Updated at: 26-07-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

A candle can be lit in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Fortunately, following the right care and safety guidelines for candles is. The question of how long to burn a candle comes up from time to time.

These simple techniques will help you get more use out of your favorite candles. To avoid unsightly soot and tunneling, use these simple tips for lighting candles. Start by cleaning out the wick and trimming it to the proper length.

Before lighting a candle, trim the wick to a length of 14 inches at the most. Get rid of any wax pool debris that has formed over time. The candle will burn faster quickly if there is any debris in the way.

The flame can suddenly flare up if there is too much fuel present. Excessively long or crooked wicks may produce uneven burning, leaks, scorching, and sooting. You may get more use out of your candle by trimming the wicks.

A candle burns for an average of about three hours. You may extend the life of your candles by up to 25% by regularly trimming the wick. Things’s best to get it right the first time. Just as the first cut is the deepest, so is the first burn.

How Long Should You Burn a Candle?

In order to ensure the safety of yourself and others, do not burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends. Carbon can build up on the wick of a candle over time, making it unstable. Potentially deadly smoke and soot can come from this.

How To Burn Jar Candles - YouTube

Because of this, always follow the candlemaker’s instructions. In general, candles should not be left burning for longer than four hours. For best results, let the candle cool for at least two hours before relighting.

In addition, keep the flame away from any moving air. It is recommended that candles burn for one hour per 1 inch in diameter. For example, a 2-inch-wide candle should burn for about two hours.

You can see the “memory ring” in candles that haven’t burned long enough to melt all of the wax, and it’ll keep going as long as the candle does, too! During prolonged burning, carbon builds on the wick, which results in the “mushrooming” of the candle.

The wick becomes unstable, resulting in a large and potentially hazardous flame. To add insult to injury, your candle will start to smoke and exude soot. Avoid this by following the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.

Candles should never be left burning for more than four hours at a time in most cases. Before lighting it again, allow it to cool down for at least two hours. Ensure that the flame does not come into touch with any moving air or surfaces.

The best places to light a candle in your home are far away from things like open windows, ceiling fans, and air conditioners. Disrupted flames might result in soot or stains on the glass if they are disturbed by the movement of air. Unattended candles can start fires, so keep them covered or far away from combustible materials.

Instead of blowing on the flame, use a snuffer as much as feasible. When you extinguish a flame, it causes the development and spread of vexing black ash particles. It generally becomes embedded in the wax. If you don’t have a snuffer, buy candles with their lids.

Set Your Candle’s Memory

To the greatest extent possible, put out the flame with a snuffer rather than blowing on it. When a flame is extinguished, it produces and disperses irritating black ash. It’s common for it to become stuck in the wax. Snuffers aren’t necessary if you buy candles with lids.

Tunneling may occur if the wax did not melt close enough to the candle’s edge. Candles that burn out without leaving any useful rim or mantle are known as hollow candles. This can be prevented by making the first burn long enough so that the candle is completely melted to its edges.

The First Burn Should Be Timed Strategically

Candle wax has a memory of its own, which is why scented candles are so useful for evoking memories while relaxing on the couch. When you first light your candle’s wick, all wax melts in the same way. Keep the flame going until the liquified wax coats the inside of the jar, then let it cool.

This can be accomplished by lighting a candle and letting it burn for one hour for each inch of its diameter. Otherwise, a “memory ring” will form around the candle. In other words, the candle’s wax will not burn to its full circumference.

Creating a hollowed-out center in the wax can lead to another candle puzzle known as “tunneling.” While you want to keep tunneling to a minimum in order to get the most burn time out of your candle, if it does collapse in, you have a variety of solutions.

Candle tunneling can be prevented with the use of tin foil. Wrap a strip around the top of your candle, but leave an opening above the wick in the center. ” Light your candle and allow it to burn for about half an hour before extinguishing it.

The candle should be fine to go after you remove the wrapper. Using a hairdryer, liquefy the wax at the top of the ring until it returns to its original position in the middle. It’s also possible to cut off the “tunnel’s” edges to balance the wax.

Candle conundrums can also be solved with this method. Many waxes are lost during tunneling. As a result, the best strategy to assure an efficient burn is to solve the issue as soon as you notice it.

7 Ways We’re All Burning Candles Wrong

I like to think of myself as a bit of a candle expert. I’ve tried a lot of different scents throughout the years, from Diptyque to Yankee and more. Candles of all shapes and sizes can be found in nearly every area in my house. But until a recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee, I never gave much thought to my burning technique. Country music’s capital has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to lighting candles.

