Would you believe us if we told you there’s science to burning your candles? That there’s a reason your candles burn out or hollow through the middle, leaving a horrible trail of smoky destruction in their path? Often, you find that a candle doesn’t come anywhere close to the aforementioned burn time, so instead of 40 hours, you might get 30.
In order to avoid candle-heartbreak, we spoke to Sarah Cronk from Agence de Parfum, the home for Cire Trudon, who gave us the lowdown on correctly looking after your Cire Trudon candles.
Trim that tip
If you have ever experienced black smoke emitting from your candle, listen up. “The first thing you need to do when burning candles is to always trim the wick to about an eighth of an inch before lighting it. By trimming your wick, you will avoid smoking and soot-forming in the candle as well as the little cherry we sometimes get at the top of the wick.” Doing so will also ensure the longevity of your candles.
The first thing you need to do when burning candles is to always trim to about an eighth of an inch before lighting it.
Burn it evenly
Have you ever experienced a candle welling in the centre? This is because the first burn was not long enough. Wax has a memory and the first burn is the most important. Follow this, each time the candle is lit it will follow the same path. Cronk explains “For optimum usage, you need to burn the candle until the entire surface is melted before extinguishing. This usually takes anywhere from three-to-four hours. Not only will this prolong the life of your candle, there will be no welling in the centre and the room will be perfectly scented. The ideal burn time each time should between three-to-four hours to ensure the preservation of the perfume and the wick becoming charred.”
Never blow out your candle
Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you. While we understand it’s instinctual to blow out your candle after use (it’s ok, we forgive you), Cronk says this is the biggest mistake people make. “We have just spent hours scenting our space, do not blow out your candle, no-one now wants the perfectly scented space filled with burnt smelling smoke, so let us introduce to you Les Eteignoirs – a thin brass hook that reaches out to press the lit wick into the wax, without pinching or smothering it. Under its grip, the candles flame vanishes leaving no smoke. Once raised back up and centred with the hook, you now have a perfectly wax-coated wick that can easily be lit up again.”
Repurpose and recycle
The final step to looking after your candles is the art of upcycling. For those unfamiliar, upcycling is reusing otherwise discarded objects and materials for a higher purpose, like a jar for your makeup brushes or even an elevated pen holder for your WFH desk. “How many candle jars have you thrown away when you thought I just can’t remove the wax? The last tip is to not burn your candle all the way to the base, always leave about one centimetre of non-melted wax at the bottom so the glass does not get too hot. Place your candle in the fridge or freezer overnight and the wax will pop straight out in the morning. You now have the perfect tumbler, pot plant or champagne bucket.”