Candle Care: Helpful Tips and Tricks to Make Your Candle Last Longer

Enjoying a new candle is something that brings happiness and comfort; it fills spaces with scents you enjoy—ones that can energize or calm you. It can bring a freshness or spice to the air or take you back to a memorable event when you smell it. Candles are magical that way.

But don’t you hate when you burn a candle and have wax left around the outer edges? All of that wonderful candle scent left in the jar. Wasted. 

Or you just can’t get the wick to light or stay lit?

With these candle care tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your candle for longer, burn it cleaner, and keep it looking beautiful—the way it’s meant to be.

Soy Candle Care Instructions

Many people aren’t aware that proper candle care gives your candle a longer-lasting burn life and results in a candle surface that is clean and even. 

Use these candle care tips to maximize the life of your candle and follow the candle care tricks if you need to fix it!

Pre-Burn Candle Preparation

Preparing your candle for its first burn is essential to starting off right. This is true for candles that have a cotton or wood wick.

Tip 1: Trim the wick to 1/4 inch above the wax. 

Tip 2: Remove trimmings using tweezers, tipping it upside down, or wiping with a damp cloth.

Every candle wick needs to be trimmed before it is lit. This keeps the candle from smoking, popping, or creating soot. 

A wick trimmer is ideal for the job because its specific angle easily cuts the cotton or wood wick straight across. But scissors will work too. Just be sure to remove any trimmings that fall onto the candle surface.

The First Burn

Allowing extra time for your first burn is an important step many people don’t know about. The first burn of your soy candle may be the most important one to keep the longevity of your candle.

Tip 3: Burn your candle for at least 2 hours—long enough for the wax to melt all the way to the edges. 

Allowing time for the wax to melt the entire surface of the candle will keep it from making those rings around the edges. This is called tunneling and it’s what leaves wax behind in the jar. 

Larger candles will need longer than 2 hours to burn so be sure that when you light your candle you allow for the extra time needed. Plus, this will give it time for the scent to fill the room—even the whole house—if your candle has a greats cent throw.

Candle Care Tips and Tricks When Mishaps Happen

But what if you need to leave and have to blow the candle out sooner—before the melted wax reaches the edges? That happens of course! Or maybe you have other candles you couldn’t bear to get rid of that have tunneling and are hoping to fix.

Good news. There is a trick for this—and other important tricks if you have a candle that isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.

Candle Care Tip For Getting Rid of Rings or Tunnelling

If you have excess wax on the edge of your candle or it has started tunneling, there is a solution. You’re going to need a strip of foil and to set aside at least 2-3 hours for this candle care trick.

Use these steps to get your candle back to a clean, even surface.

Step 1: Wrap a strip of tin foil around the top edge of your candle. 

Step 2: Fold the foil inward so that it hangs over the area with the wax build-up. This might be all the way around the candle or it might just be on one side.

Step 3: Create an opening in the foil at the top of the candle that’s wide enough for it to burn correctly. 

Step 4: Burn the candle for at least 2 hours or until the wax has melted all the way to the edges of the candle. 

Remove the foil and you'll have a beautiful, even, and smooth wax surface again!

Candle Care Tip When Wick Won’t Light

When your candle wick won’t light, it usually means the wick is too short or, in the case of a cotton wick, it’s bent over and covered with wax.

Melting the wax just around the wick is a great trick for this candle issue.

You can use a blow dryer or heat gun to soften the wax. You can even use a long lighter, but it will take a little bit longer.

If your wick is buried, bring the wick up from the softened wax with a pair of tweezers, a Q-tip, or even a toothpick so it’s completely out of the wax. Keep it held upright while the wax cools. You may need to wipe the excess wax off the wick for it to stay lit.

If your wick is too short, you’ll want to dab up the melted wax from around the wick with a paper towel. Do this carefully of course. The wick should show about 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the wax.

Let the candle cool before lighting again. But then once you do, make sure the wax melts all the way to the edges. This will smooth out the surface if you needed to dig a little bit into the candle wax.

Candle Care Tip For When Wick Won’t Stay Lit

If you have a candle that keeps going out by itself and won’t stay lit there is usually one main reason. For wood wicks, the reason is that the wick is too charred to stay lit. When cotton wicks get wax on them, they also won’t stay lit. 

There are easy tricks for both of these types of wicks--wood or cotton.

If your candle has a wood wick, trim off the charred wood. The burnt part of the wood won't stay lit and is what is causing the issue. Remove the burnt part of the wood wick using a wick trimmer, paper towel, or tissue. Then re-light.

If you have a candle with a cotton wick, grab a paper towel or napkin to keep nearby then light the candle for a few seconds. Once you blow it out, use the paper towel to wipe off any excess wax that’s on the wick. Re-light and repeat if needed. Just one time usually does the trick though—quick and simple.

For both of these tricks, be sure to use caution so you don’t burn yourself--the wicks should not be too hot when you take care of your candle this way.

Other Just-As-Important Candle Care Tips

Even though some of these might seem like common sense or they may be tips you’ve heard of before, they’re still important to mention and to follow when burning your candle.

  • Choosing the perfect spot for your candle, doesn’t just include where it looks the best. It also should sit on a level, fire-resistant surface. 
  • Light your candle in a place away from drafts. This includes airflow from fans, open windows, air conditioner, etc. The air can blow the flame towards the sides of jar giving it those smokey marks and even soot in the wax. Or even worse, blow the flame into something that might catch fire! 
  • To ensure the utmost safety, keep it out of reach of children and pets, and never burn on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Do not burn for more than 4 hours at a time, leave unattended, or burn while sleeping.
  • Keep dust off the surface of the wax by storing your candle with the lid on. Dust on the surface can affect the scent of the candle—and no one wants that.

Candle Care Tips For Each Time You Burn Your Candle

Each time you burn your candle, be sure to trim the wick and allow wax to melt all the way to the outside edges.

These tips will help you care for your candle and give it a long-lasting burn life. And most of all, you’ll enjoy your candle to its fullest.

Interested in those wick trimmers mentioned above? Check out these black matte wick trimmers from Bungalow and maybe find a new candle to care for too!