Friday, May 13, 2016

The Dos and Don'ts of Burning Candles

I think burning a candle in your home is one of the simplest pleasures of adulthood. Gone are the days when your R.A. or boss demands you use a candle warmer; there’s nothing quite like the ambiance an open flame provides. When it comes to candles, if you want to let it burn for fifty-eleven days, um-teen hours there are some ground rules you should follow.

DO: The first and most important rule of candle care is the one that inspired me to write this post. I’ve been burning candles for way too long without realizing the first burn is insanely important as it determines the life of the rest of your candle. The first burn is called a “memory burn.” Since wax tends to follow the same patterns, the amount that you allow the top to liquify the first time is as far as it will reach in the future. You may know this frustration if you’ve had a candle that only burns down and not out; the biz refers to that as “tunneling.” Don’t let this happen to your candles, especially if you bought them at Anthropologie (because $).

DON’T: Don’t underestimate how long the “memory burn” will take, otherwise you’ll have to stay up later than intended watching Parks & Rec reruns while waiting for the top of the candle to completely liquify. I mean, I’m guessing that’s what would happen… The memory burn usually takes one hour per inch of diameter in the candle, so for the candles pictured here, you’d need to allow about 5-6 hours for this process to happen.

DO: Remember to keep the wick trimmed to ¼” at all times.

DON’T: Don’t put a lit candle on the back of a toilet stool because a few weeks ago I heard a story about how a guy caught his hair on fire while, y’know, using the toilet.

DON’T: When your candle has neared the end of its life, don’t burn it lower than ½” from the bottom of the jar. If you burn lower than this, the glass could break, and that sounds terrible.

DO: Remember you can use the jars your candles come in to make pretty stuff! After your candle has a ½” of wax left, you can place it in the freezer and gently remove the wax with a butter knife once it's hardened. You'll be able to remove the wick and reuse the glass jar for, oh, I don't know... maybe a succulent or something.

DO: Check out these candles if you're in Springfield, MO at The Market. I *love* them.