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How To Safely Handle And Store Candles

Mar 2, 2008
You've just ordered the candle you've always wanted.

It's perfect. Great price and a great scent on top of that.

But wait just a second: before you get to use it, you should make sure that you're following the proper safety precautions. You don't want to accidentally burn down your house!

Remember the phrase, "When in doubt put it out" and take it seriously! Warnings on candles should be read carefully. For instance, a wick should be cut to 1/4 and be in the middle of the candle. The will lessen the amount of smoke produced, as well as the amount of soot produced (especially in scented candles, as they create much more).

Keeping the wick at 1/4 length will yield the best burn time. Every once in a while, the candle will burn crooked if the wick ends up leaning to one side and making a mess, or cracking the container.

You can use anything else that's small enough to get into the opening for trimming.

Candle Storage Locations

Keep candles away from drafts. When wind comes through a doorway, window, or AC, drafts can decrease the burn time of the candle, and create smoke. This can also encourage uneven burning and create a mess.

Do not place anything flammable too close to the candle. Paper, matchboxes, napkins or anything else that can catch fire might pose a safety risk.

Place candles in an area safe from kids or animals. The wax can be hot and can cause burns and if the flame is still burning it could light clothing, furniture or anything else nearby on fire.

Remember to be safe and keep the candles high and out of reach.

Pillar Candle Safety

Believe it or not, candles have their own memory, and the first time a pillar candle is burned, it needs to have a "memory burn" established. An easy rule of thumb is base the burning on a 1:1 time:candle diameter ratio.

So if it's a 2" pillar candle, it should be burned for 2 hours. This will keep the wax self contained, since there will be a 1/2 inch shell and there will be a full melt pool to amplify the area affected by a scented candle.

If a candle can't develop an appropriate "memory burn," the center of the candle will burn far too quickly, creating a hole in the middle and greatly decreasing the scent that is produced.

And if it is burned for far too long, the wax will run over the edges onto the table or whatever else it was placed on.

Votive Candles

Votive candles burn for up to 15 hours if used correctly, or as fast at 30 minutes if not.

Container Candles

Use the same burning rules as with Pillar Candles. That way you can get the most out of the candle, both in burn time and in aroma. If used properly, little or no wax is left and you'll have a nice container afterwards.
About the Author
Ian Spellfield writes about topics such as scented soy candles on his site about the Richly Scented Candle .
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