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HOW TO BURN A CANDLE
Why are some scented candles getting such a bad press today? Many scented candles are made from paraffin wax, chemical fragrance and dyes and have metal wicks using silver, zinc and sometimes lead, all of which can release nasty toxins and higher levels of carbon particles.
At Kiss the Moon we like to keep things as clean and as natural as possible. So in our hand poured candles we only use soy wax, cotton wicks and essential oils for fragrance, all of which lead to a much cleaner burn.
Before we started our journey to make our Kiss the Moon candles we assumed we had the whole 'scented candle burning thing' sussed too. I mean, how complicated could it be? But the we found out we had been burning candles wrong for all these years.
Here are five tips on how you should be doing it to make the most of every scented candle you buy...
1. Melt the whole way across the top
The first time you light your candle, burn it long enough for the surface to melt almost all the way across. Candle wax has a kind of inbuilt 'memory' in that once it is melted the first time, it it will melt again easier the next time. To make sure your candle burns across its whole width (rather than tunnelling down in the centre), you want to melt it across most of the width initially so as much of the wax as possible is 'drawn down'. This will massively extend the life of your candle and make sure nothing gets wasted. For an average sized candle, a couple of hours burn time the first time you light it should be enough.
2. Avoid the mushroom
After the first time, light your candle for an hour or two max and no more. That should be enough to fully scent a room without overdoing it. Not only will this make your candle last longer overall, it will avoid it getting too hot and the wick starting to 'mushroom'. This mushroom shape is caused by carbon deposits and happens when the flame starts to burn more wax than the wick can cope with. It can be a sign that the wick is too big for the candle, but may also happen if you are just burning it for too long in one go. If it happens, wait for it to cool and trim back before you relight.
3. Trim the wick
To ensure a nice clean burn. don't let the wick get too long. When you relight, trim the wick down to no more than a centimetre. You want the wick to be close enough to the wax that it takes hold and stays lit as soon as you approach it with a match.
4. Keep it clean
Keep your candle free from all foreign objects such as bits of match or anything else that might accidentally fall in to it. These things will just pollute the burn (and might not smell that great) but more importantly - could be potentially dangerous. A cover is also a good idea to keep dust out. Or lightly blow dust off the surface before you light. The whole idea is that the wax stays clean and pure so nothing interferes with the quality of the burn. If you start with a good quality soy wax candle and keep it debris free, you should be on track to get a soot free burn.
5. Keep away from drafts
If there's a breeze coming from one location this is going to interrupt the flame and will lead to an uneven burn. Bad news as this will mean the wax banks up on one side and burns aways to nothing on the other. It's not only wasteful, it's also potentially dangerous as it might cause the lit wick to flicker and flare. Better to place your candles out of the path of a direct breeze or fan so you get an uninterrupted flame. Kiss the Moon Aromatherapy Soy candles are available from the Bedside section of our online store