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May 26, 2020

How to Properly Burn a Candle (And Make it Last)

How to Properly Burn a Candle:

The first time you burn your new candle, make sure the melted wax covers the entire surface. This usually takes 3 or 4 hours, so make sure you pick the right time for its first lighting. (Double wick candles completely this process faster.) This helps to avoid or minimize tunneling.

Tunneling is when the wax re-hardens up the sides of the jar. It never re-melts or burns evenly the next time you light it, so it’s essentially wasting some of your candle. We don’t have time for that especially when we splurge on Anthrolopie Volcano Candles.

More on the sacred first burn: Keep the candle away from moving air like AC vents, windows with a breeze, or fans. The moving air can bend the flame and get black marks on your jar.

Never pick up and move a candle while it’s burning for obvious safety reasons and to avoid messing up the wax or tunneling.

Invest in candle tools! Not only will the $20 purchase of a wick trimmer and snuffer make you feel boujee and great, but they genuinely will extend the life of all your future candles. Using scissors to cut a wick will ruin it. (Trust me, I learned the hard way so you don’t have to.)







Trim your wick.
(Hello, wick trimmer!) Keep it at 1/4″ and get rid of the ball that forms at the top. Make sure none of the trimmings fall into the wax.

Don’t blow a candle out. When you’re a child, blowing out a candle is exciting. You know what’s exciting as an adult? Using your fancy snuffer. (If you don’t have a snuffer, you can just put the lid of a candle back on top to put it out.) Blowing out a candle shakes the wax, ruining the wick and the black smoke will mark your candle jar.








Use matches. Lighting a candle with matches avoids black rings on the inside of your jar. I love strike anywhere matches (any surface will light them) and love holders that you can strike on. It’s a vibe and serves a function. Here are some of my favorites:







Keep that wick standing tall.
If your wick starts to bend to the side, warm up the wick by holding a flame next to it, trim it, and push it up straight.

Use pantyhose. If you need to clean the top of hardened wax, because of trimmings or dust, use nylon pantyhose. They clean it without leaving anything behind or scratching your wax.

How to Fix Tunneling in Your Candle:

  • Cut the wax that’s reaching up the side of the jar with a butter knife (when it’s hardened).
  • A little trickier but effective: If your candle just has a little tunneling, hold the candle on its side, hold a flame to the wax, and pour the melting wax into the trash.


Repurposing Your Empty Candle:

If part of the reason why you bought a candle was that the jar was cute, you should repurpose it! A canister on your vanity or in your kitchen. A succulent planter. A cup or a little bowl. A jewelry catch-all. You name it.

  • To make getting the rest of the wax out easier, leave a quarter to a half-inch of wax in the jar.
  • Put the candle in the freezer overnight to pop out the wax.
  • OR Melt the wax on a candle burner or by running it under hot water and pour it out.


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