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Getting the Most From Your Candles
By Sharon Jacobsen
I love burning candles. I have them all around the
house. Long ones, short ones, fat ones and thin ones,
in all different colours, and in lots of different
holders. I burn them in the evening when I'm relaxing,
I burn them at mealtimes, and I burn them in the
bathroom. Any excuse to light a candle really!
But candles don't always fit the holder, and
sometimes they burn down too far and the wax gets
stuck! It's at those times that candles aren't quite
as much fun!
Here are some candle burning tips I've picked up
through the years:
- Cold candles will burn slower. Pop candles into the
fridge for an hour before lighting them, but wrap them
in foil or cling-film first to prevent the wicks from
- When burning pillar candles, let them burn long
enough each time to create a pool of wax that almost
covers the diameter of the candle. This will ensure
that the candle burns evenly each time you light it.
If it doesn't create a large enough pool you'll end up
with a tunnel through the candle and eventually it
will either melt through one side, or you'll no longer
be able to light it.
- Never stand a lit candle in a draft. Drafts
create a larger flame and uneven burning.
- Never expose candles to sunlight or indoor
spotlights. They will fade the colour, and if left for
too long, the candles will bend.
- If your candle is too slim to fit snugly into the
holder, wrap cooking foil or tissue paper around the
bottom of the candle to make the base thicker. Don't
worry, the tissue paper won't burn even if you do
allow the candle to burn right down into the holder,
as the melted wax will soak the paper. But it's never
a good idea to allow candles to burn right down; they
should be extinguished when they're about 2 inches
over the holder.
- If you have allowed the candle to burn right down
and the wax is stuck in the holder, put the holder
into the freezer for a couple of hours and the wax
should be easier to dig out.
- If you like votive candles, try to buy the type
that have metal cases as these are easy to remove from
holders after use. If you only have the uncovered
type, pour some water into the holder before lighting
the candle. When it's extinguished and the wax has
hardened, it should be easier to pop it out of the
- Spilled wax should be allowed to solidify. Once
hard, cover the area with brown paper and gently press
with a warm iron. The wax will be absorbed into the
- Extinguish candles by pushing the wick into the
liquid wax (don't use your fingers!). Leave for about
a minute, then re-center the wick. Using this
technique both eliminates smoking from the
extinguished wick and covers the wick with a layer of
wax making re-lighting easier.
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