Did you realize that with a few simple steps you can extend the life of your beeswax candle? Did you realize that one particular action will help eliminate any smoke produced? Most people I talked to did not know these facts. Let me shed some light on how to care for your beeswax candle.
Before I co-founded my business manufacturing and selling beeswax candles, my wife was an avid fan. Through our own trial and error of burning candles, as well as reading helpful tips on the internet, we identified a few common tips that increased the life of our beeswax candles.
Before lighting your beeswax candle you need to trim the wick to 1/4 inch (6 mm) in length. The length of the wick is important for a few reasons. If the wick is too long, the wick itself will begin to burn. It will also draw up excessive amounts of molten wax that cause the candle to burn quicker with a tall flame. Not only will it burn quicker, but this will contribute to black smoke. If the wick it trimmed too short, the flame will be too small and will not produce enough heat to properly liquefy the wax. This causes the candle to tunnel down the center, and will eventually drown out the flame. The wick length needs to be maintained during candle use. So if you burn your beeswax candle for a long period of time you may need to trim the wick. Just extinguish the candle (see below), trim the wick, and re-light.
One of the biggest complaints I hear is that the candle will tunnel down the middle. This is a concern with beeswax candles, but easily prevented. Besides starting out with the correct wick length, you must burn your candle for a minimum time. This allows the melt pool to form to its maximum size so that the side walls become pliable. The general rule of thumb is to allow your candle to burn one hour for every inch of diameter. So, if you bought a three inch diameter candle you should let it burn for a minimum of 3 hours each time you light it. Also, once the melt pool has reached it maximum size (usually within ¼ to ½ inch of the edge) and the walls become pliable, you have to "hug" the walls to ensure that they are melted and consumed by the beeswax candle. The term hugging refers to the act of pushing the side walls with you thumbs towards the center of the candle and down towards the melt molten wax. Be careful not to touch the melted wax, it's hot!
To extinguish your beeswax candle, the wick should be dunked into the molten wax. This prevents the wick from smoking and also coats it with wax to make it easier to relight next time. It is not wise to use your finger to do this since both the flame and wax are hot, so try using a metal rod or something that will not burn. Once the flame is out remember to stand the wick upright so it's ready for the next burn. If you forget, the wick will be buried as the wax pool solidifies. This is not an easy fix.
I hope that these tips will help you to enjoy your beeswax candle while prolonging the candle life and eliminating any possible disappointments.