April 06, 2020 4 min read
I couldn’t help myself with this title. With the world feeling near apocalyptic, it’s a constant challenge to stay focused on the positive. With more people indoors now more than ever before, what effective tools are you currently using in your environment to help affect your mood or current state of mind? I find cleanliness and organization are an easy go to, but should things feel too hectic or overwhelming, an easy tool is - a candle.
A candle is a simple way to alter your perspective and change your surroundings into a cozy & calming space. However, yesterday there was a small fire in my building that also begs the question - how to do so safely and properly? Ok ok, I’m sure you’re thinking you don’t need a lesson on fire safety - and I hope that’s the case for everyone (however, if you'd like a little refresher - click here).
However, have you ever been taught how to properly choose and burn a candle? Is it just common sense? I thought so for years, until I finally let artisan candlemakers bestow a little wisdom on me.
Simple, yes, common sense - not quite. It’s not common knowledge how you’re meant to choose and burn your candle, it's information that is normally passed within avid candle enthusiasts, so from one enthusiast to another, here is a few simple tricks to help you burn what you’ve got, and choose the next addition to your home.
You must first understand what you like? Is scent or aesthetic more important to you? Different candles have different purposes, and a visually appealing candle can be just as pleasing as an enjoyable aroma.
With more scents and scent combinations out there than can be named, take a mental note of scents you’ve experienced, and responded well to. If you need a little help, you can always check the ingredients or aroma of your favourite shampoo or body soap.
But a little overview of how we respond to aromatherapy and basic notes often found in candles:
Lavender - Can help ease the mind, and assist in eliminating stress.
Eucalyptus - Energizes and improves focus.
Citrus - Refreshes the environments, uplifts mood, and eases frustration.
Woody/Earthy - Grounding, emotionally balancing, promote feelings of comfort.
Next, where do you plan to put your little burning bouquet? Which room will become its new abode? Any particular colour scheme or style it should compliment? There’s an option for everyone. But in my opinion, I’m always pro-quality over quantity.
If a scented candle is what you’re interested in, also think of other smells that will be present in that location. For example, the kitchen is a tricky one. But subtly scented candles with fragrances in the fresh and sweet families often do best.
Also, how large is the room? The answer to this question best establishes the size of candle you should be looking for, if scent is your priority. Whether it should be a single or multi-wick, don’t forget, ceiling height counts. Be wary of candles with one wick that are 3 inches in diameter or more. The wick will never create enough heat to melt the wax evenly.
Candles can be produced in a plethora of varying ways, from different perspectives. Some which support sustainability, making candles in small batches by hand. Others high-quality, supporting artisanal methods using nothing but the best ingredients found in nature. Or aromatherapy - where the purpose of the candle is healing and providing health benefits. Yet, there are also an overabundance which are riddled with chemicals, that can become airborne and inhaled.
As the client, you control which brands you want to succeed and support their perspective. Choose a company that you believe is producing a beautiful product, the right way.
This is the case even with a new candle. As it burns, maintain the wick by trimming off any bulbous or black bulging wick particles. Even if you can only trim a couple of millimetres off the top, it will make the difference. Untrimmed wicks can cause an uneven burn, dark black smoke, and smoke stains on the glass (damaging the container, should you wish to keep it and use it for something else later). It can even release soot once being lit.
Burn it all the way through.
The first time you burn your candle, make sure it melts the entire top layer of wax. For most candles, this usually takes about 2 hours. The top layer of the candle isn’t as fragrant, but you will ensure all future burns utilize the entire candle.
Another reason to burn your candle until the top layer has melted is to ensure you candle burns evenly. By not burning your candle for a long enough duration time and time again, you can create a wax “tunnel”. This can’t be corrected, and you will have wasted wax and many aroma filled hours. Not to mention it will become more and more challenging to light your wick as the tunnel burns down.
Once lit, keep it away from drafts.
This simply allows the candle to burn evenly.
How long do I let my candle burn?
Some brands have a recommended burn time listed on their packaging. In some cases it relates to the container the candle has been poured into. High quality glass and ceramic is best, as it doesn’t heat up quickly, and won’t damage the surface the candle is placed on.
Most candlemakers recommend burning on average for four hours.
You can blow your candle out, but this will result in black smoke or more smoke than is necessary. The proper way to extinguish your candle is by using a lid of candle extinguisher.
We hope this helped your candle burning experience, and making your candles go the extra mile. Perhaps even added a few things to your home routine ritual you’ll use on the daily. Got a corner of your space you’ve been making a little dent in the cushion? What’s your favourite candle that’s making it extra cozy? Share yours and tag us & #cozycorner .
Can’t wait to see how you're making your space more comfy and creatively you.