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How long to burn a candle for?

Many people often ask how long should you allow a candle to burn? It may seem a very simple question but it is an important one. Long before I knew anything about candles, I would just light the things and think nothing more of it. This is pretty much the attitude of many people and so is the norm. However, good care of a candle can ensure that you not only get a safer burn, but get a longer burn time out of your candle. Lakes & Hills always provide labels both on the bottom and sides the vessel, to give you an idea of the length of burn time. We also provide a leaflet of information so you can get the best out of your candle.

These labels are not only for safety aspects. We test candles to our set procedures and know from the size of the candle, the best burn time so that you also get good value from your candle.

The smaller the candle the lower the burn time, so larger candles can be left longer. Burn time is also important for scent throw. To get the best scent from your candle, you have to ensure that you allow the candle to form what is called a 'melt pool.' It is this melt pool which helps with the scent throw into your room. Melt pool is the melted wax around the wick. A good melt pool is where the top of your candle has a complete layer of melted wax. It takes a while for the melt pool to grow, so if you extinguish the candle before the wax has formed a proper melt pool, then you can experience what is known as candle tunnelling and have wax on the sides of your vessel.

Soy wax candles have a lower melting point, which is good because the melt pool forms quite well. However, always consider that before you light your candle, are you going to leave it lit for a good while, or are you going to have to extinguish it to go out? If you are lighting a larger candle for one hour and then extinguishing it, then it may be advisable to not light it. Candles have what is known as a memory. So if you like candles lit for short periods of time, then small votives, tea lights and our small tin candles are probably the best for you. With tea lights, it is worth knowing that because they are so small you will not get the same scent throw that you would with a large candle.

So when you light your candle, ask yourself how long are you going to light it for? Make sure you allow a melt pool to form before extinguishing it, and also do not allow the candle to burn for longer than specified. Candles which are left to burn for long periods of time are not just dangerous, but because you will not have trimmed the wick, you can get other issues such as sooting. More on this issue on a further future blog topic!

If you have any queries or questions, we love to help so just ask us!

To view our range of soy candles, including our great range of soy candles for autumn and fall please visit our shop.

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