We like to make candles that people can just burn and not worry about following a laundry list of rules. With that said, there are a few general rules that if followed will help make your candle burn better, cleaner and last longer. The two biggest when it comes to pillar burning are proper WICK TRIMMING and CANDLE HUGGING.
First off pillars need a bit of very low key maintenance. One of those is continual wick trimming. This is not mandatory but it greatly increases the longevity of your candle and will give you a much cleaner burn. With trimming, keep your wick trimmed to 1/4" before lighting it. Once your candle is burning you just need to watch for signs that it may need trimmed, those being a flicker or smoking. Smoke can be caused due to a carbon cap forming on the tip of your wick. Sometimes this cap (also known as mushrooming) happens due to carbon build up but also honey build up. Some candles need to be trimmed not long after lighting, but once a good wax pool is started the burn will be slowed and the trimming minimal.
The next thing that will help increase your burn time is hugging. As you burn your pillar and have burnt it for the proper amount of time (remember the wax pool rule of 1 hour per inch in diameter) READ MORE ABOUT THAT HERE. You will be left with a slight mantle. A mantle is a just a thin edge of wax that forms as the candle burns down. This is different than a tunnel. A candle with tunneling has a rather thick mantle, which means it should have been burnt longer per session. A mantle is very beautiful and gives a lovely warm lantern like glow as you burn your candle. However, if it gets too large/tall that will reduce the oxygen to the flame which leads to a unsteady flame. It also leads to wax spills because the mantle will eventually get too hot and become very thin in one area, eventually melting a hole where your precious wax pool will leak out of.
This allows oxygen to continue to flow to the flame and all of the wax getting used up, thus giving you many more hours of burn time. Allowing your candle to burn all of the wax will add many more hours of burn time to your candle. Hugging allows your mantle wax to get used up and not be wasted.
This can be done after your burn session or if you notice a mantle forming. First extinguish your candle, then gently hug the sides in, being careful to not hug in more wax than the flame can handle. You don't want to push in too much wax and inadvertently drown your wick. Push in what your wick will allow (leaving 1/4" wick) and if you have more mantle left you can just hug it in during the next burn session. I generally hug my pillars in after most long burn sessions.
So, in all honesty candles always looks a bit ugly after hugging. However, once re-lit and a new wax pool is created they look great in no time:)
I hope this helps you learn a few tricks to extend the life of your candle. I love burning pillars, they're one of my favorites because they burn so long. If you're looking for a long burning candle, check our line of pure beeswax candles out and my favorite BEESWAX PILLARS HERE.
If you're looking for more tips, make sure to check back as we're adding a new candle burn tip each week. You can also join our hive where I send weekly tips, sales and simple living DIY's. JOIN OUR HIVE HERE
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below.
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