Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did You Know - Christening A Candle

Did you know there’s a proper way to burn a candle for the first time? It’s vital to the long life and even burning of the candle.

First of all, make sure the wick is trimmed to ¼”. Then, with a match or lighter, light the wick. Sure, you say, what’s so “proper” about that? What happens next is the important part – the length of time you burn it.

When lighting a candle for the first time, use the following formula:

Diameter of candle = number of hours burned

For example, if you have a candle that is three inches in diameter (my standard pillar size), the initial burn should be at least three hours. If the candle is two inches in diameter, the initial burn should be at least two hours. When you have a square candle, measure diagonally from one corner to another for diameter size.

The reason for this very important christening is that candles have a memory. As the melt pool grows, the wax around the edge of the candle softens and adds to the pool. If the candle is properly made (which mine always are, of course!) the wick is smart enough to melt just the right amount of wax per hour to allow a nice, even melt pool to the edge of the candle. Once that initial melt pool has been established, subsequent burns will follow the trail of the previous burn, to the edge of the candle.

It stands to reason if a candle is initially burned for less than the recommended amount of time the melt pool will be smaller. Subsequently, when you burn the candle again, the melt pool will grow only to the point of the initial burn. This makes for a tunnel candle where the wick is surrounded by a thick wall of hard wax. The tunnel gets deeper and deeper. Not only does this make it harder to light, especially with taller candles, the melt pool is extremely small. When the melt pool is extremely small, the candle doesn’t throw out as much aroma. The size of the melt pool will determine how wonderfully fragrant your candle is when it’s burning.

Perfect melt pool after 3 1/2 hours of burning

So get the most out of your candle by making that initial burn count. Your candle will burn down evenly and the fragrance will fill your room. With behavior like that, you’ll want to hug your candle, which we’ll talk about in another tutorial down the line.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...