How To Properly Burn A Candle For the First Time

Learn how to correctly burn a candle

Burning a candle might seem like a straightforward thing; you buy a new candle, take it home and light it, releasing all the yummy smells.


You might be surprised to discover there are a few handy tricks to knowing how burn a candle properly for the first time to ensure you get the most out of the fragrances and longevity of the candle.

Have you ever noticed that some candles burn evenly, while some seem to just tunnel the wick into the abyss of wax?


Honestly, it can be pretty annoying when you spend a little chunk of money on a beautiful candle but it just doesn’t last. The good news? These things are all avoidable, and it starts with knowing how to burn a candle for the first time.


Choosing your candle

When choosing a candle, size actually matters. We’re not talking about the size of the candle for a longer burn time; we mean the width of the candle compared to the size and number of wicks.


One of the most important factors in achieving the maximum longevity for your candle is ensuring there is an even heat distribution across the entire surface of the candle. Heating the entire surface means the wax can melt evenly, rather than creating a tunnel down the centre of the candle.


If you choose a candle with an extra-wide surface, you’ll want it to have more than one wick so that that heat can distribute evenly.

How to burn a candle for the first time and beyond

When you consider how to burn a candle properly, you should try to get it right from the first burn – this will set the pace for the future performance of the candle.


It’s best practice to allow the wax to melt across the entire surface every time you burn your candle. From the first time you light your candle, try not to extinguish it until there is an even layer of melted wax across the surface.


Having said this, it’s also best not to burn the candle beyond 4-6 hours. Keeping the candle lit for extended periods of time will cause it to overheat and create a carbon build up within the vessel. A carbon build up will result in smokes stains on the sides of the candle jar and excess ash on the wick.

Following best practices will see your candle burning slowly, evenly and leaving clean sides all the way down the vessel.


If you do end up with a wick that’s tunneling down the center, fret not! Here are a few quick problem-solving tips:


  • Reset the surface of the wax by gently heating it with your hairdryer or a small heater on a low setting
  • Use a pair of tweezers or a skewer to gently lift the wick out of the wax
  • If the wick is buried under wax, carefully scoop away softened wax and keep the wick prepped up as you reset the surface.

Maintain a clean wick

The wick is the heart and soul of the candle and if it is not properly cared for the candle cannot reach its fullest potential!


Before each burn trim the wick to about a quarter-inch above the wax to ensure you have removed any ash build-up and excessive length. Burning a wick that is too long will cause extra carbon build-up and superfluous heat that will cause an unstable flame.


When your wick is short and clean you can deter smoke stains on the side of your jar and avoid messy splatters of debris while enjoying a gentle, steady burn.


You can trim your wick with Wick Trimmers, scissors or even nail clippers. Just try not to trim the wick too short or the wax will melt over it too easily.

Extinguish the candle flame properly

Once your candle has burned for no more than 4-6 hours, you should extinguish it properly.
While extinguishing the flame properly is obviously essential, the method of extinguishing it is just as important.


Most of us would just blow out a candle and be done with it. However, this is not the most effective way to extinguish a candle. Blowing out a candle can cause excessive smoke to overcome the aroma of the candle you just burned. Blowing also causes wax and debris to be blown out of the vessel or across the jar resulting in stains.

A better way to extinguish your candle is to dip the wick into the melted wax of your candle. You can dip the wick by using a pair of tweezers to safely grab the wick and dip it into the melted wax. You could ven use a knife to push the wick down.


Once extinguished, ensure that you lift the wick back out of the melted wax so that it does not set within the wax once everything cools down.


Alternatively, you can purchase a candle snuffer that will gently extinguish the candle without blowing debris everywhere.


Many candles come with a lid which can also be used to gently offocate the flame.

Recycle the candle vessel

Now that you know how to correctly burn a candle to enjoy it to its full potential, it’s time to consider what you’ll do with the empty vessel at the end of the candle’s life.


When’s you finish with your candle there are heaps of ways to recycle and reuse the vessel. Most candles come in beautifully designed jars, so it’s worth finding another use for them.


First, gently heat the finished vessel to melt any remaining wax, then wipe it away with a clean cloth. Once the candle jar is clean, try out some of these clever ideas:


  • Use it to hold pencils or makeup brushes
  • Purchase some Epsom salts and bath salts, and display them in your bathroom in your beautiful candle jar
  • Fill the jar with trinkets or candy and wrap it in tissue paper to give as a gift

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So, take your new candle-burning wisdom and go forth to enjoy your candles for longer than you would have before. If you are looking for a candle to try these tips with, check out our hand-poured, soy candles and limited edition luxe collection.


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