Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Candle Burning Myths

Let's talk about some candle burning myths!!

Question: Is it true that if I put a candle in the freezer it will burn longer and not drip?

NO!  I have no clue how this myth ever got started!   The only thing you do by placing a candle in the freezer is ruin the candle.

First, you introduce moisture into the wick, which can make the candle difficult to light, cause it to spark or sizzle, or simply not burn at all.

Second, The candle may crack.  This can be especially dangerous should the candle crack after it has already been lit!

Third, There will be less room in your freezer for your favorite frozen snack!

Seriously, this is not a good idea.  Keep candles in a cool, dry place.  Not a frozen one!

Question: I was told that you should never blow out a candle.   What is it that I should do instead of blowing it out?

This is correct.  While extinguishing a candle by blowing it out seems perfectly effective, there are some reasons not to, and better methods.  Often when blowing out a candle, in addition to blowing out the flame, you also blow tiny droplets of wax onto the surrounding area.  This can cause damage to your furniture, or other items.  While placing your hand behind the flame as you blow it out can reduce it, you run the risk of the droplets blowing back into your eyes and face, causing harm.
Snuffing out the candle, as it is called, is the preferred method for extinguishing candles.  By snuffing a candle, you are not merely blowing it out; rather, you are depriving it of its needed air flow.  This causes the candle the extinguish itself.  Click here or here for two nice candle snuffers.

Question: What is appropriate way to display candles?

All too often I will see the most beautiful candles displayed in some of the most brilliant settings.  While candles are designed (for the most part) to be burned, it is understandable that burning candles at all times is not possible.

A burning candle is a symbol of warmth and hospitality.   It indicates to the guests or special member of the household that their presence is an important one.  Candles, while not burning should not be displayed with newly cut wick (wick that has not been before lit).  A candle should be displayed at least 10% burned.  In other words if you had a 12" taper candle on a mantle, just over the first inch should be burned down.  In addition to the traditional values in doing so it also provides for an authentic, lived in and/or entertained look, a look which is certainly the objective of any decorator.

Also, PLEASE... keep your dinner taper candles standing straight!  An inexpensive can of sticky wax is all it takes and it can be reused over and over!

Question: I burn candles all the time, and I find that I would like to save money and could use some hints.  Any ideas?


Think about mixing unscented with scented candles!   Unscented candles produce the same environment at a significant saving to you!   Yet, place a few scented candles around to enhance the room's atmosphere as well.

Think about scattering many smaller candles, perhaps votive and tea lites (in their proper holder), instead of a few bigger candles!  Tea lites and votive, especially unscented, tend to be very affordable, not to mention how easy they are to replace once they burn clean out of their holders!

Next, realize that although a candle is designed to burn ALL of the wax from which it is made, this isn't always a reality.  While in most cases this wax ends up in the garbage, (Please remember to always discard wax and oil products in a responsible manner.) it is possible to utilize it further.  "Wax Chip Simmerers" are designed to melt small pieces of wax from the heat generated from a tea light candle placed below.  Simply break up your extra scented wax into small chips, and utilize them for this purpose!  Once the wax no longer scents the room, discard it in a responsible manner!

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