Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Candle Burning Tips

There's nothing more cozy than a room accessorized with burning candles. To make the most of your ambiance and the life of your candles, Auntie B offers some friendly tips.

1. Most important to a quality burn is the practice of wick trimming. The wick should measure no more than 1/4 inch when you light it. Keep an eye on the flame while it's burning - if the flame becomes very long or if you see black smoke arising from the flame, blow out the candle, trim the wick to 1/4 inch, and light again. Be careful of the hot, melted wax when re-trimming.

2. Keep candles away from drafts. This will keep the flame centered and steady for an even burn.

3. Burn a candle for at least as many hours as the diameter of the candle. For example, if the candle is 3 inches in diameter, burn for at least 3 hours. This is especially important when burning a candle for the first time. This practice provides a good melt pool in the candle. A good melt pool provides maximum scent release and an even-burning candle.

4. Always put candles on/in appropriate holders. Votives should always be burned in cups. Pillars should be on a plate or holder at least 1/2 inch larger in diameter than the candle. Bobeches are handy with tapers. They are decorative glass discs that slip over the taper and rest on the candle holder, catching any drips that may occur.

5. Before burning a votive, cover the bottom of the cup with water. This small layer of water will keep the melted wax from sticking to the bottom of the cup.

6. When burning candles in a fireplace, it isn't necessary to open the flue. However, if your fireplace has glass doors, keep them open while burning the candles. Failure to do so will cause excessive heat and will melt the candles from the surfaces as well as from the centers. This could result in uneven burns and a big mess of melted wax on your holders and floor of the fireplace.

7. High-quality candles usually cost more. Avoid "cheap" candles as they could be made from a lower-grade wax which cause excessive smoking. You can usually count on getting what you pay for when it comes to candles.

8. Never, ever leave a candle unattended. Your attention to the burning candles will not only maximize your candlelit experience, but will also avoid most dangerous candle-related accidents.

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