You've been burning your candle wrong all this time

Have you been burning your candle WRONG? Why you should never burn your wick for more than three hours – and the simple tricks to make them last

  • Estelle Omnes from Diptyque said you should only light a candle for three hours
  • She revealed why freezing the remaining wax is good for cleaning the vessel
  • Estelle also said you need to re-centre the wick every time you use the candle 
  • The expert also recommends using a spoon or candle snuffer to blow it out

An expert from the luxury candle brand Diptyque has revealed why you’ve been burning your scented candle all wrong – and her top five tips and tricks for getting more life from your product.

Candles are popular gifts at Christmas, but they can quickly burn right down if you don’t work on maximising their life span.

Estelle Omnes from Diptyque said you should always burn a candle for between two and three hours when you first light it, and you need to re-centre the wick every time you blow one out.

An expert from the luxury candle brand Diptyque has revealed why you’ve been burning your scented candle all wrong – and why you should re-centre the wick every time

LIGHT IT WELL FIRST TIME 

‘When you first light a candle, burn it for at least two to three hours,’ Estelle told Mecca.

This is to ensure that the wax melts evenly and to the edge and bottom of the candle, and to prevent tunnelling.

Tunnelling is when a candle doesn’t burn evenly and so it creates a hole or ‘tunnel’ in the candle. 

The expert said a decent 190 gram candle should burn for at least 60 hours.

She said when you first light a candle, you should burn it for just two to three hours, as this helps you to avoid ‘tunnelling’

RE-CENTRE YOUR WICK 

Alongside the right burning time, Estelle explained why the wick of your candle needs to be re-centred every time you burn it.

‘Once you have put out the candle, use something like a match to re-centre the wick while the wax is still soft,’ she said.

This will make sure your candle burns evenly and helps to prevent it from going down too fast.

TRIM THE WICK 

Estelle said you should trim the wick to around three millimetres, which will help the wick to go down at the same speed as the candle.

This is especially important if you’re burning your candle for longer than three hours.  

If you don’t do this, the candle will begin to burn the cotton of the wick – ‘which is what creates the black smoke and blackens the candle holder’.

How can you get more from your candle? 

1. Make sure the top of the candle is transparent with liquid before you extinguish it for an even burn.

2. Avoid burning your candle for longer than three hours to avoid wasting the wax.

3. Re-centre the wick after each burn to prevent the wick from shifting and blackening.

4. Trim the wick before you burn and if it then has black smoke coming out of it, then trim it.

5. Make sure the wick is never longer than two millimetres.

6. Freeze the container after use to get rid of the remaining wax so you can put another candle inside.

DON’T BLOW IT OUT

While it’s traditional to blow out candles, Estelle said she always uses either a spoon or a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame.

This is because blowing out a candle brings a smell of smoke, and the sparks can also carry through a room. 

PREP IT IN THE FREEZER FOR RE-USE 

There are countless ways to remove leftover wax from the container when the candle has finished burning.

But Estelle said the most effective is to put the empty vessel in the freezer overnight, which ‘shrinks’ the wax so it can be removed by hand.

Then, you can get rid of any excess wax with alcohol and hot water.

The other approaches she recommends include microwaving the remaining wax and pouring hot water into it and waiting for the wax to solidify and settle.

You could also remove all wax and use the container for something else entirely. 

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