Scented candles are one of our favourite additions to a home, and instantly make a home feel cosy and uplifted. Like many, you may think there is no right or wrong way to burn a candle. However, there are a few common problems that people experience that can easily be fixed with a few simple steps. Here are four of the most common issues we are asked about, and the simple ways you can get the most out of your candle.
How to stop your candles from tunneling?
One of the most frustrating problems, when you spend money on a luxury candle, is when the wax ‘tunnels’. Tunneling means only part of the candle melts down the middle and excess wax is left to waste around the outside of the container. And one thing we dislike at Valley Mill is waste.
Even though it is a very common problem, there is a very simple fix. When burning a candle, make sure to allow a full melt pool to develop before extinguishing the candle. Allow the wax to melt completely across the surface, to the edge of the container, before blowing it out. It is very important to ensure this, particularly, the first time lighting the candle due to the wax’s ‘memory’. The wax memory means the first time you melt soy wax, it creates a pattern for how it melts during future uses.
The time it takes to achieve a full melt pool varies, depending on the size of candle and the type of wick. For our wood wick candles, we recommend burning the candle for roughly 3 hours before extinguishing it.
Why won’t the wick relight or stay lit?
One of the most common issues we are asked about is why a wood wick candle won’t relight after the first burn. This can be caused by tunneling, but the most common fix is simply to trim the wick.
Once a wooden wick has been lit and burnt for a few hours, it leaves behind black, charred wood. Like on a normal wood fire, charred wood won’t burn properly due to the lack of oxygen. If you try to relight a wood wick that has not been trimmed, you will likely find that it either does not burn properly at all or will only light for a few seconds before extinguishing itself. Not only will an untrimmed wick struggle to relight, but it may also cause excessive smoke or not melt the wax properly, becoming another cause of tunneling.
The charred section of the wick should be easy to remove; either break off the black wood or use scissors or nail clippers on sections that are harder to trim. It’s also important, however, to make sure not to trim the wick too much. It may become submerged in melted wax and will make the candle even more difficult to light in the future.
This also goes for standard string wicks too. Trim the wick so that it burns properly, reduces excessive smoke, and doesn’t become so long that it falls into the melted wax. However, don’t trim it too much that it becomes submerged in wax and cannot be relit.
How can I maximise the candle scent?
When choosing a scented candle, the key factor is the candle’s scent throw. The scent throw is how well the scent of a candle is released and how far it travels. When choosing any new fragrances, our candles go through rigorous testing; to find the perfect fragrance-wax-wick balance to create the best scent throw. That being said, there are a few things you can do to help maximise the scent throw when burning it at home.
Firstly, consider the size of the space compared to the size of the candle. Larger rooms will need a larger candle, or more of them, to properly fill the room with your chosen scent. It’s also important to consider where the candle is placed in a room. If it is placed close to a window that is regularly opened or a draughty door, this allows the fragrance to escape from the room quicker.
Maximising scent throw is also a reason why you should allow a full melt pool when burning a candle. Allowing the candle to burn for long enough ensures that the wax melts properly and the fragrance oil can evaporate. However, don’t burn it for more than four hours, as you may find the scent becomes less noticeable. Another way to counteract this is to burn different scented candles in different rooms. Your olfactory senses (sense of smell) will notice the different scents as you move through your home so that remain noticeable for longer.
Why is there wax left once the wick has run out?
When using candles, it is advised to discontinue use when roughly 1/2-1/4 inch of wax is left. This reduces the risk of the container overheating and causing damage to the surface beneath.
If you don’t want the remaining wax to go to waste, we have a handy top tip just for you! There are two ways to remove the wax once the candle is finished. Firstly, you can place the candle in your freezer for several hours. This will cause the wax to freeze and shrink, making it easier to remove from its container. The second method is to very carefully pour boiling water into the candle. This will melt the wax, causing it to rise to the surface. Once it has cooled and reset, you will be able to pop the remaining wax out. The wax can then be turned into wax melts, ensuring you get absolutely everything out of your scented candle. Plus, this makes it easier to clean and recycle the container or reuse it for practical or decorative purposes.
So there you have it, our 4 top tips on how to get the most out of your Valley Mill scented candles. If there any other questions you may have, never hesitate to get in touch via email or social media!
You can see more tips from the experts here Getting Started with Candle Making at Home: Tips from the Experts