7 Ways We're All Burning Candles Wrong

Have you ever been in a frustrating situation where your candle is burning at an alarming rate, and there’s hardly any scent coming from it? There's nothing worse than lighting a scented candle with expectations of your room being filled with its aroma, only to be disappointed by the lack of smell from fragrance oils and minimal burn time. We all want to get the most out of our candles, but most don't realize that they are burning them wrong. Read on to learn 7 ways we're likely engaging in incorrect candle-burning practices so that you can enjoy every last second of every luxurious fragrance down to even the smallest flicker!

Not Trimming the Wick of the Candle

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make while burning candles is not trimming the wick enough. A long wick can cause the candle flame to become too large, resulting in more soot and potentially damaging the glass jar. The wick should be maintained at about a quarter of an inch, which can be easily achieved with proper trimming.

Additionally, trimming the wick will prolong the candle's lifespan, as it reduces the likelihood of tunneling. Tunneling, when the candle wax only melts in the center, can cause the candle to burn unevenly and become useless.

Therefore, it's essential to always remember to trim the wick of your candle for a better, cleaner, and longer burn.

Not Burning Your Candle Long Enough the First Time

When burning a candle for the first time, it's important to let it burn until the entire surface has melted. This process is known as 'priming the candle' and is crucial for proper burning in the future. Failing to do this can lead to tunneling and uneven burning, which can shorten the lifespan of your candle and decrease its efficiency.

In addition, the first burn sets the 'memory' for the candle, which means if you don't let it burn evenly, it will continue to burn that way. So, the next time you light your candle, take the time to let it burn long enough until the top layer of wax is melted all the way to the perimeter of the candle container. It's a small investment of time that will ensure you get the most out of your candle, both in terms of longevity and fragrance throw.

Using the Wrong Container

One of the most common mistakes people make when burning candles is using the wrong container. Many people overlook the importance of choosing the correct container when it comes to burning candles. Choosing the wrong container can lead to several issues, such as the wax melts faster and spills out, the wax can overheat, or the container can explode.

It is important to ensure that the container you use for your candles is designed to withstand high temperatures and is made of a heat-resistant material such as Italian glass. Additionally, the container should be sturdy and stable, ensuring that it won't tip over or be knocked over easily, avoiding candle wax melt pool. This not only prevents accidents but also ensures that the candle burns evenly.

Placing Candles Too Close Together

Another mistake people make when burning candles is placing them too close together. When candles are placed too close together, they can melt each other, causing the wax to pool and creating uneven burn patterns. The heat generated from the candles can cause nearby objects, such as decorations or furniture, to catch fire.

To avoid this, it is important to place candles at least three inches apart. This not only ensures that the candles burn evenly but also helps prevent accidents or fires from occurring. It is essential to also place candles on heat-resistant surfaces and keep them away from flammable materials such as curtains or papers. Following these safety tips ensures you can enjoy the warm glow of a scented soy wax candle without risking harm or damage to your surroundings.

Blowing Out The Burning Candle to Extinguish It

Blowing out your candles to extinguish them may seem like the most straightforward and hassle-free way to put an end to your candlelight experience. But did you know that blowing out your candles could cause more harm than good? When we blow out our candles, we introduce oxygen to the wick, which can cause the wax to vaporize and create soot. This soot can eventually cause discoloration of surfaces and even damage your walls and ceilings over time.

Moreover, blowing out candles can lead to hot melted wax splattering and could potentially lead to a fire hazard. This is particularly true if you blow out your candles too aggressively, as it can cause the hot wax to fly in various directions.

So what is the best way to extinguish your candles? The answer is simple: use a candle snuffer. A candle snuffer is a specialized tool designed to safely and effectively put out candles. It works by cutting off the oxygen supply to the wick, completely extinguishing the flame without any risk of splattering wax.

In addition to being safer, using a candle snuff can also prolong the life of your candle. This is because blowing out a candle can cause the wick to become damaged, resulting in a shorter burn time. With a candle snuff, you can gently put out the flame without causing any harm to the wick.

Blowing out your candles may seem like a quick and straightforward solution, but it can lead to several problems. By investing in a candle snuffer, you can keep your home safe and extend the life of your candles.

Not Watching The Candle Burning Time

One of the most common ways people burn candles wrong is by not paying attention to the burn time. As tempting as it may be to keep a candle burning all day, it can significantly reduce its lifespan and even pose a fire hazard. Most candles have a recommended burn time: how long you should burn them in one sitting. Usually, this is around two to four hours, depending on the candle's size and density. If you burn your candles for longer than the recommended time, they become more likely to produce soot and smoke, which can stain walls and ceilings. Additionally, the wick can become too long and can start to flicker, potentially causing a fire. To ensure proper candle burn time, trim your wick to ¼ inch before relighting, and never leave a candle burning unattended. By doing so, you can extend your candles' life and create a safer home environment.

How Long Should You Burn a Candle?

When it comes to burning candles, it's important to know how long to light them to get the most out of each use. The general rule of thumb is to burn candles for one hour for every inch of its diameter. For example, a three-inch diameter candle should burn for three hours each time to ensure a clean and even burn.

Additionally, burning a candle for too long can lead to soot buildup, which creates a black residue on the inside of the container. Knowing how long to burn your candle and properly trimming its wick are crucial to maximizing its lifespan and enjoy the many benefits of burning scented candles.


Good candle practices come down to being mindful of your habits and ensuring you're using the right wick, wax, and match. There are a few small steps that, when taken together, can make a substantial difference in how well your candle burns and spreads its scent. By understanding the components of an excellent candle-burning experience, you can ensure you get the most from every flame. With these tips, you'll enjoy all the ambiance of candles without unnecessary worry or discomfort.

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