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How To Burn Your Candle

Burning a scented fragranced candle is as simple as lighting the wick… or is it?

If that is what you’ve been doing for as long as you can remember, you may have been doing it wrong all along. The proper way to burn a candle is by no means complicated, but there are a few things you should be doing each time you light it to make sure you are getting the most out of your candle.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the dos and don’ts for burning candles. You’ll also learn the importance of investing in a high-quality fragranced candle and discover the proper way to burn your LAFCO candle so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

Does Quality Really Matter?

Cheap scented candles aren’t good and good scented candles aren’t cheap. LAFCO fragranced candles are by no means prohibitively expensive, but you can expect to pay a little more for them than you would for generic, mass-produced scented candle.

Our emphasis on quality means that every LAFCO candle is luxuriously unique and designed with a generous burn time; up to 50 hours for our 6.5oz Classic candles, up to 90 hours for our 15.5oz Signature candles and up to 120 hours for our 30.0oz 3-Wick candles.   When your candle is finished, you can then repurpose the handblown glass vessel in a variety of creative ways so you can continue to enjoy its beauty long after the flame burns out. Your LAFCO candle vessel can be transformed into a vase for flowers or fresh herbs, a decorative container for bathroom essentials, or a lovely dish to stash your keys or loose change.

Step-by-Step for Burning Your Candle

If you’re going to invest in quality and luxury with a LAFCO fragranced candle, you want to be able to enjoy your investment for as long as possible. To make your candle last, there are a few simple steps you should follow each time you light it.

1. Trim the wick

Before you even think about lighting your candle, take the time to trim the wick. Using scissors, nail clippers, or (the best option) a wick trimmer, cut the wick down to about ¼ inch above the surface of the wax (Note: you don’t need to trim the wick on the candle’s first burn). Why? A trimmed wick will burn clearer and brighter – it won’t have that chunk of burning black wick in the middle of the flame.  Plus trimming your wick will ensure you are getting the maximum amount of burn time out of your candle.

Untrimmed wicks can also result in a mushroom-shaped debris and at the tip of the wick that can dull the brightness of the flame. You may also end up with smoky soot stains on the inside of the glass, or debris floating in the melt pool, if you don’t trim the wick. Simply put, keeping the wick trimmed helps you keep the flame the right size so your candle burns brightly and evenly each time you light it.

2. Let the wax melt all the way across the surface

If you’re using a scented candle to freshen up a room, you may be tempted to leave it burning only as long as necessary to add some fragrance. The problem with blowing out your candle too soon is that the wax won’t burn easily. You also may end up with something called tunneling – the wick will sink lower and lower into the middle of the candle, forming a sort of tunnel instead of melting evenly all the way around.

The right way to burn a candle is to let it burn until the top layer of wax is completely melted across the top of the vessel.  This is especially important on the initial burn, but consistently burning this way will ensure your candle burns evenly throughout its use.  Keep in mind that this could take a couple of hours, depending on the size of the candle, so try not to light your candle unless you can give it the time it needs to burn evenly. As an added bonus, burning your candle for longer periods of time means that the fragrance will be stronger.

3. Keep the candle away from moving air

Where you place your scented candle is very important. Many people choose to use scented candles in smaller spaces such as a bathroom or guest room, though you can easily use a bigger candle to freshen up larger spaces such as the foyer or living room. No matter where you choose to place your candle, be sure to keep it away from drafts or moving air – this includes fans, air conditioners, open windows, and areas where people travel back and forth. Moving air disturbs the flame, leading to an uneven burn and can cause the formation of soot marks on the glass.

You should also be mindful of what type of candle you purchase. Large, single-wick candles may have a tendency to burn unevenly, leaving you with a dark ring around the inside of the vessel or a pool of wax on one side of the candle. The rule of thumb to follow is one wick for no more than 4 inches of diameter, which is why our 15.5oz Signature candles are just less than 4 inches wide. If you are looking for a larger candle choose a multiple wick option, like our 30oz 3-wick assortment.

Whether you’re looking for a single-wick or 3-wick candle, check out LAFCO New York’s collection of fragranced candles.

Tips For Buying The Perfect Scented Candle To Burn

By now you have a thorough understanding of the proper way to burn a scented candle, but it won’t do you any good unless you actually have a candle to burn! Choosing the right candle is not just about finding a fragrance that appeals to you – it also has to do with choosing the right vessel, the proper size, and buying from a reputable brand.

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind next time you go candle shopping:

  • Consider soy candles. Cheap candles are often made with paraffin wax which can emit toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene when burned. Soy, which is the base of LAFCO’s candle wax, is plant-based and completely natural. It burns more evenly than paraffin and more cleanly.
  • Choose the right wick. Just as important as the wax, is the wick. Inexpensive candles may use wicks with wire woven into them, so they remain upright during burning. This can sometimes cause the wick to burn unevenly and quickly. If you trim the wick before burning, however, a wire wick isn’t necessary. Choose a 100% cotton wick instead so it will burn evenly and smoke less.
  • Pay attention to the vessel. The shape of your candle vessel matters greatly. If the neck is narrower than the base, it will funnel the heat upward and cause the edges of the jar to become stained with soot. An open vessel allows air to circulate around the wick for a more even burn.
  • Avoid dark colors. Pigmented candles have a tendency to drip and to burn unevenly. The problem is that the pigment may prevent the wick from absorbing melted wax and get ‘clogged’. When the wick doesn’t get enough melted wax to feed the flame, the candle could put itself out. LAFCO doesn’t add any color to its candles for just this reason.
  • Choose oil-based fragrances. Water and oil simply do not mix, so candles made with water-based fragrances may not burn well or distribute the fragrance evenly. Choose an essential oil-based fragrance for the most even burn and the most noticeable fragrance.

Scented candles can transform your home into a relaxing oasis in a matter of minutes or, depending on the scent you choose, they can also fill you with a natural energy and vibrancy. Choosing a candle is about more than just picking the right fragrance, however. You also need to think about the materials from which it is made, the type of fragrance used, and the vessel itself.

LAFCO New York offers a wide variety of fragranced candles, all of which are hand poured into handblown glass vessels. Choose from a wide variety of fragrances then follow the tips above to get the most out of your candle and enjoy it for as long as possible.

  1. I love that you talked about how to find the best candles with fragrances. Recently, my sister mentioned she’s been looking for the perfect candle for her yoga and meditation sessions. I said I’d help her find one, and I think your article will make my quest easier! Thanks for the advice on choosing a candle with an open-like vessel.

  2. My favorite part of this article is scent candles that are cheap aren’t excellent, and scented candles that are nice aren’t cheap. Someone recently told me about this and it is different from what I understand. Thanks for helping me understand candles.

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