Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Case Of The Dripping Taper

As you may know by now, I love candles.  One of the things I hear a lot when I'm out on the road is "do your candles drip?"  Well let me tell you...

It doesn't matter how good a pillar or taper is, there is a chance that it could drip.  Part of this could be the fault of the chandler (the maker of the candle) and part could be how the candle is burned.  My biggest advice to candle burners is to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4". 

However, no matter how well a candle is made and no matter how well the burner tends to the candle there are still factors that could cause dripping.   This is especially true with tapers.  Drafts are usually the main culprit and a draft can be as subtle someone walking past the candle. 

My favorite way to keep tapers from accidentally messing up the expensive tablecloth is to take a cup-like container, could be a votive cup, a teacup, or a small bowl and fill it about 3/4 full with sand. You could also use rice or beans.  That way, if and when the candle decides to spill a little wax it is caught in a wide-mouthed container and spills on the sand (or other filling) instead of sticking to the glass and more importantly saves your table surface or cloth.

It works like a dream. When the candle is burned down all you have to do is pull the remains out of the sand and throw it in the garbage.* 

This method can also be used with pillars, using a bigger cup/bowl or an interesting jar large enough to accomodate the diameter of your candle.  The sand-filled container method is fun for outdoor parties in the summer, giving your indoor decor or outside party area a beachy feel. 

With this easy clean-up candle burning technique I'll bet you'll be more inclined to use candles more often! 

*Be sure the flame is extinguished, the wick is completely doused, and the wax has solidified before removing from the container.

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