The truth about making candles, and how they *should* burn!

I’m going to bust a few myths.

Making candles is a chilled out, relaxing hobby
The one thing that people always talk to us about is how relaxing it must be to make cakes.

Making candles is more akin to a science experiment.

If you blend your own fragrances you have to get the fragrance right.

Then you have to test it in your wax to check it burns properly that involves lots of tests with different wicks and at different ratios of oil to wax to get the right combination in every size glass we use – (again a lot of tests).

Next is to send the blend off to get it tested by a chemist or a 3rd party that handles the process.

Then if it all comes back ok you can start. If not then it’s back to the drawing board with the fragrance blend, altering percentages without losing any of the essence of fragrance that you originally wanted.

So we haven’t made anything even to sell yet and it’s already a lot of testing, refining and head-scratching!

Also for us, using rapeseed wax means that ours take ages to dry enough to wick them and for them to cure.

If you have a candle and it doesn’t burn to the edge in the first second or even third burn? The candle starts tunnelling. That’s a hole that starts to form down the centre of the candle.

They are many reasons for this but here are the top three reasons:

The wrong wick was used. If the wick is too small, it cannot create enough rest to melt the wax and teach the edge of the glass.

Solution – if you still have the receipt or the person’s name who made it.

Take it back. Most candlemakers will happily exchange it, after all the work that went into making it, we want you to have the perfect burn.

We have burning guides for our candles to help people burn their candles properly and get the most hours of enjoyment.

‘Saving’ candles
Try not to blow out your candle too quickly

Please do not try to ‘save’ your candle by just burning it for a little bit at a time.

Your candle needs to burn out to the edge of the glass or you will get tunnelling that you have caused.

You will get more enjoyment leaving your candle to burn for longer, up to 4 hours, also be careful when extinguishing the flame.

Blowing out a candle is definitely not the best way. If you have a wax pool, it could end up jumping out of the glass and spreading the wax everywhere.

Use a proper candle snuffer or a candle lid to starve the flame and put it out.

The candle is burning ok then suddenly stops.
Again they are many reasons for this, but the main one is wick failure.

There is nothing you can do about this candle. You need to take it back for a replacement, or some candle makers will melt it down for you and re- wick it for you.

Another common reason is that your candle has been burning too long and the wick pool might get too deep. Make sure that you don’t burn your candles for longer than recommended.

Candles only smell for part of the burn time.
Ok so there’s a multitude of answers for this too but it generally means they are old and most of the fragrance has evaporated.

Whilst candles don’t have a sell-by date, the artisan maker knows when each batch is made.

More myth busting to follow…

These views are expressed as opinions, testing results and real-life customer shared experiences by Hopping Hare.

Photo by Anna Shvets

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