Proper soy candle wick care.

Proper soy candle wick care.

Proper candle wick care is essential for ensuring the best results from your candles, maximizing their burn time, fragrance throw, and overall performance. Good wick maintenance can prevent common issues such as uneven burning, excessive soot, and wick drowning. Here are some essential tips for maintaining your candle wicks to achieve optimal results:

**Trimming the Wick:**
One of the most important steps in candle wick care is trimming the wick to an appropriate length before each use. Ideally, the wick should be trimmed to about 1/4 inch (6 mm). This helps maintain a clean and even burn, preventing the flame from becoming too large and producing excessive soot. A long wick can cause the candle to burn too quickly, wasting wax and reducing the overall burn time. Use a wick trimmer or sharp scissors to achieve a precise cut, and always trim the wick when the wax has cooled to avoid debris falling into the molten wax.

**Centering the Wick:**
Ensuring that the wick is centered in the candle is crucial for even burning. A wick that leans to one side can cause the candle to burn unevenly, leading to tunneling—where a tunnel forms down the center of the candle, leaving unused wax around the sides. After each burn, while the wax is still soft, gently reposition the wick to the center if it has shifted. Consistently centering the wick helps maintain an even wax pool and maximizes the candle’s lifespan.

**Avoiding Drafts:**
Burning a candle in a draft-free environment is important for maintaining a steady flame and preventing uneven burning. Drafts can cause the flame to flicker, leading to soot formation and an irregular wax pool. To protect your candle from drafts, place it in a stable area away from open windows, fans, and high-traffic areas. Using a candle holder or hurricane lamp can also shield the flame from air currents, promoting a more consistent burn.

**Proper Burn Cycles:**
When burning a candle, it is best to allow it to form a complete melt pool across the surface of the wax each time it is lit. This process usually takes about one hour per inch of candle diameter. Allowing the wax to melt completely from edge to edge prevents tunneling and promotes an even burn. Avoid burning the candle for more than four hours at a time to prevent the wick from mushrooming (forming a carbon deposit) and to reduce the risk of the candle container overheating.

**Extinguishing the Candle:**
To extinguish the candle, use a snuffer or dip the wick into the molten wax pool with a wick dipper and then straighten it. This method minimizes smoke and helps to prime the wick for the next use, keeping it in optimal condition. Blowing out the candle can cause the wick to smolder and produce excess smoke, which can affect the candle's fragrance and cleanliness.

By following these tips for candle wick care, you can ensure that your candles burn cleanly, evenly, and for the longest possible time, enhancing your candle-burning experience and making the most of your investment. Proper maintenance not only preserves the aesthetic and functional qualities of your candles but also promotes a safer and more enjoyable environment to create your Life Lived Well.

~Dr. Holland

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