Tips from the Experts
Few things are as captivating as the soft light and glow of a candle. But there’s an art to burning a candle properly and safely. You can generally tell if a candle is burning properly just by looking at it.
You should see:
A Calm, Steady Flame
This means that the candle’s burning process is in balance. The wick is efficiently pulling up the right amount of wax, which is then being “consumed” by the flame to produce water vapor and carbon dioxide.
No Flickering or Wisps of Smoke
Constant flickering and smoking occur when the teardrop shape of the flame is disturbed. This allows small amounts of unburned carbon particles (soot) to escape from the flame as a visible wisp of smoke. If too much (or too little) air reaches the candle flame, it will disturb the flame’s teardrop shape, causing it to soot. To avoid this, always burn your candles in a well-ventilated room, away from drafts, vents or strong air currents.
No Flare Ups or Leaping Flames
A too-long wick can cause a candle flame to grow too long and flare. That’s why it is so important to trim the wick to ¼ inch before every use. Always keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and other debris that could catch fire from the flame. If you like to group your candles, make sure they are at least 3 inches apart when burning. Candles placed too closely together can create their own draft and cause the candles to flare.
Burning a Candle Safely
Remember, a lighted candle is an open flame. Be careful. Always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.