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How To Lengthen The Life Of A Candle

A big question I get asked when people are shopping at Island Sham Farmhouse is, "why are my candles burning so quickly?" If you read through my previous blog, you now know the subpar candlemakers add paraffin to their soy wax (and other waxes) in order for candles to burn faster and for you as a consumer to purchase more. However, there are ways to prolong the life of your candle that many don't think of. This blog post is here to help you get the best out of your dollars spent and to enjoy your candle right down to the blissful end.

One of the most critical ways you can extend the life is your candle involves the wick. For many of you that follow our crazy candle journey on Instagram, you know I add almost weekly reminders in our stories to TRIM THOSE WICKS! Luckily, the candle gods were good to us with the invention of the wick trimmer. These handy tools take the guesswork (and crazy body contorting) out of cutting your wicks.


They are angled so that they can fit down into virtually any candle vessel, making them much more user friendly that just a plain ol' pair of scissors. It is critical that every single time (yes I mean it, EVERY SINGLE TIME), that you trim the wick on your candle. Not only does this decrease the danger that comes with candle burning (smaller wick = less heat = less chance you will burn your home down), but it also elongates the life of your candle. The hotter a candle gets, the faster it will melt away. Therefore, ensuring your wick is always trimmed can literally hours upon hours to the life of a candle.

I often get asked, "Julia, how do I know how much wick to trim off?" The mathematical answer is to trim it to 1/4 of an inch. However, if you are like me and measuring isn't your strong suit, wick trimmers again come to the rescue. In the picture on the right, you see the head of the trimmer. And wouldn't you know...? The thicker side is exactly 1/4 of an inch thick! As my Poppy used to always say, work smarter, not harder.


Now, wick trimming, although very critical, isn't the only way you can ensure that your candle lives a long and happy life. We have all been guilty of waking up in the morning, grabbing a cup of coffee, lighting our favorite scent and just letting it burn all day long. While I myself am often a member of the Long Lit Candle Club, we truly aren't doing ourselves any favors. Just like you, candles need their rest. You should never burn any candle for more than four hours at a time. When you do burn them over four hours, the candle gets extra hot, when means it evaporates quickly, shortening its life. Remember the little rhyme, "four hours around, blow it down!"

For those of you that have attended my candle making parties, you know that I impart the above wisdom on you at every class. There is one critical step left to prolonging the life of the candle (and if you take an in person class, there is a bit of humor that comes with this part of instruction, to which I will spare all of you reading this). Just like all of us, candles have memory. They will always remember the very first burn session. It is essential that you set time aside for the first burning session, ensuring that the entire top layer of the candle melts. Doing so will prevent that wall of wax you often see build up on the sides of the vessel. As long as you follow this last imperative step, your candle will have an even burn all the way down to the bottom, not wasting any wax or the great smell that surrounds your home.


I am about the most frugal person I know and to me, candles are an investment in my own personal sanity. In the current economy, we all don't have the luxury of going out and purchasing candles every week. But when you do, I want to ensure you are getting the most out of those hard-earned dollars (and your candles).


Sending love & light,

Julia


PS TRIM YOUR WICKS!!

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Alexis Miller
Alexis Miller
Feb 13, 2023

This is such a cool post. I love candles and I never knew you could lengthen the life of them like this. I will definitely be trying this out. - Alexis M.

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Julia
Julia
Feb 13, 2023
Replying to

Glad I could impart some wisdom on you.

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Wow such an insightful post! I new wick trimming was a crucial part of candle care. I did not know that candles should only be burned for 4 hours. I feel this needs to be posted on all candle containers.

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Julia
Julia
Feb 12, 2023
Replying to

Most candle companies do have warning labels, but I think most of us get too excited, we just light them and never lift them up to look. I know I was guilty of that for a long time.

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Kylee Brooks
Kylee Brooks
Feb 11, 2023

first off, I didn't even know that trimming a wick of a candle was a thing let alone having a nifty tool for it as well! I also didn't know until now that not trimming them makes it more of a fire hazard than it already is, Which really freaks me out to begin with so this information is very helpful. Where can you get a wick trimmer from?

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Julia
Julia
Feb 11, 2023
Replying to

Hi Kylee,

I couldn’t survive without my wick trimmer. 🤣 We actually sell them in store and online. And we always have free shipping!


https://www.islandshamfarmhouse.com/product-page/northern-lights-wick-cutter

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Keegan Kimberlin
Keegan Kimberlin
Feb 11, 2023

I did not think to trim your stem in the candle to prolong its life of it. I do have a question, how do you not burn yourself when you have a candle in a deep bottleneck or when the candle is about to be out? I always to this to myself and I end up throwing away the candle.

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Julia
Julia
Feb 11, 2023
Replying to

Hi Keegan,

Do you mean when you’re trying to light one far down? Long matchsticks work wonders. Or there are now electronic lighters that allow you to move the neck of the lighter. We actually sell them in store and online. https://www.islandshamfarmhouse.com/product-page/northfire-electric-arc-lighter


Let me know if you have any more questions!

-Julia

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Since first coming to your shop and learning all of these tips and tricks from you, I can honestly say my candles last a nice long time. Also, I always have some if ISF wax melts going in our busy office and we get so many compliments. I never get tired of hearing, "It smells good in here!".

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Julia
Julia
Feb 09, 2023
Replying to

Awe! I love to hear that! Thanks Jenny!

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