Care for your candle

3min read

Picture this. You’ve just purchased a brand new scented candle, before the box is even open you can smell the gorgeous scent, you can’t wait to light it for the first time and fill your home with the wonderful fragrance! However, as tempting as it might be, it’s best to hold off for a few moments and read through our ‘candle care’ guide before using your new candle. These seven tips will ensure that you get the most out of your candles! You’ll be rewarded with beautiful candles that burn evenly with no unsightly black smoke.

If you care for your candle, your candle will care for you!

1. The first burn matters

The first time you light your candle is what will make or break your candle’s performance over its lifetime. For the first burn, you’ll want to leave it burning for a minimum of three to four hours in order to achieve a ‘full melt pool’. This is where the wax liquifies all the way to the edges of the case and what will give you the strongest scent throw and your candle longevity.

If you were to only light your candle for around an hour for the first couple of burns, you’ll notice a the candle has burnt in a small circle within the centre of the candle known as ‘tunnelling’. This is where the wax melts straight down in a smaller radius than your case, while the wax at the edges does not melt at all. Not only will this drastically reduce the maximum burn time of your candle, there wouldn’t be a satisfactory scent throw as all the fragrance in the wax at the edges of the glass won’t be released.

Give your candle the best start to life by allowing it to burn for at least 3 hours during the first burn!

2. Give your wick a trim

The single most important thing to remember when caring for your candle is always to keep the wick trimmed before every burn. It’s the dependable way to ensure that your candle burns evenly and cleanly with no black smoke being released.

We would recommend cutting the wick down to about 5mm before lighting your candle. Any longer than this and you run the risk of creating a larger flame than intended which can pose a fire hazard or cause dripping. There’s plenty of ways you can trim your wick – you can use a dedicated wick trimmer, a pair of scissors or even (clean) nail clippers!

3. Keep your candle clean

You might notice that in between burns, the candle may start to collect dust and debris around the wick. This can be amplified if the candle is stored near a window or where there is heavy air circulation. It’s important to clean the surface of the candle before lighting – otherwise you’ll see black smoke and charring rather than the calming fragrance you’re looking for.

Keeping your wick trimmed and avoiding dropping half-burnt matches into the vessel will make this process much easier. Help your candle to last longer by keeping it clean.

4. Re-centre your wick

It’s common for a wick to start to drift to one side as the wax around it begins to melt. However, this can cause the candle to start to burn unevenly, leading to the candle not preforming correctly or even black soot on the side of the candle jar. We would recommend that after extinguishing the flame, allow the wick to cool, before gently pushing it back to the centre. The wax should still be soft which will allow the wick to move with ease.

5. Keep an eye on burn time

We understand that it’s easy to be so mesmerised by the lovely aroma of your candle and lose track of time. However, it’s important to resist the urge to keep your candle burning for hours on end. The longer the candle is lit, the warmer the glass vessel becomes and more prone to cracks.

We find that burning in intervals of four hours works best, and in the interest of safety, never light your candle when only around half a centimetre of unmelted wax remains.

6. Location matters

On the subject of safety, it’s always useful to be reminded of best practices when lighting a candle. As a general rule, try to keep the candle out of reach of children or pets, as the molten wax can scold or cause a difficult stain. Additionally, the location of the candle matters as you’ll want to ensure that there isn’t anything nearby that can catch fire. Try to avoid placing the candle near a vent or window as a draught can carry the flame and potentially cause a fire.

7. Distance your candles

After learning all about fragrance-layering, you’ll no doubt want to start concocting your own custom scents using your new scented candle. By all means, we encourage you to explore your creativity and express your individuality!

Before you start mixing and matching your candles, you’ll always want to ensure that they’re at least 15cm apart to avoid them melting each other, dripping, or potentially creating a draft that can cause a fire.


These were our top tips for candle care – you’re now fully equipped to make the most out of your new scented candle and enjoy all the benefits!


*Header image from @thehighlandmummy