There is actually a proper way to burn a candle. And there are ways to make them last longer.
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The main rule of enjoying candles is to never leave a burning candle unattended. That’s basic safety, after all. We spoke to Laura Slatkin, founder and executive chairwoman of Nest Fragrances, about best practices.
Don’t burn a new candle for only a few minutes. The first time you burn a container candle, you should allow it to form a complete pool of melted wax across the surface of its container, from rim to rim. This is because wax has a memory, and on subsequent lightings, the wax pool will struggle to go beyond the circumference of the previous burn. The candle will most likely tunnel down into the wax from then on. The wick will sink deeper and deeper into the candle, and the wax on the sides will never burn, shortening the life of your candle.
Ways on How To Make A Candle Last Longer
Don’t just light a new candle for a few minutes.
Allow a container candle to develop a whole pool of melted wax across the surface of its container, from rim to rim. So do the first time you burn it. It is because wax has a memory.
Furthermore, future lightings will struggle to expand beyond the first burn’s circumference. The candle would most probably tunnel down into the wax from then on. The wick will sink further into the candle, and the wax on the sides will never burn, shortening the candle’s life.
Keep your wicks trimmed.
A well-trimmed wick will provide a brilliant flame. A crooked or lengthy wick can cause uneven burning, leading to bursts of intense flames or smoke. Wicks should be about one-fourth-inch tall for optimal burning; don’t cut them any lower.
Wait until the candle has completely cooled before turning it upside down. Then, remove the burned section with a tissue, and your wick will be ready to light. The wick is also an essential part of your candle that you must maintain to lengthen your candle’s lifespan.
Keep a safe distance from heat sources.
Whether or not your candles are lit, be aware that the wax may and will melt in high temperatures. Therefore, avoid storing candles near other heat sources, such as kitchen stoves, fireplace mantels, or attics. Instead, you should keep candles inside and away from direct sunlight.
After each use, use a damp cotton pad and warm soapy water. It will clean the wick’s central wax pool of any soot or burned debris. Finally, close the lid to keep dust from gathering on the surface and lay it aside to cool until it’s safe to relight.
Keep burning candles away from vents, fans, and drafts.
Air currents can cause candles to burn unevenly or create too much smoke or soot, leaving ugly black spots on your container. In addition, small quantities of unburned carbon particles can escape if a wick grows too long. It is also the case if an air current disrupts the teardrop form of the flame.
Keep any debris out of the wax pool.
Don’t contaminate the candle pool with cut-off or burned wicks or used matches. The presence of debris in the wax will disrupt the chemistry of the candle and may cause it to burn unevenly. In addition, it might block the wick and prevent it from drawing up and dispersing the fragrance oil.
Add a pinch of salt to the wax.
If you want to extend the life of your favorite candle, add a sprinkle of salt to the melted wax. Do this after you’ve blown it out, and then mix it up with a toothpick or chopsticks. Then, when you fire it up again, the salt will slow down the burn time.
Allow a candle to cool fully before relighting it.
It takes roughly two hours for a candle in a container to cool down completely. Trimming the wick after the wax pool has solidified is considerably safer. If you dive into a hot puddle of melted wax before it has cooled and hardened, you risk burning your fingertips.
Is freezing your candles in the fridge to prolong lifespan a myth?
The assumption is that putting your candle in the fridge or freezer will extend its burning time. However, this may not be the situation. A candle is nothing more than a well-managed fire.
The wax is intended to burn at a specified temperature. The wick is chosen to burn the wax at the optimal ratio. So, what could go wrong?
- If you place the candle in the freezer, it will most likely crack.
- If the candle is scented, the aroma may migrate to the edges and top rather than being equally dispersed throughout the wax.
So, now that you’ve taken the risk of breaking and losing the aroma, and you don’t mind, is it still worth a shot? Unfortunately, no. Candles, in general, burn slowly.
The only part of the candle that matters is closest to the wick burning at the top. When the wax around the wick is lighted, it quickly returns to average room temperature. As the candle burns down, the portion of wax being burned will have warmed up to its initial temperature eons ago.
The heat from the flame just takes a few seconds to thaw your frozen candle to room temperature. So the few extra minutes of burn duration you could get by placing a candle in the fridge isn’t much. Plus, it is not worth the effort.
So it’s time to get back to fundamentals! If you love and care for your candles, they will last longer. So trim their wicks, keep them out of drafts, extinguish them properly, and burn them for the appropriate time.