5 tips to make candles last longer - The Washington Post

There are around 10,000 candles hand-poured each day at the Nashville-based Paddywax factory, which manufactures many of the charming styles you’ve probably seen in stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. People, that’s a lot of wax! Two retail sites of The Candle Bar, a boutique/workshop concept where customers can choose a vessel and smell and then pour their own handmade candle, have recently opened in the area.

The Candle Bar may not be as well-known as Nashville’s Opry, but it’s still worth checking out if you ever find yourself in town. The store manager, Kelly Heyen, taught me everything I needed to know about candle burning while we sipped BYOB rosé and chatted with our friends. I’ve never encountered a person who was more knowledgeable about candles than I am. It turns out that you’re probably doing a lot of things incorrectly when it comes to lighting yours. That’s how I felt. Here are some of the most common mistakes that Heyen sees time and time again.

1. Not Choosing Your Candle Wisely

Heyen estimates that a single ounce of candle wax will burn for between five and seven hours. As a result, a larger candle will require more time to burn. It’s possible you didn’t realize this, but a three-wick candle in the same vessel as a one-wick candle will burn more slowly, not faster, which seems paradoxical. Three wicks will really lengthen the life of a candle because the wax gets hot enough (from the three flames) to actually pool across the entire candle rather than tunneling down the center of the candle at the one wick when lighted,” adds Heyen.

Burning the wax in this method ensures that you’re consuming all of it. Soy wax scented with essential oils will produce the cleanest burn if indoor air quality is a concern. A food-grade paraffin wax is blended with Paddywax’s soy to create a wax that melts more quickly. Adding paraffin to the mix causes the candle to burn hotter, resulting in a longer, cleaner, and more even burn that will ensure that the aroma is as strong as possible.” Noted. To get the most out of your soy-paraffin wax combination, you should look for a larger candle with three wicks in the larger sizes.

2. Only Trimming Your Wick Once

In order to keep your candle from smoking excessively and leaving soot stains on your container, Heyen suggests trimming the wick to a quarter-inch before each burning. According to Heyen, a wick that is too long or crooked can result in dripping, flaring, or uneven burning. Making cuts is easy with conventional scissors or a nail clipper. There’s no need for a specialized wick trimmer, although it does look nice next to a candle and matchbook on a coffee table. As Heyen points out, the flat-tip design isn’t a waste of time. Trimming the wick on a flat surface avoids tiny soot flecks from getting lodged in the melted wax. Always trim the wick when the wax has dried completely.

3. Not Burning Your Candle Long Enough the First Time

In order to ensure an uniform and long-lasting burn, you should light your candle for three to four hours the first time you use it. Heyen explains that wax “has a muscle memory” and will burn in the same pattern each time. To ensure that your candle pools evenly across the wax, you should fire it long enough the first time. This will ensure that your candle continues to do so with consecutive burns. Instead of generating a full melt pool, tunneling can occur, in which a candle’s flame burns straight down the middle of it. Your candle’s outer wax surface area diminishes as soon as it starts tunneling.

4. Giving Up on an Improperly Burned Candle

That’s correct, as you may have seen. According to Heyen, there are a couple of ways to relight a candle that has been partially tunneled. To smooth out the wax surface, you can use a hair dryer set to low heat or bake the candle for about 5 minutes at 175 degrees. There are two ways to melt the wax back to its original level and smoothness. Take a spoon and scrape off the excess wax.

5. Not Watching Your Burn Time

It is advised by Heyen not to leave a candle burning for more than four to six hours at once. Heyen advises that you avoid letting your candle get too hot. According to her, letting the candle become liquid causes the wick or wicks to float to one side, which causes it to burn unevenly. It’s best to maintain a burning candle close by.

6. Blowing Out Your Candles

Seriously. Snuffers have always seemed like a gimmick to me, but it turns out that blowing out a flame actually generates and spreads tiny black ash particles that become embedded in the wax. However, you are not required to purchase a snuffer. Alternatively, you can use a candle with a lid to do the same thing. A cover also prevents dust and grime from entering. It’s best to wait until the candle has totally cooled before handling or moving it.

7. Not Reusing Your Vessels

With Paddywax, and many other makers, you’ll find that all of their candles may be recycled. Concrete is superior to ceramic, metal, and glass as planters, makeup brush holders, and pencil cups, among other uses.

Hopefully, you’ve gained some insight into the art of candle burning from this article. There are candles in Nashville, so go ahead and light one. It’ll cost you $35, but you’ll have a blast. You’ll also get a one-of-a-kind candle as a bonus.

Candle Buying Guide

For those who aren’t familiar with the world of candle-buying, here are a few tips to keep in mind. Buying candles is a big decision, so we’re here to assist you out. Tips for buying candles:

Know The Different Types Of Candles

There are many types of candles to choose from, although the more familiar ones are pillar candles, taper candles, votive candles, and tea lights.

Candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including pillar candles, taper candles, votive candles, and tea lights.

