunnelling? Well, unless the wick has sunk all the way through, you can still salvage a whole lot of your candle.
Basically, when you burn a candle for the first time, make sure that the wax melts all the way across to the edges. Now, if you blow out the candle before the wax melts all the way across, you're promoting the wick to sink lower in the middle, creating a sort of tunnel.
To be honest, the spoils of a tunnelling war aren't great for a user. Tunnelling not only makes it hard for you to reach the wick over time. But, also creates pools of wax around the sides that'll never get used and makes your gorgeous candle an unnecessary source of disappointment in your life.
It doesn't have to be this way
Get the first burn right, with at least a two- three-hour candle session and it'll keep on shining and happily melting just the way you want it to.
A steady, unflickering flame is what you need to achieve
This why you need to keep your candle away from draughts and open windows. Draughts cause the flame to flicker, produce more soot, and eventually decrease burn time and the scent throw of your candle.
Ideally, your candle flame should be upright, steady, with a cute tear-dropped shape to give you a nice smooth melt and throw a beautifully balanced scent all around the place.
(Pro tip: Watch out for an extra long flame as this could mean that the flame is too feisty, maybe because the wick is too long)
So, where are you storing your candles?
If you are the kind of person who loves candles and some of the ones you own seem - well, just too special to light up (personally we think this is a travesty - life is too short, light up that candle and enjoy it!). Keep in mind how your candles are being stored.
Storage conditions are an essential step in taking care of your candles. Because light and air will affect the performance over time. You may be disappointed when that special moment arrives and on lighting-up your prized candle. Only to find all of the wonderful scents have vanished.
To give your candle a good chance to do the thing it was made for:
Bringing you joy.
Amp up its longevity, by wrapping each separately in a clean cloth and store them in a cool, dark, dry place. Or, if they are already in a container, like a mason jar candle - putting them in a dry dark place is best. Again though - please light your candles because no candle ever wants to sit unlit, in the dark. Practice candle compassion, spark it up and feel the warm glow!
Lastly, it's never a good idea to freeze candles to increase burn time (you may have heard of this). Just like pipes in winter. it may cause the wax to crack when you light them up.
Here's how you can clean your candles easily
The thing that makes a real candle is that they have a real, live, naked flame. The flame keeps burning because it draws up wax as it burns down the wick. This fuel and a process called combustion create a by-product called soot. There is no getting away from it and one level or another soot can make your candle jar or container look tired and a bit mucky, not to mention dim the light!
Over at the Barenaturals lighthouse, we spend an enormous amount of time engineering our candles. Minimising the burn to soot ratio of our candles is one element we focus on. We have achieved results that make Barenaturals candles, high-quality performers. When they go off to their forever homes, and with proper care from their owners, will behave themselves politely by staying clean and bright.
However, all candles, even the best performers, can occasionally display soot around the mason jar or candle holder for one reason or another. Soot, perhaps caused by a flaring flame caught by a breeze or an untrimmed wick. If this happens, blow out the candle and wait till it cools down. Next, reach for a cool damp cloth and wipe the glass clean, inside out. The container and candle will shine as brightly as they ought to
And, if you've accidentally let your candle collect dust for a while, use a soft cloth to wipe it clean. Easy peasy!
(Pro tip: Old nylon stockings are great for giving your unlit candles a delicate wipe down)
Taking care of your candles don't have to be a chore - basically, small things go a long way to ensure you get the most out of them. If you want to know how to look after your candle, remember to:
- Trim the wick
- On lighting your candles for its first burn. Make a memory pool of wax to the edge of the candle jar.
- Keep an eye on the flame, away from breezes. Keep it happy and cute.
- If you must store them (eye-roll). Keep your candle away from sunlight to increase its shelf life.
- Brighten the candle jar or holder with a quick clean from a damp cloth.
Have you used any of these tips or extra tips to care for your candles? Let us know in the comments!