These Long-Lasting Candles Will Stay Lit for Hours and Hours and Hours
Is there such a thing as too many candles? According to certain fire regulations, probably, but if you love your home to smell like lavender, citrus, or just something other than its current scent (Fido, we love you, but you stink), then stocking up on candles is a great idea. Once you find a scent you like, keeping it burning is key, which is why we prefer long-lasting candles.
What To Look For In A Long-Lasting Candle
When searching for a long-lasting candle, the more natural the makeup of the candle, the longer the burning time, which is why soy and beeswax are great options. Candles made from paraffin wax are typically more affordable and a great option for sexy time, but they burn at a faster rate. Soy and beeswax candles produce less soot than paraffin wax and burn at a lower heat, helping to extend their life. They typically come at a higher price tag than paraffin wax, but their lifespan is longer, which helps to even out the cost.
Decide whether you want scented or unscented. There are plenty of options for both, including unscented candles that are designed to be used in emergencies and power outages. When using a candle as a décor piece for a large event, unscented is a safer bet to ensure none of the guests are bothered.
Also, it’s always good to opt for circular candles, which burn wax at an equal rate.
How We Chose The Best Long-Lasting Candles
We’ve made a list of some of the best long-lasting candles, which we chose based on their popularity with customers, their extensive burn time and their clean-burn finish. To get the most out of your long-lasting candles, trim wicks regularly for even heating. Limit burn time to four-hour increments and place candles in a cool setting, like a fridge, before lighting. This helps the candle burn more slowly.
When you’re ready to light your candle and set the mood, improve your ambiance, cover a scent, or provide a source of light during an emergency, these long-lasting candles will help.
1. Chesapeake Bay Candle
The ‘Balance and Harmony’ blend from Chesapeake Bay Candle is a great option for anyone looking for a fresh and invigorating scent to add to their home and workspace. The large, 12.5-ounce candle has an impressive 70-hour burn time and leaves users with a clean and fresh pear, apple, bergamot, and orange zest scent. Made with a blend of soy and essential oils, the candle creates a calming environment while a self-trimming, lead-free wick delivers a clean burn. The candle is packaged in a frosted jar that creates a beautiful effect when lit and can be recycled when empty.
2. Odor Eliminating Highly Fragranced Candle by Dianne’s Custom Candles Store
Candles smell great, but our homes? Not always. That’s why when you need to mask an odor, a candle from Dianne’s Custom Candles Store helps to cover up unpleasant scents. Available in six fragrances, including McIntosh Apple, Lilac Blossom, Siberian Fir, and Vanilla Bean (shown here), each 12-ounce candle has an impressive 80 hour burn time. Made from FDA-approved food-grade soy wax, the cruelty-free candles burn clean and help to cover up any odors.
3. Stonebriar 80 Hour Long Burning Unscented Pillar Candles
Whether you’re decorating your home or preparing for an event, the large, unscented, long-burning candles from Stonebriar make a great addition to any décor. Made with paraffin and boasting an 80-hour burn time, the pillar candles are made with 100% cotton lead-free wicks, which produce a smoke-free burn. Measuring 3” x 8”, the candles fit in medium to large-sized lanterns and decorative candle holders. Ideal for large groups or anyone who is sensitive to scents, the candles are individually wrapped upon arrival.
4. Candlelife Emergency Survival Candle
When an emergency strikes and the power is out, a flashlight is important to have on hand. But what happens when your flashlight is out of batteries? Keeping a long-burning candle in your home or packing it for trips outdoors can help keep you and your loved ones safe. The Candlelife Emergency Survival Candle is sold in a set of six, with each candle boasting an incredible 115 hours of burn time. Each candle is smoke and scent-free and made from high-quality liquid paraffin that won’t produce soot. Safe to use indoors and outdoors, the emergency candles can also be placed in a decorative holder and used as everyday candles.
5. Lavender Tea Triple Wick Candle by Sicily Hill
For a candle that is sure to wow any recipient, we like the Lavender Tea Triple Wick Candle by Sicily Hill. SPY received a sample of the stunning oversized candle from Sicily Hill and loved the beautiful gift box complete with a black carrying candle, which makes this a gift that candle lovers will treasure. The 26-ounce soy-based wax candle, which is available in several delectable scents, sits inside a painted votive holder and features three wicks for an extended burning time.
