Yes you read it right. There is a correct way to burn candles and when done properly can prolong the quality and burn time of your favourite candles, giving a consistent burn time and avoiding that dreaded tunnelling effect.
Have you ever lit one of your favourite candles and found that after a time it starts tunnelling? (Only burning down the centre) meaning that the lifespan of your candle is dramatically reduced. Not only does this not look very nice but also means that you are missing out on a huge amount of burn time and effectively burning your hard earned dollar!
As self confessed candle lovers here at Love Inc we want to make sure that you get the most out of your candles and so have put together this little guide to ensure your candles reach their full burning potential.
Do you find that your candles only burn down the centre leaving hard wax around the edges? Well that’s called candle tunnelling for us candle nerds. If you find this is happening, your candle is not reaching it’s maximum burn time. As the flame burns further down the wick, it will become harder and harder to light and will eventually be drowned in the melted wax.
This can happen regardless of the quality or price of the candle but don’t fear! Love Inc has put together some helpful tips to avoid this candle travesty and if followed can escape the dreaded tunnelling curse.
It’s all in the first burn
This really sums it up. The first time you light your candle will determine the lifespan of your candle overall.
The number one piece of advice when trying to avoid candle tunnelling is to make sure that before you blow out the candle, the pool of melted wax has reached the edges of the candle. We recommend that the pool of wax also be around 1cm deep and the length of time that this takes really depends on the diameter of your candle. So before you light your new candle for the first time, consider the amount of time that you will have it lit for. If you don’t have long then maybe save it for another time.
Below is a rough guide to burning times depending on your candle diameter. All candles burn differently so take this with a pinch of salt.
First burn times by candle width:
|CANDLE WIDTH||INITIAL BURN TIME|
|1inch / 2.5cm||1 hour|
|2inch / 5cm||2 hours|
|3inch / 7.5cm||3 hours|
|4inch / 10cm||4 hours|
|5inch / 12.5cm||5 hours|
|6inch / 15cm||6 hours|
We also recommend that you trim the wick of your candle before lighting however if you have a particularly wide candle you may want to leave it a little longer. A longer wick will produce a bigger/hotter flame, which will mean the wax will melt faster.
Top tips for a successful first burn
1- Make sure the pool of wax fully reaches the edges of the candle before snuffing.
2- The basic equation for first burn time is roughly one hour for every inch the candle is wide.
3- If you have a very wide candle, only trim the wick to 8mm before the first burn.
4- Every now and again, it is worth repeating this process to keep the wax open and even.