Taper candles have a tapering form and are commonly used as dinner candles since they are taller and thinner than other candle types.

Votive candles, which are also known as prayer candles, are typically small and cylindrical. Because they are designed to melt, they must be burned in a glass container. They look best on nightstands, medicine cabinets, and bookshelves.

Candles in the shape of a tea light can be used in a variety of ways, such as adorning surfaces or floating in tin containers.

Watch The Size

It’s up to you whether or not you want to buy a few larger candles or a few smaller ones for your room. To deodorize a large space, you can use a single giant candle or a smattering of smaller candles with the same fragrance.

Note The Wax

Soot consisting of benzene and toluene is released when candles made of paraffin wax (a petroleum byproduct) are burned. Toxins identical to those found in diesel exhaust have been identified. Because of this understanding, we set out to create GoodLight in order to make healthy and economical candles more accessible to the public.

Smell The Scent

It’s up to you and your sense of style to decide on the perfect aroma for your home or office. Make sure you pick one that you are comfortable with and that complements the rest of your decor. Candle experts advise using sandalwood or cedar-based scents for industrial-themed rooms and flowery or vanilla-based scents for cozier, shabby chic settings. Remember that synthetic perfumes, like paraffin wax, can produce toxic chemicals when burned. Synthetic perfumes should be avoided in favor of those scented with essential oils and plants.

Check Out The Container

Open-mouthed or lidded candles can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the style of your home. There are pros to both options. Whatever you choose, keep these four safety guidelines in mind:

  • Heat-resistant is required.
  • It’s not going to catch on fire, should it?
  • It shouldn’t be leaking out of the container.
  • Ideally, it should not shatter or crack.

Jelly containers are a suitable choice because of their high heat resistance and ability to store wax. Glassware of a different sort should function just fine. The most critical factor is that the material can handle the heat. Flower pots that have been heat-treated and ceramic bowls that have been properly sealed are also good options.

Consider The Wick

Make sure to check the wick material when purchasing candles, whether they are scented or unscented. Make sure you’re shopping for candles with cotton wicks, which are lead-free but also less expensive and easier to care for. The wicks on all of our candles are made entirely of cotton, ensuring the cleanest possible burn every time.

Candle Care Tips

The perfect candle that burns for a long time and has a fresh, clean, and calming aroma may be difficult to locate at first, but practice makes perfect. You may extend the life of your candles by following these aftercare instructions and using the above suggestions once you’ve figured out which types of candles, whether scented or unscented, work best for you.

  • Blow out a smoky candle, trim the wick, and relight it.
  • Keep wax pools clean of wick trimmings and matchstick ends at all times.
  • To safeguard the container, do not burn the last half an inch of wax.
  • To get the most out of your candle’s aroma, keep the doors and windows of the room you’re deodorizing closed for at least 30 minutes before entering.
  • Gently stroking the candle’s surface with a damp or dry soft cloth or one made of nylon will remove dust and fingerprints.


Why can you only burn a candle for 4 hours?

A “mushroomed” wick is the result of burning your candle for longer than 4 hours at a time. Because of this, your candle may smoke, the wick may become unsteady, and soot may sputter out of the container and into the air.

Where Does Candle Wax Go When You Burn a Candle? | Taste of Home

Is it bad to burn candles for hours?

In Nolen’s perspective, “the longer they burn the more they’re releasing pollution,” so avoid burning them all day long. There is no hard and fast rule for how long it is safe to burn a candle (the science just isn’t there).

Is it OK to leave candles on overnight?

You should never leave a candle burning alone, even for a brief amount of time, because of the dangers that we discussed before. Candles can be burned for no more than four hours if they are being watched. The mushroom wick problem may occur if they are burned for more than four hours.

Are candles bad for your lungs?

Yes, but don’t stop there. There are a number of carcinogenic poisons that are released into the air when candles are burned. The most noticeable of them is soot. Many of the pollutants created by burning diesel fuel can be found in the exhaust from paraffin candles.

Why Yankee candles are bad?

Unfortunately, Yankee Candles can’t be called safe or non-toxic because of the paraffin wax, dangerous scent components, and a lack of transparency. So the next time you’re in the market for a candle to help set the atmosphere or spruce up your house, go no further than one of the non-toxic candle guidelines listed above!

What happens when you burn a candle too long?

When a candle is burned for an extended period of time, carbon builds up on the wick, causing it to “mushroom.” An unstable and deadly flame will result from this. It will also begin to emit smoke and soot.

Conclusion on How Long Should You Burn a Candle

Burning a candle and then waiting for it to melt isn’t as easy as it seems. There are other considerations, such as the length of time that a candle should be left burning. By addressing these issues, you’ll be able to get the most out of your candles.