The perfect accompaniment to any at-home facial, Sunday spring clean, or unexpected visit from the in-laws, candles are like a cleanser for your apartment, banishing bad juju and inspiring a sense of calm.
Though, candle burning does require some caution, not for the overwhelming smells-deliciousy dream state you’ll enter, but for the associated fire risks and potential waxidents (walked right into that one, didn’t you) inside the home.
Here are the top 5 mistakes you might be making:
1. Failing to set the memory of your candle
One that even the candle connoisseurs may not be well acquainted with! The size of the first burn actually determines the life of your candle (subsequent burns won’t melt beyond this initial wax pool). If you haven’t melted your candle close enough to the edge, tunnelling can occur. This is when the candle burns hollow and leaves an unused mantle of wax. A darn waste!
To avoid this, do not burn for less than an hour. We recommend 3-hour stints.
2. Not trimming the wick
Like goldilocks, you’ve gotta find a wick length that’s juuust right. And more often than not the experts are saying this is around the 7mm mark. A trim wick creates a calm and steady flame, which means the burning process is balanced.
If your wick is too short you risk the wax not burning all the way to the edge, and if your wick is too long it may mushroom and smoke, causing black soot to form on the glass. Not so cute!
3. Favouring aesthetics over safety
We’re asking you to fight the urge to place your candle in an aesthetically pleasing spot before taking in the entire surroundings. Is your coffee table too close to those sheer curtains you just installed? Forget it. Are you going to risk heat and smoke right next to your TV? Not if there’s a chance you’ll miss the next episode of White Lotus. Your windowsill looks bare? What did we say about calm, steady flames!!
4. Meddling with mealtime
Truth be told you can burn candles during dinner parties, just as long as you don’t interfere with what’s simmering away on the stove. Find candles that complement your cooking, and generally speaking, this is inspired by the seasons. A really energetic citrus base suits summer salads in the same way a smokey wood scent works with soups and stews in the winter.
If you’re ever unsure, just leave the candle burning to periods of the day that aren’t already reserved for snacking.
5. Disposing of wax and jars correctly
Used candle jars belong in the yellow bin, but only when all lingering wax has been removed. So if you aren’t going to reuse (makeup brush holder, tiny pot plant, lolly jar?) here’s how to recycle.
You can either a) add warm water* to the jar to loosen leftover wax, before scooping out with a spoon or b) freeze** your near finished candle to also go in with a spoon and lift out those last bits sticking to the base.
Clean the jar with soapy water then add to the pile of cardboard and soft plastics you’ve been meaning to take out since last bin day.
*Warm, not boiling. This may cause the glass to crack.
**A couple of hours only. Any longer and the glass is more prone to cracking.
Other BIG No-No’s!
- Never leave a candle unattended, always burn within sight.
- Never place within reach of little kiddies or curious dogs/cats/fish.