6. Slow Burn by Boy Smells
There are plenty of options by Boy Smells that are begging for a spot on your bookshelf thanks to the brand’s use of slightly R-rated titles, but when it comes to a long-lasting candle, we have to go with the aptly titled ‘Slow Burn.’ Based on country crossover singer Kacey Musgrave’s song by the same name, the candle is not only a treat for music fans, but also for anyone who appreciates a relaxing setting complete with the scent of cedarwood, vanilla, and papyrus. Made from coconut wax and beeswax, the candle is poured in LA and boasts a 50-hour burn time.
7. Lenox Luxury Candle by Harlem Candle Company
High-end, luxury candles don’t typically have extended burn times, but that’s not the case with the Lenox Luxury Candle made by the Harlem Candle Company. The 12-ounce candle is inspired by the famous Lenox Avenue in Harlem and features a vibrant combination of tangerine and tart green apple along with creamy coconut. Featuring two wicks and set inside a beautiful glass votive, the candle has an 80 hour burn time
8. Inner Strength Candles by Valerie Way and the 125 Collection
For a candle that will help light your way (candle pun!), we like the Inspirational Candles by Valerie Way. Sold in a set of three with each candle holder featuring an inspiring message, the candles each boast their own inspiring scents, from Metallic Rose to Lavendar Sage and Spicy Blood Orange. Made in the US from a coconut blend wax and featuring a 100% cotton wick, each candle boasts an impressive 70-hour burn time.
9. Coiled Beeswax Candle
For a truly unique candle that invokes a traditional feel of centuries past, there’s the Coiled Beeswax Candle. The 100% beeswax candle is designed in a coil shape and moves slowly through the candle clip as it burns. Each 3” section takes one hour to burn, creating a candle that can last users up to 60 hours. A copper finished plate and clip will add style and tradition to any décor and the candle doubles as a centerpiece that will impress guests.
10. Midsummer’s Night Candle by Yankee Candle
Yankee Candle has built an empire made of wax and for good reason. Their candles are affordable, available in a huge variety of scents, and deliver beautiful fragrances for an extended period. Case in point, the 14.5-ounce Midsommar’s Night Candle, which combines patchouli, musk, and mahogany. Made with premium-grade paraffin wax and paired with a natural-fiber wick, the clean-burning candle boasts an impressive 65-75 hour burn time. When the candle has been completely burned, the glass container can be recycled.
Does putting salt on a candle make it last longer?
Adding salt serves the same purpose as putting the candle in the freezer—it slows down the rate at which the wax melts, giving you a longer, more economical burn. But it can also be helpful to keep the candle wick trimmed to about a quarter inch in length, because longer wicks tend to hasten burning.
Does warming a candle make it last longer?
When you use a candle warmer lamp or lantern, the warming bulb melts the top layer of wax so the wax never burns away. This way you receive all of the fragrance in your wax with no carbon dioxide that burning candles produce. So now your candle will last at least twice as long!
Do candles last longer if you trim the wick?
While this is technically true, the small action of trimming the wick can help prolong the life of your candle by as much as 25 percent and keep it looking nice. Leaving a wick long means that you’ll have a larger flame, which will melt more wax and give the candle more fuel.
How long do candles usually last?
Store candles in a cool, dark and dry place with the lid on to keep them clean of dust and debris, and to help protect the wax and fragrance. Highly fragrant candles have a life span of 6 to 12 months, depending on the scent.
What kind of candles burn slower?
This is where soy reigns supreme. Paraffin wax tends to be cheaper, and burns at a much faster rate than soy wax. In comparing two candles of the same size, a paraffin candle will usually have a lifespan of 35 to 40 hours whereas a soy candle can burn for 50 to nearly 80 hours.
Are 3 wick candles better?
Yes, three wicks burn faster but having three wicks creates a candle source with more light and flame. In other words, three wick candles look cool.
Can you use a toothpick as a candle wick?
To answer your question, yes, you can use a toothpick as a candlewick.
Are wax warmers better than candles?
Wax melts absorb heat slower than traditional candles and therefore are able to release aromas without burning the oils. When you burn a candle, the opposite happens. The heat from the flame of a candle makes the wax maintain a higher temperature, causing the fragrance to diffuse into the air faster.
So, how to make a candle last longer? Here are seven different ways for you to try in your home. If you now know how to make a candle last longer, you can enjoy your favorite candle for a long time as usual.