You think lighting a candle is as easy as lighting the wicks and letting the wax do the rest of the magic? Well, sort of, but it won’t hurt to add extra steps to make your candle last longer! Every candle lover will know that candle care is crucial to making the most of your candles. And if you’ve made candles before, the layers of candle care go even deeper.
See more: Candle Care 101
But if you’re new to the candle club, the wick society, and the wax-ociation, you’ve probably ruined a candle one way or another. Don’t worry! We’re here to help you troubleshoot the most common issues and rookie mistakes when it comes to owning candles. After 5 years of answering our customers’ enquiries and fixing their candle problems, we found a few problems that frequently occur without proper care.
If you light your candle and notice that the wax only melts in the centre of the jar, you’re observing candle tunnelling. Soy wax has a “memory” that determines the pool where it will melt in the next burn. This is why it is very important to let your wax burn all the way to the edges of the jar to avoid tunnelling.
Not only does it look aesthetically unappealing, tunnelling also limits your candles’ longevity as it cuts down burn-time. There are ways to avoid tunnelling such as trimming your wicks every time you use it or burning your candle for at least 2 hours. But if it’s too late for that, you can still fix your wax!
The Blow Dry Method
If the tunnel is not too deep and there’s only a small trace of wax to deal with, you can simply wait for your candle to solidify then blow dry the wax to even it out for future use.
The Foil Method
If the wax tunnel is a bit deeper, but your wick is long enough, you can use the foil method! This commonly used method only needs an aluminium foil to wrap around the jar. This will trap heat while the candle is lit and even out the wax to the edges of the jar.
The Screw It and Scrape It Method
When all else fails, your tunnel is too deep, and your wick is too short, you’re going to have to let go of some of the wax. Simply scrape off the edges of the wax that isn’t part of the melt pool and use it as wax melts instead!
Aside from wax, wicks can also affect the performance of your candle. The general rule is that you trim your wicks to about 6mm or ¼ inch in every burn. If the wicks don’t get trimmed, this can cause many different problems even including jar explosion.
One problem you might encounter is wick mushrooming. This is when the wick is has formed some kind of shape that resembles a mushroom. This carbon buildup occurs when the candle has been burning longer than the recommended 2-5 hours. This can cause soot that will turn your jar black or lead you to inhale smoke.
If your wick is too long, this means it will create a larger flame which will then cause your wax to melt faster than expected. This will shorten the burn-time, or worse, make your jar too hot and cause it to explode. This can be dangerous as the melted wax and glass shards can splatter everywhere.
The good thing is, all these issues can be solved with just a snip! Simply trim your wicks after every use to ensure that your flame will not be too big. Just remember not to trim your wicks too short or it will not melt the wax.
If you’ve ever lit a candle and suddenly realised you can’t smell it anymore, you might be experiencing something called “scent blindness”. This phenomenon occurs when you get used to one scent and “stop” smelling it. This is the same reason why many candle lovers get different scents and alternate them.
However, you don’t need to keep buying different scents to get rid of this scent blindness. Sometimes, all you need to do is step out of the room and come back again to smell it again. You can also put out your candle and light it during another time or in another place. If you want to purchase a new scent, try something that’s completely different from the other to help you distinguish the difference.