Candle Burning 101
What’s the deal with beeswax? Why is my candle tunneling? Spilling? There is so much leftover wax, WTF?! We are here to dive deep into the question of how to make the most of your beeswax candles. In the past, I wasn’t much for following the rules of candle burning other than the obvious safety precautions. But, once I started my candle making journey, I became a stickler for them. These simple rules makes all the difference in maximizing your burn time and getting the most bang for your buck.
A few guidelines that apply to all candles:
Always trim the wick to 1/4 inch before burning. Every time. Every candle. Don’t skip this part!
Never leave an ignited candle unattended.
Keep out of reach of children.
If your candle is in a vessel, let the wax pool melt to the edges. Pillars too!
Keep the wax pool free of debris. They can be potential fire hazards.
Pillars are an excellent option for a long lasting candle. If you want to maximize the lifespan of your pillar, the first burn is the most important! Trim your wick to 1/4” and light. Let the wax pool to the edges. You should have a thin wall that contains the pool. This “sets the tone” for how the rest of your candle will burn.
After extinguishing the flame, while the wax is still warm, use your fingers to gently press the wall toward the center. The next time you burn your candle the heat will consume the curved wall while still containing the pool. Skipping this will result in the candle tunneling and a decreased burn time.
If you ever have extra wax, fear not. Candles get hungry too.. While your candle is burning and has a large wax pool you can “feed” it small pieces of wax. Drop them into the pool and extend your burn time while using up leftover bits from spent candles.
Glass jars, metal tins, ceramic bowls, tea cups, etc. all qualify as a vessel. Guidelines for burning a candle in a vessel are similar to pillars.
Trim the wick to 1/4” and commit a few hours for the first burn to ensure the wax pool melts completely to the edges. To extend burn time you can “feed” small bits of wax to the pool.
AKA candle sticks or dinner sticks. Perfect for short burning intervals. Typically our beeswax tapers burn at a rate of 1” per hour. Beeswax candles are dripless and a timeless addition to the dinner table (or brunch table, anyone?)
It is not necessary to commit a significant amount of time to ensure proper wax pools to form. Simply trim the wick to 1/4”, light and enjoy for as little or as long as you’d like.
Votives and Tea Lights:
Most commonly used as one burn candles.
Votives should be placed in a heat resistant vessel as wax will spill during the burning session. It’s recommended, but not necessary to add a small amount of water (approximately a TBSP) to the votive holder to more easily remove the spilled wax. Ideally, votives should be burned completely or at a minimum of one hour intervals. Trim your wick to 1/4” before lighting. The left over wax is perfect for saving to feed your other vessels or pillars.
Tea lights are your go-to for any occasion. All of our tea lights come in a recyclable aluminum tin and consume all the wax without any special handling. Trim to 1/4” and light for about 5 hours of illumination.
This category of candles encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with that being said there is no set rule for burning to create a wax pool and they often have a mind of their own.
Molded candles make wonderful decor/display pieces and beeswax does an incredible job of capturing the finest of details in the molds.
When burning a molded candle it is imperative to place upon a heat resistant dish to catch any spills. Trim the wick to 1/4” and burn within sight. Some molded candles will keep their shape quite nicely while others may spill over onto the dish. Like a votive spill, any wax not consumed during burning can be broken into small bits to feed pillars or vessels.
Please feel free to contact our team at Waxing Moon House with any questions regarding burning your beeswax candles. We’re happy to help! It is our goal to provide a clean and natural candle to illuminate your sacred spaces.
Make every moment magickal.