I enjoy candles year round, although I may not light them much in the summer, they offer a sweet decorative appeal, and in the cooler or colder months, they make a big difference around the house.

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Candle Burning Tips

These tips are not only for safety reasons, but for pleasant burning of your candles!

When lighting a candle for the first time, allow the candle to burn long enough to create a maximum melt pool. Smaller candles may only require a couple of hours, while larger candles may need about four hours. The size of the melt pool is determined during its first burn session. If a candle only forms a small melt pool, it will tunnel while burning, which does not make for an appealing candle.

Avoid placing candles in the way of drafts to prevent rapid and uneven burning. This also will prevent the wick from smoking.

Wicks can occasionally become clogged with residue from burning. This will cause the candle to not burn properly. One way to solve this is to snuff out the candle and trim the wick and relight it. Sometimes, a metal pick, such as a poultry lacer can be used to run up alongside the wick a few times, loosening any debris.

If burning multiple pillar candles, be sure to place them a few inches apart from one another to keep them from melting one another, which can cause uneven burning or melt the sides of the candles.

Keep wicks trimmed to about a quarter of an inch.

For better indoor air quality, snuff your candles out rather than blowing them out, either by using a candle snuffer or you can also use a fork that you are no longer using as dinnerware.

To use a fork, start at base wick and work upward.




Store your candles in a cool place.

Candle Safety

It's important to use good judgment when burning candles and all necessary safety precautions should always be taken.

Although some of the safety tips may be obvious, there could be some things you haven't thought of ... and you can never be too careful!

Here are just a few of the many precautions that should be taken whenever maintaining a lit candle ...

Never leave a burning candle unattended for any reason.

Keep lit candles out of reach from children. Keep lit candles out of reach from pets ... this includes areas where your pet may accidentally tip a candle over (either with tail, paw, toys, etc.)

Always keep lit candles at least a foot and a half away from any curtains, fabric, tie-backs, or any fabric that could catch fire.

If placing a candle on a tablecloth, make sure that it is on a fire-resistant plate and place the candle near the center of the table so there is no chance of a long, draping tablecloth being blown or tossed up into the candle. Use extreme caution with paper party tablecloths!

Keep burning candles on a heat-resistant surface that is stable ... fold-out tables which can easily be kicked or knocked over are not safe options. If your surface is made of wood, place your candle on a glass, ceramic, or metal plate or candle holder.

Do not use cloth doilies directly under a lit candle ... place the candle on a glass or ceramic plate, then you may place the plate on a doily.

When using tall candle holders for tapers, place in a secluded area where they will not be toppled over.

Select placement of your candles during gatherings carefully. Be especially aware of placement where guest activity is most abundant. Avoid placing candles in entry ways or near coat rooms where frequent drafts or heavy foot traffic are most likely. Also, avoid placing candles on low end-tables or in places where flowing garments of passers-by may come in contact with a burning candle.

Be careful not to place a lit candle near anything that is flammable or combustible. This includes placing a lit candle on a bookshelf or end-table where there may be a wooden shelf above the candle. Also be cautious of hanging baskets, dried floral decorations, etc.

Never walk with a burning candle, just in case you should trip or fall.

After extinguishing a candle, stay to make sure it is completely out and that the wick ember is no long glowing before leaving the room.

Do not use a candle to check for natural gas leaks or to look into a clothes closet for any reason.

Keep all ribbons, decorative toppers, and other fabrics away from a burning candle.

Never extinguish a candle with water, as it will cause the wax to splatter.

Some candles are made with longer wick tabs, which means that they will self-extinguish when the candle has burned down near the bottom. Most candles give instructions regarding when to consider the candle finished. With gel candles, fragrance oil can accumulate at the bottom and can become too hot, so, to be safe, they should no longer be burned when they have reached about a half inch from the bottom of the container.

Common sense when burning candles goes a long way!
How Candles Burn
By the National Candle Association

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