THE FIRST BURN
You have brought your candle home and you have found the perfect, safest place to burn it. You want to smell it, right? Now what?
A lot of clients think they simply light those tall wicks and the candle will perform at its maximum potential. After all, it is just a candle and there shouldn’t be much to it. Right!...Sort of…
HERE’S THE FACTS: The initial lighting of your candle is the most important burn, and will determine how the candle will perform for the rest of its candle life.
Have you ever heard the saying: “Candles have a memory”? Candles also have performance anxiety, if they are not burned properly on the first burn. You are the trainer in coaching your candle to perform properly. If you follow proper first-burn instructions, your candle is basically maintenance-free afterwards. Let’s get started!
Usually, on a new candle, the unburned wick(s) are pretty tall. Do not light these tall wicks! Regardless of the grade of your candle, if you light the candle without trimming the wicks, you will get a black carbon ball that forms on the wick that creates soot and smoke. This in turn will result in black carbon pieces in your wax. Not pretty! Before lighting your candle, trim the wicks to approximately ¼”. Don’t trim wicks shorter than ¼”, as when your wax begins to melt, you will get a pool of melted wax and the wax will put out your wicks, and this becomes another whole issue to deal with. It is better to leave them a little longer than ¼” than too short. If after lighting your candle, your flame(s) are dancing, either your wicks are too long or your candle is in a drafty location. If you know your candle is not in a drafty place, simply put out flames, let cool, and trim to ¼”.
BURN BABY BURN: Almost there! You have trimmed your wicks and you are ready. Light it and go for it! Please pay close attention: This is the most important step in how your candle will perform from now on. When burning your candle for the first time, let your candle burn long enough to reach ALL the edges of the jar! If you do not let your candle burn all the way to the edges of the jar, your candle will tunnel. What is tunneling? If your candle doesn’t burn all the way to the edges on the first burn, the next time (and following times), you burn the candle, the candle will only burn as wide as the candle burned the first time, thus not burning the entire amount of wax available around the edges of the jar. Hence the saying: Candles have a memory. This simple step allows the candle to burn all of the wax available, therefore releasing more scent, which is the whole purpose anyway!
So, wait for that day, when you have enough time to trim your wicks properly, and are able to monitor the burn so your wax will melt all the way to the edges. I promise you, it will be worth it!
Thank you for reading. Try smiling at someone first today!